A town in Fairfield County of Connecticut, Westport is perched on Long Island Sound with a population of 26,391 souls swanning around boutiques, reclining in sumptuous restaurants, chatting in cafes or hanging out in coworking venues planning the next startup venture. Ranked 22nd on the ladder of America's richest places, Westport was officially incorporated in 1835. Historically a prosperous agricultural community (think onions), this industry collapsed leading its economy to be replaced with mills and factories. It was in about 1910 that Westport had a cultural expansion due to an influx of musicians, artists and authors such as F. Scott Fitzgerald. It became an arty enclave and a creative haven with an attendant crowd of the fashionable New York set. Farmers sold off their land and Westport became an urban sprawl of rolling hills and natural beauty offering a lifestyle with a bohemian flair. By the 21st century, it had developed into a hub for finance and insurance, plus a center for scientific and technical services.
Connecticut has actually been flying under the radar and has so far produced 2 unicorns, startups valued at more than one billion. The region has engaged universities offering mentorship, programs and seed funding to help fledgling startups grow. There are plenty of talented graduates looking for fun places to work in their own hometowns such as Westport, rather than having to leave for the big smoke of cities. Connecticut's ecosystems are diverse and in viable locations. To-date the floodgates have opened and the region is home to around 1,000 tech startups.
Connecticut shines as a place to live and work at a fraction of the cost of some other locations plus it has a great outdoor lifestyle. Local economies are being rejuvenated and the number of funky cafes, bars and restaurants is growing to cater to the increase of relocating or stay-at-home entrepreneurs. Coworking venues opening their doors is one more step in this gradually maturing ecosystem.
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