New Haven’s ties to Brazil are getting a little stronger thanks to the start of a new venture that seeks to help businesses from that country gain a foothold in the U.S.
City and state officials joined Pamela Ariane da Silva of Paseli Consulting and Brazilian dignitaries Monday at 195 Church St. to cut the ribbon on Hub55, an incubator space for Brazilian companies starting up in New Haven.
Hub55 is the brainchild of Ariane da Silva, a Brazilian who got the idea while she was pursing a degree at the Yale School of Management four years ago. Through her consulting business, which she manages here and in Brazil, she discovered that Brazilian businesses wanted to enter the U.S. market but lacked the local support and physical space to get started. That’s where Hub55 will step in, particularly for Brazilian companies doing business in information technology, aerospace and medical equipment.
Da Silva said she found New Haven to be a wonderful place to build a life and run a business and she saw a natural synergy for other Brazilian entrepreneurs who want to get a foothold in the country.
“I’ve always had great support and I truly believe the hub is the proof that Connecticut is the prefect place for Brazilian companies that [want] to establish themselves and thrive in the U.S.,” she said.
The hub was created in partnership with city and state economic development officials including the Connecticut Economic Resources Center Inc., and Brazilian entities like the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and Communications, the Association for the Promotion of Excellence in Brazilian Software (SOFTEX), the Brazilian Association of Medical, Dental Hospital and Laboratory Equipment Industries (ABIMO), and the Technology Park of Sao Jose dos Campus, which represent’s the country’s aerospace sector.
Some eight companies have signed on to work with Hub55, but Ariane da Silva envision working with many more.
“I believe the opening of Hub55 shows on the one hand that Brazilian companies are willing to invest in Connecticut and on the other hand the state of Connecticut have a lot to offer,” she added.
That’s good news to state Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Catherine Smith, who told the crowd gathered for the ribbon cutting Monday what the 55 in Hub55 stands for: It is the country telephone code for Brazil.
“We are grateful to Brazil for its interest in Connecticut,” Smith said. “I think it’s a natural fit. Brazil is one of a limited number of countries that Connecticut targeted for working more closely to find opportunities to export out of our country as well as finding more opportunities for companies that want to establish a foothold in U.S.”
She said natural strengths make such a partnership a good fit for the state and even more so for New Haven with its link to Yale University.
Mayor Toni Harp agreed, pointing out the city’s proximity to capital.
“One third of the U.S. economy and two-thirds of the Canadian economy are within 500 miles of New Haven,” she said. “I think all of you made the right choice by making New Haven your home.”
Otávio Calxeta, director of IT policy for the Ministry of Science and Technology for Brazil, said that Hub55 creates a great partnership opportunity for Brazil’s IT and aerospace sectors and its medical device industries.
“To go further we must go global,” he said. “The U.S. is one of our international partners and represents over 50 percent of our international business in the IT sector. The choice of Connecticut and New Haven as the Brazilian hub for technology, aerospace and medical devices is a strategic location that puts us in the presence of strong global industries and academia.”
Ambassador Fernando Mello Barreto, consul general of Brazil in Hartford, hosted a toast at post-ribbon cutting reception, said he sees the new venture is a important because it promotes opportunities for exporting to Brazil and Brazilian investment and opportunity in the United States.
“As trade and investment form a two-way street, this new partnership will contribute to strengthening bilateral ties,” he said. “It will also benefit the entrepreneurial Brazilian local economy.”