New alliance will further increase support and resources for the startup community
The NH High Tech Council (Council) and the NH Business Finance Authority (BFA) have agreed to bring Live Free and Start (LFS) into Council programming, effective immediately.
LFS was founded in 2014 as a joint initiative of the Governor’s office, the BFA, and the NH Department of Resources and Economic Development, now the NH Department of Business and Economic Affairs (BEA). Since its inception, this statewide initiative under the leadership of Liz Gray, has provided start-ups with the resources and connections they need to build their businesses in the Granite State.
Its services, including expanding access to capital, modernizing business regulation, and sharing stories of successful innovators, align well with the Council, which is restructuring and rebranding to become the NH Tech Alliance (NHTA) in the fall. Until the fall launch, current LFS work will continue and be featured on the initiative’s Live Free and Start website.
“We’re thrilled to bring the exciting and important work being done through Live Free and Start under the umbrella of the NH High Tech Council. Coupled with the integration of Alpha Loft, we are further strengthening the value proposition for entrepreneurs, investors, established businesses, and ecosystem partners,” said Toral Cowieson, chair of Council Board. “On behalf of the Board, thank you to the BFA for working with us to make this happen and for their ongoing support of the tech ecosystem by providing investment resources through programs including TechOut and Startup Shindig.”
As an initiative of the Council, LFS will be overseen by Council leadership and supported by a new Startup Committee that will be put in place later this summer. Liz Gray has recently moved to a new role as state director of University of New Hampshire’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC), but will remain on the Council’s board of directors.
“We wish Liz the best in her new position and are pleased that she will be staying involved with the Council as a board member and in her new role with the SBDC, an organization that plays a very important role in the state’s business ecosystem,” Cowieson said.
The Startup Committee will be composed of entrepreneurs, business leaders and investors with a specific interest in supporting the startup ecosystem. The new committee, which includes former LFS Advisory Board members and Alpha Loft supporters, will make recommendations to the Council board on ways the Council can further support and strengthen New Hampshire’s growing startup and tech ecosystem.
The Council will formally change its name when the new website and brand are unveiled in the fall. The organization, which has seen significant growth over the past few years, recently adopted this updated mission to reflect these changes associated with expansion and new alliances with LFS and Alpha Loft: “The NH Tech Alliance is a statewide technology association supporting companies at every stage of growth and development from startups to established leaders in the global economy. The Alliance is committed to nurturing a vibrant tech ecosystem by building partnerships, enhancing knowledge, and shaping public policy.”