12 entrepreneurial projects pitched for CTNext funding
Groton — With visions of a co-working and incubator space in New London, a resource to help high-school students find job shadows, art and events in Hodges Square, a farm to re-integrate veterans into the workforce, and a private “micro-school,” 12 people are making the case for why their 12 projects should get a share of public-private funding that will likely be under 900,000 for the first year and about 10,000 to launch the STEM Job Shadow Finder, to link teenagers in southeastern Connecticut with job shadows so they can “make more informed career decisions.”
That was the least amount of funding requested, while Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut Vice President Amanda Ljubicic requested 350,000 from TRIP, saying he projects his bank loan to cover 80 percent of the value of future buildings.
Also on Bank Street, Cherie Powell is asking for 55,000 to launch an Agile Learning Center — a tiny, tuition-based school model in which students have responsibility for their education — that would involve sharing space with a church in New London or Groton.
Gill Eapen, CEO of the artificial intelligence company Decision Options, is asking TRIP for 300,000 to launch the Southeastern Connecticut Regional Seed Fund, with the goal of investing 355,000 to “build our foundation so we have a much leaner enterprise going forward,” Executive Director Ali Halvordson said, with a goal of increasing member companies from 46 today to at least 75.
New London City Planner Sybil Tetteh’s request is 300,000 to bring on a TV producer to document the entrepreneurship and food creation at RD86, and attract kids who want to go into broadcasting.
Throughout the nearly three and a half hours of pitches on Wednesday, many presenters emphasized their need for startup funding but explained how their projects would become self-sustaining.