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Governor’s Innovation Fellowship Program in Connecticut Will Expand Statewide

  • After a successful pilot program in Stamford, CTNext’s Governor’s Innovation Fellowship program will expand statewide
  • Open to Connecticut college or university graduates of the Class of 2021 or 2020, or Connecticut high school graduates of the Class of 2017 attending an out-of-state college or university
  • Program offers grants and support to graduates while pairing them with innovative Connecticut-based companies

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

CTNext, an organization offering programs to support innovation-based startups and early-stage companies in Connecticut, will expand its Governor’s Innovation Fellowship program statewide after a successful pilot program.

The fellowship was first established in 2019, and recently completed a pilot program with 18 members who were paired with Stamford-based companies. The initiative aims to retain young talent in Connecticut, offer Connecticut graduates opportunities for professional growth within the state, and match Connecticut companies with high-performing young workers.

Glendowlyn Thames, executive director of CT Next, says the Governor’s Innovation Fellowship “offers qualifying graduates a chance to build a strong foundation to their careers through meaningful employment in one of Connecticut’s innovation-based companies, combined with a program focused on professional development, leadership training, and networking.”

Applicants are selected through a competitive process, with a panel of business leaders and executives choosing second round candidates. These graduates can either access an exclusive job board with opportunities available to the fellowship cohort and interview with a partnering company or demonstrate that they are accepting a job at a technology- or STEM-based company in Connecticut that meets the program’s requirements. Participants receive the program’s benefits, including a $5,000 grant, once they accept a job offer and begin the role by July 1, 2022.

The program is open to 2021 graduates of Connecticut colleges or universities, and 2020 graduates are eligible as well due to the circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Students who graduated from a Connecticut high school in 2017 and are currently attending an out-of-state college or university may also apply.

Anyone interested in applying to the program can find more information here. Companies that may be able to offer jobs to the fellowship cohort can contact Julia Napolitano at 860-258-7892 or

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