Connecticut Innovations Names New CEO

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State’s venture capital investment arm brings on technology investment professional to head up organization.

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Connecticut Innovations is one of the most active early-stage investors in the United States, and it has a reputation for having an experienced team that thoroughly analyzes its deals and provides strategic guidance—all of which lead to favorable returns.

Connecticut Innovations (CI), the leading source of financing and ongoing support for Connecticut's innovative, growing companies, today announced the appointment of Matthew McCooe as chief executive officer.

McCooe, 47, comes to CI from Chart Venture Partners (CVP), where he was a managing partner and fund manager focusing on investments in communications, green technologies, software and computer vision. Prior to CVP, he worked at Columbia University Science and Technology Ventures (STV), where he managed a large portfolio of spinout companies and the deployment of Columbia’s highly profitable seed fund. During his tenure at Columbia, nearly a dozen portfolio companies went public or were acquired by publicly traded companies.

“Connecticut Innovations is one of the most active early-stage investors in the United States, and it has a reputation for having an experienced team that thoroughly analyzes its deals and provides strategic guidance—all of which lead to favorable returns,” said McCooe. “It is with tremendous pride that I assume the leadership role of the organization. I look forward to continuing the great work that this state has come to expect from CI and building on its mission of supporting Connecticut’s innovative, growing companies and creating jobs.”

Prior to Columbia, McCooe co-founded Eureka Networks, a communications and application software organization that sold for $110 million. Earlier in his career, he managed product development, sales, marketing, and new product rollouts for two Fortune 500 companies, Becton Dickinson and MCI.

“The board is pleased to announce Matthew McCooe as our new chief executive officer,” said Michael Cantor, chairman of CI’s board. “Matt’s venture capital expertise and tech transfer experience are widely respected—and those were the skills we were seeking. We are confident that under Matt’s leadership, CI will continue to attract the best startups and co-investors and create high-paying jobs in Connecticut.”

“Connecticut has the tools needed for high-tech, cutting-edge companies to grow and become industry leaders, and our state is proud to work with these companies so they can compete and win in the 21st century economy,” Governor Dannel P. Malloy said. “With Matt McCooe's experience and enthusiasm, I am confident that Connecticut Innovations will continue its efforts to ensure that our state is the home to the innovative businesses that are competitive in the global marketplace.”

McCooe has a Master of Business Administration from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts from Boston College. He has served as a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) reviewer for the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy Innovation Ecosystem Initiative, and consults for the U.S. Department of Defense as part of the Defense Venture Catalyst/Potomac Institute, where he identifies and helps speed the adoption of emerging technologies that meet the U.S. government’s technology requirements.

McCooe replaces Claire Leonardi, who stepped down Dec. 18, 2014. Phil Siuta, CI’s chief financial officer, served as interim CEO while its board of directors conducted a comprehensive CEO search. McCooe’s first day will be Monday, July 13, 2015.

About Connecticut Innovations
Connecticut Innovations (CI) is the leading source of financing and ongoing support for Connecticut’s innovative, growing companies. To maximize the growth potential of each business, CI tailors its solutions and often combines its funds with resources from other financial leaders to provide venture capital and strategic support for early-stage technology companies; flexible loans for established companies with new innovations; grants that support innovation and collaboration; and connections to its well-established network of partners and professionals. Through all these initiatives, CI has helped bring $4 billion in financing to Connecticut companies. The state’s most active early-stage investor, CI has created more than 26,000 jobs. For more information on CI, visit http://www.ctinnovations.com.

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Lauren Carmody
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