The MEWS+ is an exciting co-working initiative that will complement the many other economic development initiatives that are currently underway in Middletown and in Middlesex County.

The plan for the MEWS+, which stands for Middletown Entrepreneurs Work Space and more, is to use the second floor at the chamber office as headquarters and as the Co-Working Space.

We want our initiative to be a resource for freelancers, start-up businesses and small businesses, and the Wesleyan and Middlesex Community College communities. The Wesleyan community is of particular importance. Middletown is fortunate to be home to Wesleyan University which is a diverse, energetic liberal arts community where critical thinking and practical idealism go hand in hand. With its distinctive teacher-scholar culture, innovative programming, and collaborative commitment to interdisciplinary learning, Wesleyan challenges students to explore new ideas and change the world. We are working to develop constructive MEWS+ curriculum that will complement on campus activities. We will also work to connect Wesleyan students with downtown Middletown and with the dynamic business community that exists in Middlesex County.

In addition to the co-working space, the MEWS+ will develop a series of “Meet-ups” in Middletown that will attract businesses and entrepreneurs of all shapes and sizes.

We will work with local property owners and commercial real estate professionals to find accessible and “cool” locations for these meet ups. We hope to identify local spaces that have the layout and the logistical capacity to be “co-working” spaces down the road. In addition to networking, we will invite speakers such as successful entrepreneurs, Wesleyan professors and alums, and other individuals that have an interesting story to tell.

The MEWS+ will be a great place to start a new business or grow an existing company. As a co-working initiative, it provides not only a place to work, but also a collaborative working environment. This shared workspace environment will attract a creative class of developers, designers, strategists, artisans, writers, inventors, engineers and professional office nomads.

Connecting to local manufacturers and engineering firms will be a critical part of this initiative. We hope to work with Pratt & Whitney, and Pratt & Whitney suppliers and vendors. The Middletown Engine Center is critical to the economic health of Middlesex County, and we hope to strengthen our already strong relationship with Pratt & Whitney through this important initiative.

The MEWS+ will also work to foster local health care innovation by collaborating with Middlesex Hospital, which works in partnership with Mayo Clinic by sharing the latest lifesaving research with Mayo Clinic Specialists, and Community Health Center, which is building a world class primary healthcare system by serving more than 145,000 patients since its inception.

Finally, we envision the MEWS+ as sort of a connector to the recently designated Innovation Places in the state. We in the process of creating a “passport” to the innovative and catalytic projects that are underway in Hartford/East Hartford, New London/Groton, New Haven and Stamford. We will establish contacts in these regions of the state and will set up “field trips” and other methods of engagement.

Our goal is to create a truly dynamic public/private partnership that will fuel local innovation.

With your support, we will help get Middletown and Middlesex County CONNected at the MEWS+.

For more information, please contact Jeff Pugliese at 860-347-6924 or [email protected]

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