Connecticut Innovations Appoints Deb Santy to Director of Strategic Partnerships

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Former SBI director Deb Santy assumes new role to help establish and grow business and academic relationships to support entrepreneurial community; Glendowlyn Thames appointed to director of Small Business Innovation

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Connecticut Innovations (CI), the leading source of financing and ongoing support for Connecticut's innovative, growing companies, today announced that Deb Santy has been appointed director of strategic partnerships at CI.

In her new role, Santy will be responsible for developing and leading new business and academic partnerships and deepening existing partnerships to attract, retain and grow businesses within Connecticut.

“As we continue our commitment to driving innovation in Connecticut, we are hearing from large companies across many industries that they want to connect with new products, materials and R&D that is occurring in our growing community of small companies and universities,” said Claire Leonardi, CEO of Connecticut Innovations. “We continually strive to provide resources to our portfolio companies and the greater entrepreneurial community, which is why an increased emphasis on building stronger relationships with both large and small innovative businesses as well as Connecticut’s universities and colleges will benefit the larger community.”

Glendowlyn Thames replaces Santy as the director of Small Business Innovation (SBI), which includes the management and oversight of CTNext.

In her new role, Thames will be responsible for maintaining and building programs and services for startup and established businesses in Connecticut. These innovation programs and services help businesses commercialize their technologies, which has a positive economic impact on the company and the state.

Thames, who formerly served as the special assistant to the CEO at CI, has 10 years of experience in high-level public administration roles and previously served as the special assistant to the superintendent of Hartford Public Schools. Prior to that, she was director of constituent services for the City of Hartford, where she managed citizen relations and worked on a variety of community and economic development projects.

“SBI and CTNext continue to have a strong impact on the business community,” said Claire Leonardi, CEO of Connecticut Innovations. “With Glendowlyn’s experience and vision for programs and Deb’s focus on relationship development, we will be able to add value and resources to small and large businesses in the state, which will provide economic growth in the future.”

About Connecticut Innovations Inc.
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, please visit

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Lauren Carmody
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