CT Business Matchmaker series

Company: Entrepreneurial Center & Women's Business Center

Location: Hartford, CT

Describe your event

CT Business Matchmaker, an annual event since 2010, offers an invaluable opportunity for small businesses to connect with prime companies and agencies that subcontract services and supplies. During a series of 10 minute 1-on-1 interviews, companies share details on their products and services, encouraging partnerships to form quickly. The event is open to all industries. Each year we focus significant resources on increasing the attendance of women- and minority-owned small businesses.

What are the coolest, most popular features of your event?

We offer small businesses direct connections to prime companies and agencies, a contact that can be very difficult for an individual company to procure. We also offer efficiency. Small business owners have often commented that it would have normally taken months to make all the contacts they made in one day at this event.

What impact did your event make is 2020?

The event normally takes place in June. In reaction to the pandemic, we rescheduled the event for October and held the first-ever virtual CT Business Matchmaker. We were able to offer all of the same advantages as our in-person event, including one-on-one video meetings, networking opportunities, access to resource partners, speakers, and even added roundtables as an event feature.

Nominator Justification

The annual (11th) event transitioned completely online in 2020, and include 2 virtual pre-events as well. The events provide an opportunity for small businesses (close to 400 in 2020 total attended) to develop their markets and identify potential partnerships with companies and agencies that subcontract services and supplies. The pre-events included presentations from prime agencies and companies, as well as municipalities, including upcoming opportunities and contracting process details.

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