Message from Chair – Welcome to Spring, an Executive Director Update, and other Council News!

Alliance News |

Hello Council members and other supporters, 

I hope this note finds you enjoying the somewhat advent of spring – it certainly feels long overdue! 

The past few months have been busy for the Council with several sold-out events, including the 3rd Annual TechWomen/TechGirls Annual Luncheon, a full house with Governor Sununu and Dean Kamen at the BioTech/MedTech event at ARMI, and the Seacoast TechTour. Many thanks to our sponsors and attendees — and a special shout-out and congratulations to our committee chairs and volunteers for all of their efforts for these events and others. These successes only happen because of your backing, dedication, and passion.

On Thursday, May 31st at 10am we will have our virtual Annual Member Meeting, where Members will hear much more about Council activities. Please register here. The Board hopes to see many of you there.

In the interim, I wanted to provide an update to our extended community on several key initiatives that will position the Council for the long-term.

These include: 

(1) Strengthening the value proposition for start-ups: While the Council has long-served more established tech companies, the Board had been discussing for some time how to strengthen its value proposition for start-ups. As announced in January, Alpha Loft is now part of the Council. While integration is still underway, Joshua Cyr and Kristen Crawford (the Council’s first full-time staff!) continue to drive valued programming such as Accelerate NH and Startup Fundamentals. This year’s cohort will have a chance to pitch their ideas at the Alpha Loft Startup Shindig on the evening of May 31st at Oracle in Manchester. The Millworks Fund II has earmarked $300,000 to invest in two of the startups after the completion of the Accelerate NH program. For those who have not attended prior Shindigs, I strongly encourage you to secure tickets before we hit capacity ( I am sure you will leave inspired by the ideas and energy! Stay tuned for other news on this front as well, including another organization entering the Council fold! 

(2) Rebranding and reorganizing to better align with and reflect the tech ecosystem: As some of you know, there have been two “H”s in the NHHTC brand since its inception 20+ years ago. Recognizing that the second H has lost its relevancy and that “Council” term is also outdated, the Board approved the renaming of the Council to the New Hampshire Tech Alliance (NHTA). Over the coming months you will see several things happen: 

  • The overlap of NHHTC and NHTA in some materials as we move to an official launch in late Q3.
  • A clearer value proposition for our member companies from start-ups through multibillion, global enterprises by the articulation of the four (4) value pillars that align with what our members are telling us matters: Talent & Workforce Development, Education & Programs, Advocacy & Policy, and Ecosystem Engagement. Underpinning all of this is Events and Networking, Financial Sustainability, and Governance.
  • A rebranding and launch of a new website along with statewide outreach through our Ambassador Committee.

(3) Hiring a full-time Executive Director to deliver even greater value: Since November 2010, the Council has been fortunate to have had Matt Cookson and his team at Cookson Strategic Communications as our extended staff. Under Matt’s stewardship in partnership with the Board, there has been tremendous growth in programming, members, and community engagement. This includes a 66% increase in revenue growth from 2013 to 2017, a 14% increase in members, and most importantly a 275% increase in the number of individuals engaged through the Council’s programming. Due to this growth and the significant transformation of the tech ecosystem, the Board has decided that it is now time to find a full-time Executive Director. Matt has a successful business and has decided to focus his efforts on its continued growth. Even with that commitment, Matt has agreed to stay on in an advisory capacity after the transition, for which the Board is grateful. The Executive Director job description is now posted here. The selection committee will accept resumes on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Any questions and supporting materials can be sent to

So – lots going on! If you have any questions, please freely reach out to me or any of the Board members. 

In the meantime, thank you for your continued support. We look forward to seeing many of you in the coming weeks and months leading into summer!

Toral Cowieson
Chair, New Hampshire Tech Alliance