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New England’s most unexpected tech hub pops up in the city of Stamford, CT

Stamford is a small city nestled in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. While the city’s population is under 123k, local entrepreneurs have caught the startup bug, leading the city’s historic old Town Hall’s $16 million renovation to turn it into a tech incubator.

This development, known as the Stamford Innovation Center, is expected to open summer 2012, giving aspiring entrepreneurs access to much-needed work space, valuable mentoring and angel investors.

The Stamford Innovation Center looks absolutely gorgeous, and serves as the perfect breeding ground for startups hoping to break away from the hectic and expensive city life of nearby NYC (I absolutely love NY, but it’s not for everyone). A month from now, the city is hosting its first startup weekend and already holds its own monthly tech meetups. To top it all off, iLab Accelerator is providing an array of workspace and professional services benefits to a select group of local companies.

upFrom the NY Times:

There are no restrictions on the kinds of ideas that will be considered for the center, so long as the directors believe there is potential for turning them into successful businesses. A few start-ups are already working in the building on projects as varied as a GPS-enabled community news site and the use of cloned immune cells for medicine.

As fledgling businesses develop, tenants will be introduced to venture capitalists, many of whom live or work in the area, Ms. Meagher said. The investors and entrepreneurs, she said, “will be meeting each other, interacting, and that’s how these companies could very well get funded.”

No matter what you want to take away from this news, it’s pretty amazing to see innovation and competition pop out of (what feels like) thin air. Entrepreneurs in this city are very much pioneers building something from scratch, and whether the results ends up comparable to any other city doesn’t really matter.

What counts is the fact that tech startups are on the rise all over the world, Stamford included. To focus solely on international hubs like Silicon Valley and NY would be missing the point. As long as there’s internet access, something amazing can pop out of anywhere. Throw in a few VCs and a slick workspace, and you have yourself a startup.