Hartford Business Journal Special Editions

Doing Business In Connecticut 2015

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2015 | Doing Business in Connecticut 71 By David Ryan Polgar F lexibility is a key component in Glendowlyn ames' life. As the manager of Con- necticut Innovations' Small Busi- ness Innovation Group, ames puts a premium on using a flexible approach to accomplish goals and achieve business objectives. It's a concept that may derive from one of her favorite hob- bies. Seen as an easy-going yet results-driven presence, ames unwinds from a day of work with Bikram yoga, oen referred to as "hot yoga." Doing poses in sweltering temperatures may seem grueling to some, but ames views the activity as a way to stay grounded and focused. Right now, she is focused on energizing the start-up and business community, and increasing the level of cohesiveness in the community. "Our job is to find ways to better connect people," she says. "We are looking for better ways to coordinate and collaborate." In her capacity with the Small Business Innovation Group, ames "oversees vital programs that support the state's small technology businesses and encourage innovation, collaboration and commercialization." She also manages CTNext, the public-private support arm launched in 2012. e goal of CTNext is to better connect startups with collaborative workspaces, mentors, and other like-minded entrepreneurs. e purpose is to accelerate growth by working together. is dovetails nicely with one of ames' favorite proverbs: "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." e African proverb resonates with her because it underscores the importance of collaboration and the folly of going it alone. "I've learned that collaboration is central to success," she said. Her main challenge, as she sees it, is "building a cohe- sive nature among entrepreneurs." It was in South Africa — where she interned at Indaba Media — that the value of collaboration and entrepreneurship was cemented. "I learned how critical small business was to the local economy," she said. ames, who received her M.A. in Public Policy Studies and Law from Trinity College, served as the director of constituent services for the City of Hartford and as the special assistant to the superintendent of Hartford Public Schools before joining Connecticut Innovations. Her deep experience with Hartford could serve her well in her position as she works to foster entrepreneurship in the state. "e health of our economy is connect- ed with strong urban centers," she said. "New Haven is a good example of growth." ames cites a live/work/play dynamic as key to a vibrant urban center. She mentions CTfastrak and the governor's transportation plan as steps in the right direction for Hartford and other cities. e immense challenges before her, which could be viewed as hurdles by some, don't faze ames. "When I see challenges, I see opportunities," she said. ❑ Glendowlyn Thames, manager of Connecticut Innovations' Small Business Innovation Group importance of building partnerships and the best team possible. She credits a lot of the traction that Woven Orthopedic Tech- nologies is having with being surrounded by a highly skilled executive team. at type of support was very helpful for Yale bioscience start-up IsoPlexis, which recently raised $1.25 million to advance its cell-decoding micro device. e company was formed through Yale's Technology Com- mercialization Program, which connects professional and graduate school students with patented faculty inventions. Founder and CEO Sean Mackay, a 2014 graduate of the Yale School of Management, joined forces with Rong Fan, an associate professor of Biomedical Engineering, to cre- ate a device that can isolate single immune cells and analyze the proteins they produce. is helps scientists to learn more about how cancer and other diseases function, and how drug candidates interact with the human immune system. "We're very excited about our progress and have hired a team of talented bioscience, programming and engineering professionals from Yale and the Connecticut area," said Mackay. e SBA's Sweeney, who encourages prospective entrepreneurs to consider their motivation for starting a business along with ensuring credit-worthiness, also has some advice for aspiring entrepreneurs: "Find something that you love to do. If you go into business doing something you love, you'll never work another day in your life." ❑ Going Together Glendowlyn Thames strives to help entrepreneurs collaborate for growth PHOTO/CONNECTICUT INNOVATIONS PROFILE 88.8% were small firms. They generated 23.3% of the state's total known export value. A total of companies exported goods from the state in 2012. Of these, Source: ITA 5,895

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