Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Spotlight: Concord, NH

Concord, NH

As New Hampshire’s capital, Concord has a long history of being an economic hub for the state.

Concord, NH is the state’s capital and third most populous city, behind the nearby cities of Manchester and Nashua. As New Hampshire’s capital, Concord has a long history of being an economic hub for the state and the surrounding region. That region, which includes cities like Boston, MA, and Hartford, CT, is sometimes known as the Northeast Business Corridor and is full of resources for entrepreneurs and small business owners.

The city itself ranked 701st on WalletHub’s 2019 list of the best small cities for entrepreneurs, with a more impressive rank of 227th overall in the “Access to Resources” category. Meanwhile, the Manchester-Nashua area just outside of Concord ranked 23rd in a 2019 study ranking the most innovative metropolitan areas in the country. Additionally, Concord ranked highly in a pair of lists ranking the best US capital cities to live in: third on SmartAsset’s list and seventh on WalletHub’s. While those lists are not exclusively focused on entrepreneurship, both include economic factors in the ranking calculations.

Based on these rankings, FundingSage has reviewed the resources that make up Concord’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Entrepreneurial Meetups:

In addition to regular online meetings, the Lady Boss Women Entrepreneurial Club hosts weekly networking events. The location alternates between Manchester to the south and Woodstock to the north.

NetLunch! is a large networking group for women in entrepreneurship and business that holds monthly events.

The nh.js meetup is an opportunity for those businesses interested in honing their technical skills. Classes include web development and specifically Javascript.

 

Regular Entrepreneurial Events:

Concord is home to the Central New Hampshire branch of 1 Million Cups, an organization that hosts weekly events for entrepreneurs to meet one another.

The Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce hosts a variety of “Key Events” annually. Examples include a business showcase, meetings and awards ceremonies.

The Chambers of Commerce for the cities of Concord, Manchester, and Nashua work together to hold the annual Tri-City Expo, a business expo and networking event.

 

Startup Competitions:

The Regional Economic Development Center hosts a competition for entrepreneurs throughout the state with a grand prize of $25,000.

Hosted by the Manchester Young Professionals Network, the NH Startup Challenge is open to all New Hampshire residents and has prizes worth over $55,000.

TechOut is an annual technology startup competition held every November by the New Hampshire Tech Alliance. The event is located in Manchester with a $300,000 investment pool.

 

Co-working Spaces:

The Concord Business Center offers a variety of office, manufacturing, warehouse, retail and storage spaces to best meet the business needs of its members.

Down the road in Bedford, the New England Executive Center offers co-working space. Resources start at $49, dedicated desks starting at $399 and private office space starting at $499.

Red Oak Coworking Center in Manchester offers 24/7 access to its coworking space, which also includes a variety of amenities for its members.

 

Makerspaces:

Nashua is home to MakeIt Labs, the state’s oldest and largest makerspace. The organization offers a wide variety of tools and equipment for local makers to use.

Making Matters NH is working to bring a makerspace to Concord, with a location having been selected in October 2019.

The Manchester Makerspace has a variety of workshops with different tools available to members.

 

Incubators:

An initiative of the NH Tech Alliance, Alpha Loft runs Startup Fundamentals. This 6-week incubator program is designed to help early-stage entrepreneurs learn to launch businesses.

Down the road in Derry, Creative Chef Kitchens provides commercial kitchen space and classes to support food entrepreneurs and small businesses.

The New Hampshire Small Business Development Center has locations throughout the state that work to support small businesses.

 

Accelerators:

Accelerate NH is a 12-week startup accelerator program run by Alpha Loft that works with early-stage startups headquartered throughout the state.

New Hampshire’s Business and Industry Association runs the E-learning Accelerator. The online program that helps educate future entrepreneurs.

Manchester is home to one location of Wasabi Ventures, an organization that runs several programs to help support and accelerate area startups.

 

Colleges/Universities:

Granite State College offers a minor in entrepreneurship that helps students learn to launch their startups.

Manchester Community College offers a degree program in Management. Classes focus on small business and entrepreneurship.

Southern New Hampshire University has an entrepreneurship concentration in their Business Administration program.

The University of New Hampshire location at Manchester offers a 20-credit minor program in entrepreneurship for students interested.

 

Angel Groups/VCs:

Based in Manchester, 10X Venture Partners is an angel investment group that primarily works with technology companies.

Alumni Ventures Group is a stage and industry agnostic venture capital firm headquartered in Manchester that invests through a number of funds located throughout the country.

Vested for Growth is a Concord-based investment company that works with New Hampshire-based companies that employ workers without four-year college degrees.

 

Entrepreneurial Newsletter Coverage:

Business NH Magazine, a monthly business magazine covering news throughout the state, offers both online subscriptions and newsletters.

The Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce offers a monthly newsletter containing news about area business, upcoming events and more.

Among the newsletters offered by the New Hampshire Union Leader, Manchester’s daily newspaper, is Business Now, which covers area business news.

The NH Business Review offers a variety of newsletters, including ones focusing on real estate, technology, general news and upcoming business events.

 

Are you familiar with entrepreneurial ecosystem infrastructure in Concord, NH not included in the article above?  If so, let us know via a comment below and we will add it to the article. 

Interested in Ecosystem Spotlights of other cities in the USA?

Manchester-Nashua, NH, Kokomo, IN, Burlington, VT


Quinn Pilkey

Quinn is a journalism major at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He also serves as a freelance author for Hashtag Basketball where he writes about the NBA's Charlotte Hornets and at Funding$age where he researches and writes about entrepreneurial ecosystems.