CTNext Names Onyeka Obiocha as Executive Director
Entrepreneur and former managing director of the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale plans to use entrepreneurial and innovation background to guide CTNext into the future
Hartford, Connecticut – January 18, 2022 – CTNext, Connecticut’s go-to resource for supporting entrepreneurs and fostering innovation, today announced it has named Onyeka “Ony” Obiocha, a leader in entrepreneurial development and capital ventures, as its new executive director.
Obiocha, a Connecticut native and New Haven resident, has had great success in operationalizing equitable entrepreneurial ecosystems throughout the state. He comes from Integrated Capitals and Learning at the Heron Foundation, where he served as its director and played an integral part in stewarding a $350 million endowment to help people and their communities help themselves. Obiocha also serves as the board chair of New Haven Innovation Places, where he worked to connect higher education institutions, startup organizations, and a growing segment of the diverse workforce in the city.
“CTNext has created a strong foundation of programs and resources designed to help entrepreneurs grow,” said Obiocha. “I have spent my career providing avenues for communities to showcase their innovation while supporting entrepreneurs with the tools they need to grow. CTNext is at the intersection of innovation, entrepreneurship and ecosystem-building, and I look forward to continuing the success of the organization and incorporating the learnings from years of working in and around Connecticut.”
Previously, Obiocha founded Sharelogical, an e-commerce platform designed to empower donations by leveraging affiliate marketing, and he was also a co-founder of A Happy Life, a New Haven–based coffee company that received official recognition from the Connecticut General Assembly. During his time as managing director of the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale, Obiocha worked to develop programming and expand resources for students to launch and scale businesses across the country.
“Ony brings both leadership insight and the necessary experience to cultivate vibrant innovation ecosystems throughout Connecticut,” said Revell Horsey, chair of the CTNext board of directors. “We have a number of programs at CTNext that have the ability to scale and succeed. Ony embodies the entrepreneurial mindset in action and spirit, and has the skillset required to enhance current programming and maximize impact for the entrepreneurs we support.”
CTNext develops programs and funding to help technology- and innovation-based startups and early-stage businesses grow in Connecticut. CTNext, a subsidiary of Connecticut Innovations, also manages initiatives to expand and strengthen the ecosystem that supports new business development across the state, including Innovation Places, the Higher Education Entrepreneurship Fund, CTNext Partners and more. For more information, visit www.ctnext.com
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