Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Spotlight: Manchester-Nashua, NH

Manchester-Nashua, NH

Manchester-Nashua has economies that were previously centered around a now-defunct textiles industry, but both have recently experienced an economic renaissance.

Manchester-Nashua, NH is the state’s two largest cities as well as the county seats of Hillsborough County, with Manchester being the most populous city in northern New England as a whole. Both cities’ economies were initially centered around the textiles industry, but now they have experienced something of an economic renaissance in recent years.

While the relatively small size of the cities holds them back from joining the nation’s elite entrepreneurial places, there are resources available. For those looking to start a small business in a small city: both cities appeared on WalletHub’s 2019 list of the best cities for Hispanic entrepreneurs. Perhaps more impressively, the Manchester-Nashua area ranked 24th overall on a 2019 study published by Verizon looking at the most innovative metropolitan areas in the US.

Based on these rankings, FundingSage has reviewed the resources that make up Manchester-Nashua’s entrepreneurial ecosystem:

Entrepreneurial Meetups:

Women entrepreneurs in Manchester and the surrounding areas can join the Lady Boss Entrepreneurial Club to meet one another, make connections and grow their startups.

Based in Manchester-Nashua, NetLunch! is a series of regular networking lunches open for entrepreneurial women.

Located just across the state line from Nashua in Lowell, MA, the Self Employed Association is a group that supports entrepreneurship and small business in the area.

Entrepreneurial women that feel like they may be struggling to keep up and succeed can join the Women Stepping Into Success meetup and networking group to help themselves grow.


Regular Entrepreneurial Events:

The local branch of 1 Million Cups, a series of monthly events across the country in which entrepreneurs can pitch their ideas and receive feedback.

The Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce hosts a number of events related to business and entrepreneurship, including the annual small business expo.

Based in Manchester, the NH Tech Alliance hosts a variety of regular events, including a number of annual signature events, award competitions, and networking opportunities.

The chambers of commerce for Manchester-Nashua and Concord have hosted the Tri-City Expo as a way to connect businesses across the state for over 30 years.


Startup Competitions:

Organized by the Regional Economic Development Center in Raymond, the Granite State Growth Competition is a pitch competition open to startups around the state.

Since 2008, the Manchester Young Professionals Network has hosted an annual business plan competition that awards over $55,000 in cash and in-kind services every year.

The University of New Hampshire down the road in Durham hosts a statewide idea-stage competition for social entrepreneurs.

TechOut is a technology startup competition held every November that has given over $1 million to winning startups to date.


Co-working Spaces:

Just down the road from Nashua in Milford, Coworking House is a co-working space that offers on-site childcare to its members.

Located just south of Manchester in Bedford, the New England Executive Center includes co-working space and private office suites.

Red Oak Coworking Offices is a Manchester-based co-working space that offers a variety of amenities and resources as well as 24/7 access to the building for members.

Located in Manchester, WBC Office Suites offers a full array of membership plans, from traditional co-working day passes to a full office suite.



New Hampshire’s first and largest makerspace, MakeIt Labs is a 20,000 square foot facility. They provide a number of different workshops that hold regular classes on the tools and equipment.

Making Matters NH is an organization working to bring a makerspace to the city of Concord. Already, they regularly host 1 Million Cups events for entrepreneurs.

The Manchester Makerspace includes automotive, electronics, woodworking, metalworking, and rapid prototyping workshops. Every Monday night they have an open house.

The Nashua Public Library’s Teen Room offers a small makerspace to teenagers, with a focus on digital and media production.



Creative Chef Kitchens provides commercial kitchen space and business support services to food entrepreneurs and professional chefs.

The Nashua Innovation Center is a virtual incubator that provides business consultation and support online to startups throughout New Hampshire.

With locations across the state including Manchester, the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center runs programs to support business and entrepreneurship statewide.

The New Hampshire Tech Alliance is an organization dedicated to supporting technology entrepreneurship throughout the state by providing funding and access to other resources.



A program of the New Hampshire Tech Alliance, AlphaLoft runs a pair of accelerators: Accelerate NH, an annual 12-week accelerator, and a 6-week Startup Fundamentals program.

Wasabi Ventures, which has an office in Manchester, supports and advises early-stage technology companies and runs to Wasabi Ventures Academy program to support them.



In addition to Management, Manchester Community College offers degree programs in Business Communication, Business Studies and Computer Science and Innovation.

Students at Nashua Community College can earn a certificate in Small Business Management of a degree in Small Business Entrepreneurship.

Rivier University in Nashua offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Business Administration and Business Management as well as a Master’s degree in Business Administration.

While the University of New Hampshire at Manchester does not offer an entrepreneurship major, it does have a minor program in entrepreneurship.


Angel Groups/VCs:

10x Venture Partners typically invests between $50,000-500,000 in technology companies, primarily those located in New England.

Alumni Ventures Group is a venture capital firm that runs a number of funds that air aimed at specific types of entrepreneurs.

The focus of Northeast Angels is to support businesses located in and around the corridor between Manchester-Nashua.


Entrepreneurial Newsletter Coverage:

Business NH Magazine covers business and entrepreneurship news throughout the state. They also offer online subscriptions and newsletters.

Though the Nashua Telegraph doesn’t offer any newsletters primarily focusing on business, the paper itself has a business section and offers a daily general newsletter.

Based in Manchester, the New Hampshire Union Leader offers a number of newsletters, including one focusing on business news.

The New Hampshire Business Review offers a variety of newsletters. Newsletter types include a general daily one, one focused on technology, one on real estate and one covering upcoming events.

Are you familiar with entrepreneurial ecosystem infrastructure in Manchester-Nashua, NH not included in the article above? If so, let us know via a comment below and we will add it to the article. 

Interested in Ecosystem Spotlights of other cities in the USA?

New York, NY, Hartford, CT, Burlington, VT,

Quinn Pilkey

Quinn is a journalism major at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He also serves as a freelance author for Hashtag Basketball where he writes about the NBA's Charlotte Hornets and at FundingSage where he researches and writes about entrepreneurial ecosystems.