At a ribbon cutting ceremony on April 3, New Haven officially welcomed the Brazilian business incubator Hub55 to the city.
Hub55, a partnership between the Brazilian consulting firm Paseli Consulting and New Haven City Hall, aims to bring Brazilian businesses in information technology, medical equipment and aerospace to the Elm City. Former Paseli consultant and hub founder Pamela Ariane Da Silva SOM ’14 came up with the idea during her time at the School of Management, where she made connections with officials at the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development. After three years of planning, Da Silva returned to the Elm City this year to launch the hub, which will help the Elm City make international connections, DECD commissioner Catherine Smith SOM ’83 said.
“The hub is the next step in what is a growing partnership between Connecticut and Brazil,” Smith said. “We are seeing great interest from Brazilian companies in our state, and this hub will be valuable resource for them as they pursue economic opportunities here.”
The venture has attracted big-name Brazilian entities including Brazil’s Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communication, the Association for the Promotion of Brazilian Software Excellence and the Brazilian Association of Medical, Dental, Hospital and Laboratory Equipment Industries.
Da Silva said Hub55 will provide both physical space and guidance to medium-sized Brazilian companies so that they can flourish in the city. Located in downtown New Haven’s business district at 195 Church St., Hub55 offers fully furnished offices for business partners.
Da Silva added that Yale’s presence in the city as well as New Haven’s prime location between Boston and New York plays a large role in attracting potential partners. The wealth of human capital in the form of students from Yale and other top-tier schools in the region also provides incentives for growing businesses to invest in the city.
Aside from office space, Hub55 will also offer guidance to companies in the form of business plan management, research and development assistance and networking events with potential investors and government officials.
Financial incentives include the possibility of funding up to 50 percent of expansion projects through loans under flexible rates as well as debt forgiveness based on positive job creation rates. These loans have been made possible by investors from Brazil as well as a network of local investors, according to Mayor Toni Harp, who spoke at the April 3 ceremony.
“New Haven continues to thrive among the region’s most sought-after communities in which to live, work and grow a business,” Harp said. “We’re excited that Hub55 has now decided to call New Haven home.”
Harp said New Haven is a prime location for Hub55, as one-third of the American economy and two-thirds of the Canadian economy lie within a 500 mile radius of the Elm City.
The venture, however, is not without risk. Da Silva said that one of Hub55’s main goals is to attract companies with various levels of maturity that want to expand their businesses globally. These companies, she said, will be able to grow and develop international expansion plans in a realistic way, at their own pace while experiencing the ups and downs of the American market environment with the hub.
Da Silva added that President Donald Trump’s proposed immigration policies could pose a challenge to the hub, as it is geared toward international business. Though she has answered a barrage of immigration questions from Brazilian corporations, Da Silva remained positive that Hub55 will play an important role in shaping international business ventures in the Elm City.
“This is a chance to show the entrepreneurs here and business persons in Brazil that the U.S. is still home to business and wants to attract business and employment.” Da Silva said. “If you have a good company, a good business plan, good technology and there’s a market for you in the U.S., you will be welcome.”