• Thu. Mar 23rd, 2023

Tech upstart? ‘Startup Westport’ plants seed for technologies development


Mar 17, 2023

Organizers of “Startup Westport” who detailed plans for the technologies initiative to an introductory gathering at the Westport Library had been, from left, Matt Gorin, Stefano Pacifico and Jay Norris. / Photographs by Gary Webster

By Gretchen Webster

WESTPORT — Can Westport develop into Silicon Valley East?

Yes, says a group of technologies entrepreneurs, investors and officials — like 1st Selectwoman Jennifer Tooker — organized with the target of assisting the town develop into “the quantity-1 spot for technologies startups in the Northeast outdoors of New York and Boston.”

That is the view of Stefano Pacifico, 1 of the founders of “Startup Westport,” a new technologies initiative, as he introduced the project to much more than one hundred people today gathered at the Westport Library on Thursday evening.

“Ten or 20 years down the road, there’s no purpose Westport can not be a further Silicon Valley,” Matt Gorin, co-founder of Contour Venture Partners and the keynote speaker, told the crowd. 

“We have so numerous components right here in Westport,” he mentioned like investors, technologies businesses and workers, and a inventive spirit. “Seeds of the ecosystem are starting to sprout.”

Startup Westport was born when Pacifico and Cliff Sirlin, each Westport residents, approached Tooker for town assistance for a “tech initiative” to bring with each other neighborhood technologies businesses and other folks interested in technologies. When the founding group grew to consist of 5 other members, the 1st networking occasion was planned to introduce the notion.

When Jay Norris, 1 of the group’s organizers and a speaker at the gathering, took an informal poll of the audience, he identified that about 95 % had been Westport residents, 90 % had been involved in startup ventures and 80 % had been investors.

“We require to come with each other in a meaningful way,” he mentioned.

A lot more than one hundred people today networked Thursday as “Startup Westport” was introduced to the public at the Westport Library. The group’s target is to create a neighborhood of technologies startups in Westport.

The networking occasion in the library’s Trefz Forum attracted people today of several ages, mainly guys, but some females, circulating all through the area meeting and speaking to other folks.

Amongst these attending was Troy Rambo, CEO of Intelligent Properties Westport, a business that installs residential and industrial safety systems. He was introduced to Startup Westport by Police Chief Foti Koskinas and came to the occasion “to network and brainstorm with people today,” he mentioned.

Elizabeth Shoup of Westport was there due to the fact her daughter is “a information scientist in an power-connected startup … I wanted to discover a tiny about her planet,” she mentioned.

And Tucker Peters, a junior at Staples Higher College, came to the networking occasion “to bounce some concepts off much more skilled people today.” 

Amongst the initiative’s future ambitions, Tooker mentioned, is to give internship and educational possibilities in technologies for Staples students.

Startup Westport plans a bigger occasion June 13 at La Plage restaurant at the Inn at Longshore. The organization also has posted a mailing list at its web site. 

Freelance writer Gretchen Webster, a Fairfield County journalist and journalism teacher for numerous years, was editor of the Fairfield Minuteman newspaper for ten years and teaches journalism at Southern Connecticut State University.