Fostering An Inclusive Innovation Ecosystem

New Haven Promise scholars are projected to have earned a 
total of $2 million in revenue through the summer of 2019. Two scholars adding to that number are Justin Gomez-Stafford and Tirth Patel.

Gomez-Stafford and Patel, both, are part of the Summer Experience program at Health Haven Hub (‘The HUB’) — a non-profit organization that aims to identify, support and advance early stage healthcare technology companies in New Haven and beyond.

As a rising senior at Eastern Connecticut State University, Gomez- Stafford is pursuing a Biology degree and on the eve of deciding his next steps, post-graduation. He states, “this internship is outside of my major, however, I have learned so much about professionalism. New Haven Promise, to me, means a chance to achieve what I couldn’t do on my own in terms of education and job opportunities.”

HealthVenture co-founders Sri Mutha and Donna Lecky are devoted to developing diverse talent

This time last year, Patel was preparing for his first semester at the University of Connecticut as a Computer Science major hoping to become a Software Engineer. He attributes this summer opportunity with The HUB to specifically being a New Haven Promise scholar. He states, “an organization that helps you with scholarships and job opportunities is great, but New Haven Promise also helps you network with the right people.”

Situated between Boston and New York City, being a competitive city for a young and diverse workforce proves difficult without the appropriate incentives and support systems to retain and attract that talent. Health Haven Hub recognizes that young people have choices and the best way to understand why they prefer ‘thing 1’ over ‘thing 2’ is to ask and listen to their responses. The HUB values diversity because it is the core of global, lasting innovation — taking a common issue and considering alternative approaches to improve upon existing solutions.

“A valuable team has been built between New Haven Promise and Health Haven Hub, and adding players like Tirth and Justin to the roster is leading to wins for the City of New Haven,” said Donna Lecky, co-founder and Board Chair of Health Haven Hub.

She had a long, and successful, career in corporate America and throughout has made a point to continuously support initiatives that focus on reaching underserved populations. She is personally and professionally committed to engaging with diverse talent, which aligns with the New Haven Promise goals to broaden the reach of local organizations with scholars. Lecky asserts, “we are looking for diamonds in the rough so, we can give students who don’t have as many resources as others a chance to succeed in a competitive and increasingly technology focused economy.”

In 2020, HealthHavenHub, in partnership with New Haven Promise, will launch Leadership & Entrepreneurship for Talented Youth (‘LEFTY’) for Promise scholars. LEFTY will enable scholars
to undertake an individualized entrepreneurship practicum guided workshops, lectures and projects they define, research and present. The program will teach scholars practical skills related to leaderships and entrepreneurship and carry on an innovative mindset — useful in whatever career they pursue.