Thames River Innovation Partners Announces Emma Palzere-Rae to Head Ignite Program

New London, CT – The Thames River Innovation Partners (TRIP) are pleased to announce that they have appointed Emma Palzere-Rae as Ignite Program Manager. With the hiring of this key position, TRIP takes a large step forward in progress toward launching its programming to build entrepreneurship and innovation in order to improve the economy and quality of life in southeastern Connecticut. Information on the program can be found at
Emma Palzere-Rae comes to the Ignite Program from Safe Futures, where she served as the Director of Development and Communications. Her diverse background and experience in non-profit management, the arts and culture sector and human services will serve Ignite programming well. After fifteen years in New York City producing theater and other programming, Ms. Palzere-Rae came to southeastern Connecticut when she was appointed the first Executive Director of The Chorus of Westerly in Rhode Island. Since that time, she has been active in the community, volunteering with her children’s schools, arts organizations and various non-profits. She has served on the Board of the Southeastern CT Women’s Network and is currently on the Board of the CT Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She is also a member of the new CT Shoreline Chapter of Soroptimists International, where she was awarded the Women Helping Women award. This fall she will be a recipient of an ACE award, given by Writers Block Ink.
Ignite is the programming and marketing arm of the TRIP initiative, and is a partnership between CURE Innovation Commons and Spark Makerspace. Ignite is designed to spark new ideas, businesses, and innovative growth in the Thames River region by producing events, sponsoring education, and connecting entrepreneursinto the business development support system. To date, accelerate, networking and speed mentoring events have been held. Recently, Ignite, in a partnership with Crossroads Venture Group, hosted Paul Singh as the 88th stop on his North American Tech Tour. The day-long event was attended by nearly 90 entrepreneurs, business supporters, investors and students who took part in mentoring ‘office hours’, educational seminars on starting a business, a fireside chat with Paul Singh, and networking. Additional events this fall include Business Speed Mentoring on December 6th and monthly networking events.

“Ignite is so thrilled to have someone with Emma's handle on the not-for-profit arena on the team,” said Susan Froshauer of CURE Collaborations. “Emma hit the ground running at the beginning of October, rolling out a highly successful mentoring and networking event at the CURE Innovation Commons less than two weeks later.” Ms. Foshauer has been a key player in the TRIP initiative and heads up the Ignite team.

The purpose of the Thames River Innovation Place is to build prosperity in the Thames River region through authentic innovation, collaboration, and diverse partnerships. Groton and New London received the designation as an ‘Innovation Place’ – one of four such designations - by the State of CT in June, which provided funding to launch the proposed programming. The group is an unprecedented alliance of public, private, and nonprofit sectors in the communities of New London and Groton in Southeastern CT. Major institutions are collaborating to design a blueprint for the future of our communities that integrates existing plans and projects with new ideas that leverage and enhance all that is unique about this place at the mouth of the Thames River. Projects taking place under TRIP include: Community Concierge, Connecticut Naval Undersea Supply Chain Consortium, Placemaking Redevelopment Initiatives & Plans, and Cultivator Kitchen.

The Thames River Innovation Partners, and their Ignite program, are made possible by a grant from CTNext.
For more information on Ignite and upcoming Ignite events, or other TRIP projects, visit and ‘like’ Thames River Innovation on Facebook. To join the Ignite email list to receive information on events, volunteering or otherwise getting involved, please send information to