NORWALK, Conn. — U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy told an audience of aspiring business leaders at Norwalk High School on Thursday morning that startup companies are the way of the future.
“The jobs that are being created are in the small businesses, the small farms, the startup tech companies,” Murphy (D-Conn.) told the audience of students, many of whom were decked out in yellow senior shirts for spirit week. “We want Connecticut to be viewed as the center of startup activity."
Murphy, joined by Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling, encouraged students in the school’s Future Business Leaders of America Club to be a part of that startup world by putting themselves out in the business world.
Entrepreneurs need to move past rejection, Murphy said. Much like a politician who knocks on doors of voters who may not agree with his politics, entrepreneurs need to put themselves out there with the understanding that people may reject their ideas — and then move forward, he said.
Rilling, who introduced Murphy, said students interested in starting businesses should follow their passions. He also encouraged students to plan out their businesses and research the competition before launching any ventures.
“You have to have a business plan in place,” Rilling said, adding that Connecticut offers many resources to entrepreneurs, including Norwalk-based Fairfield County SCORE.
SCORE’s volunteers provide advice on a variety of industries to entrepreneurs. Information technology and eCommerce — popular industries for startups — are among the various industries SCORE supports, according to the organization’s website.
Murphy, who said that many of the startups in Connecticut are high-tech businesses, would like to see Connecticut’s technology industry continue to grow.
“We are not Silicon Valley yet,” Murphy said. But with the proper investments, Murphy hopes that perhaps maybe it someday will be.
Elected in the Senate in 2012, Murphy serves on the Appropriations Committee, the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, and the Democratic Steering & Outreach Committee. When elected, Murphy was the youngest member of the U.S. Senate.
Murphy previously served three terms as the representative of Connecticut’s Fifth Congressional District, which encompasses northwestern Connecticut.