CT Business Matchmaker 2018 was hosted by the University of Hartford’s Entrepreneurial Center & Women’s Business Center (EC-WBC) on June 14 at Gengras Student Union. The packed event comprised over 200 small businesses meeting one-on-one with 43 large companies and agencies in a “rapid-fire” series of 10-minute interviews. Both benefited from the opportunity to efficiently develop contracting partnerships. Open to all industries, this year’s event also focused on the manufacturing and construction industries.
Subcontracting offers a valuable opportunity for small businesses but can create a hurdle for the companies and agencies that need to find qualified providers of supplies and services. Finding the right company for the job is vital to the success of a project. CT Business Matchmaker was started in 2010 to meet this exact need and create a space where companies and agencies could easily connect with small businesses to create partnerships for future subcontracting opportunities.
Managed by the EC-WBC, the event also focuses on increasing opportunities for small women-owned and minority-owned businesses. This year included the participation of 56 women-owned small businesses and 55 minority-owned. The Center plans to increase that number next year by increasing marketing focus on these businesses. Next year’s event is scheduled for Thursday, June 13. For more information, visit hartford.edu/matchmaker.
2018 Gold Sponsors were The Metropolitan District (MDC), the Metro Hartford Alliance, the CT Procurement Technical Assistance Center, and CT Next. The Gold-level Media Sponsor was New England Real Estate Journal. Bronze sponsors included Skanska USA Building Inc., Viking Construction Inc., The Hartford, Methuen Construction, Farmington Bank, and Enfield Enterprises Inc.
In addition to the EC/WBC, organizing sponsors included the University of Hartford’s Construction Institute, CT Department of Administrative Services, CT Human Rights and Opportunities, US General Services Administration, CT Business Leadership Network, CT Center for Advanced Technology, CT Secretary of State’s Office, and Greater New England Minority Supplier development Council. The US Small Business Administration is an event partner.
Entrepreneurial Center & Women’s Business Center
The University of Hartford’s Entrepreneurial Center & Women’s Business Center provides personalized business advising, educational programs, technical assistance, and networking events to new and expanding small businesses in Connecticut. The Center focuses on serving women, minority-owned businesses, and other underserved constituents. Part of the nationally-renowned Barney School of Business, the Center specializes in turning ideas into viable businesses and break-even companies into sustainable, profitable, and scalable enterprises. For more information, visit www.hartford.edu/ec.