Talk About Innovation: A Discussion of Connecticut’s Entrepreneurial Scene Event Logo

Talk About Innovation: A Discussion of Connecticut's Entrepreneurial Scene

by Connecticut

Professional Development

Thu, Oct 18, 2018

5:30 PM – 7:30 PM EDT (GMT-4)

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Health Haven Hub

195 Church Street, 9th Floor , New Haven, CT 06510, United States

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Join us for an informative panel discussion on the state of innovation in Connecticut at the newly opened Health Haven Hub, a New Haven incubator for health related ventures and entrepreneurs.

Health Haven Hub was founded by graduates of the Yale SOM EMBA in Healthcare program. Panelists to include: Dr. Susan Froshauer, a scientist, business person and mentor currently the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Yale's Office of Cooperative Research and Catherine Smith '82, Commissioner of the CT Department of Economic and Community Development.

Check-in begins at 5:30pm with the discussion beginning at 6:00pm to be followed by a networking reception for all attendees and panelist. 

When: Thursday, October 18, 2018   5:30 – 7:30pm
Where: Health Haven Hub, 195 Church Street, 9th Floor, New Haven, CT 06510
Cost: $10.00 (current students free)

Parking is available on first come, first serve bases nearby the office on Elm St. or Church Street. Garage parking is also available at:
  1. Century Tower Garage
  2. Grove Street Garage
  3. George Street Garage


Health Haven Hub

195 Church Street, 9th Floor , New Haven, CT 06510, United States


Catherine Smith ’82's profile photo

Catherine Smith '82


Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD)

Catherine Smith is the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), the lead state agency responsible for attracting and retaining businesses and jobs, revitalizing neighborhoods and communities, and fostering appropriate development in Connecticut’s towns and cities.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy appointed her to the position in April 2011.

Since taking the position, Commissioner Smith has spearheaded a variety of programs to generate economic activity and expand business across Connecticut. She orchestrated the creation of the Small Business Express program and the Manufacturing Innovation Fund, as well as securing funding for the Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund. She also coordinated the agreements that brought Jackson Laboratory to the state and re-committed UTC to Connecticut.

Commissioner Smith has also prioritized revitalizing our downtowns, redeveloping brownfields, and strengthening communities across the state. Under her leadership, the state has made historic investments in brownfield remediation and redevelopment and she has designed and piloted the Good to Great Grant program, which provides grants to not-for-profit organizations that sponsor cultural and historic sites in Connecticut.

Prior to joining DECD, Commissioner Smith had a distinguished career in the insurance and financial services industry.

She began her career at Aetna in 1983 and held various management positions, including investment officer and chief financial officer for Aetna Financial Services. Later at ING she served in numerous leadership positions including chief operating officer for ING U.S. Financial Services, and CEO of the U.S. Insurance businesses.    

In 2008 Smith was named CEO of ING U.S. Retirement Services, one of the largest defined contribution plan managers in the United States with more than $280 billion in assets under management and administration. 

Smith graduated from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, and received a Master’s degree in public and private management from the Yale School of Management in New Haven, Connecticut. 

Smith has been a frequent speaker at industry conferences and in the media and has been recognized by U.S. Banker magazine’s “Top 25 Most Powerful Nonbank Women in Finance”.  Smith is a board member of Outward Bound, USA.

Dr. Susan Froshauer's profile photo

Dr. Susan Froshauer


Yale Office of Cooperative Research

Dr. Froshauer has joined Yale Office of Cooperative Research as an Entrepreneur in Residence, returning to one of her passions, connecting entrepreneurs to know-how, funding and approaches that ultimately may improve our quality of life. Susan also is a leader of the CURE Commons accelerator programs, especially assisting with a Thames River community entrepreneur outreach as part of a CTNext Innovation Places funded program, Ignite. She recently stepped-down from her role as President and CEO of CURE in order to better focus her time as a tech/biotech start-up executive. She is an experienced scientist, mentor, entrepreneur and angel investor with skill at connecting academic expertise and technology with the commercial sector.  Susan serves on the Boards of Carogen, LambdaVision, Bioxiness, Thames River Innovation Partners and is a business advisor to Alva Health and HLK Pharma. In addition to CURE and the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, Susan has been involved with the CTNext funded group, SECT Tech, the Creative Arts Workshop and the Angel Investor Forum. Prior to joining CURE, Dr. Froshauer was Director of the Technology Exchange Portal at the University of Connecticut’s Office of Economic Development. In this role, Susan assisted Connecticut-based entrepreneurs and organizations with initiatives that train students, create jobs and contribute to economic development. She connected ideas with business expertise, business plans with investors and industry with scholars. Until 2010, Susan served for 11 years as the founding President and CEO of Rib-X Pharmaceuticals (now Melinta), which she co-founded in New Haven in 2000. Under her leadership, Rib-X raised more than $160 million in private equity, bridge financing and government grants and built an emerging pipeline of antibiotics to treat serious hospital infections. Melinta is launching its first product as it goes public in the next few weeks. Prior to Rib-X, Susan served as a member of Pfizer’s Strategic Alliance Groups where she was part of a team involved in the creation of a $200 million investment portfolio that at the time transformed the Pfizer global research and development strategy. She received a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from Harvard University and a B.A. from Connecticut College. She performed post-doctoral research at Yale Medical School in the Department of Cell Biology as a Jane Coffin Child’s Fellow.