Matthew McCooe, Connecticut Innovations, explores why Connecticut is suddenly one of the most desirable locations for tech startups

Think back to where the US state of Connecticut was 20 years ago. A National Hockey League franchise, Hartford Whalers, had just left the state for North Carolina and rebranded to Carolina Hurricanes, it was one of the only places in the country where incomes were actually falling and we were known more for late-night television host David Letterman’s speeding tickets than anything resembling innovation. On the national economic stage, Connecticut was a punchline.

Yet since then, Connecticut has steadily evolved from a state most investors would bypass to a place that saw exits for two home-grown unicorns – startups valued at more than $1bn – in the past few months. How is Connecticut suddenly one of the most desirable locations for tech startups? It was not easy, requiring those 20 years and just the right combination of ingredients.

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