The Future of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Connecticut: A Conversation with Gubernatorial Candidate, Ned Lamont
October 23, 2018 – Gubernatorial Candidate, Ned Lamont, has had an increasingly active schedule, engaging with voters across the State on the final weeks of his campaign trail. Early voting is open and National election day is on November 6th. On the evening of October 23, at HealthHavenHub (the HUB), the Candidate sat with moderator Donna Lecky, Co-Founder and Board Chair of the HUB, to discuss topics related to The Future of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Connecticut.
Dubbed the NEDTalk by Lecky, Lamont quickly affirmed his position and plan to be a Governor that would leverage the growth in areas like Stamford/Fairfield, Greater New Haven and Hartford, and focus the States resources on job training, workforce development and skills. His plan is to seek public-private partnerships in support of current businesses and to attract new businesses to Connecticut. Lamont referenced his own success as an entrepreneur, stating, “I’d be the first governor in 80 years that has started a business and created jobs. I think that’s a pretty good credential in a State that is near the bottom when it comes to businesses and creating jobs.”
To delve deeper, Lecky asked questions about taxes, the pension issue and transportation concerns. “We hear the word ‘ecosystem’: everything’s an ecosystem. Who do you view as the key stakeholders of the innovation ecosystem?”
Lamont cited the business, government, investor, academic and entrepreneurial communities as key stakeholders. He also mentioned the importance of family members, particularly spouses/partners as key stakeholders. Illustrating this point with an example from his personal life and marriage to Anne Lamont, he stated, “I am the trailing spouse in the Lamont household, since my wife is a healthcare venture capitalist. You better have something for the spouse to do, and you better have a pool of like-minded talent, so that if you want to transition and do other things, you’ve created other options.”
Lecky asked, about the future of CTNext where Lamont responded, “I’m very hopeful about the future of CTNext. They are bringing business to Connecticut, which supports the State’s financial strength.”
Lamont discussed the importance of enhancing the transportation infrastructure and the digital revolution of 5G. He identified areas of low hanging fruit for the State and areas that were not going to change overnight yet emphasized the need for public/private partnership to put the appropriate plans in place for the future.
Lecky opened the floor to the audience, from which Lamont was asked about his plans to rectify the State’s financial deficit. He quipped, “if David Swenson was managing the pension fund, we wouldn’t have this problem.” Then continued on to say, “if I’m elected, my plan is to reduce the property taxes, which has a margin for reduction. We have a lot of financial liabilities and it’s tough to fix immediately. I know that Connecticut does not need more taxes but rather we need more tax payers and a stronger tax base.”
To close Lamont stated, “I’m 64 years old, this is not some stepping stone, this is not some gig, I just want to turn this State around and create financial stability, create jobs and build opportunities in the area of innovation. That is why I am running for Governor. That is why I am doing this.”
Sharon Mwale Program Manager [email protected]