Mayor Toni Harp on Thursday attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the New Haven opening of Checkmate Digital — a budding tech company located at 142 Temple St.
Founded by Tom Nassr and Matthew Cameron, Checkmate is a designer-based tech startup that focuses on developing software that improves the efficacy of businesses in various industries and solves technological problems. During Thursday’s ceremony, which occurred roughly a month after the company moved from Hamden to New Haven, Harp lauded the tech company’s early success and noted that Checkmate Digital joins a recent rise of technology companies starting up in the Elm City.
“Connecticut is a great place for new businesses to start and grow, and Checkmate is proof of it,”U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. said in an email to the News. “I’m excited to see Checkmate use their expertise to help other businesses turn their ideas into reality, and I wish them continued success.”
After graduating from Quinnipiac University, Nassr and Cameron spent six years developing various technological projects. The duo ultimately settled on Checkmate, which now has about 16 employees.
Along with building software, the two-year-old company consults companies on software and technological development, Cameron said. The Checkmate team includes strategists, developers and designers who solve problems and create and build products and applications for other companies, he added.
Nassr described how Checkmate is also involved in security testing and systems automation.
Nearby both founders’ Hamden homes, New Haven is a strategic location for the company because of its proximity to both New York City and Boston, Cameron told the News.
During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Nassr noted that he believes New Haven to be an underrated tech-oriented city. But, since New Haven is not regarded as one of the nation’s top technology areas, the city’s less competitive technology environment appealed to the founders, Cameron said. In contrast to a place like Silicon Valley, New Haven companies are willing to help each other, he added.
Before the ceremony, Nassr was on a business trip to Beirut and London, where he is trying to spread the company’s influence abroad.
Harp told the News that she is excited about Checkmate relocating to New Haven, a move she thinks will benefit the entire Elm City community. Nassr said in a press release that the company joins a downtown “tech corridor,” which includes Square 9, Launch Capital, SeeClickFix and other companies.
“It’s really wonderful to hear that they see in New Haven the same things that we see,” Harp said.
In August 2017, Checkmate was recognized as Connecticut’s “Innovator of the Month” by Murphy.
Christina Carrafiell | firstname.lastname@example.org
Correction, Nov. 3: A previous version of this article said that Sen. Chris Murphy attended the event. In fact, he did not attend.