In 2017, Innovate Stamford formed and was catalyzed with a $2 million grant from CTNext, a state-funded subsidiary of the quasi-public venture capital firm Connecticut Innovations. The grant designates Stamford as an “Innovation Place”, a hub for innovation, entrepreneurship and business growth. This is part of a statewide effort to build a more robust community of entrepreneurs and accelerate startup growth by providing access to talent, space, industry expertise, services, skill development and capital.

Stamford’s Innovation District integrates places, institutions and people who have historically been unconnected into a cohesive hub for innovation. These include emerging live-work-play-learn neighborhoods in the South End and downtown; economic, cultural and educational anchor institutions such as UConn-Stamford and The Ferguson Library; early stage entrepreneurs and leaders of their global customers; and public spaces such as parks, plazas and other pedestrian destinations.