Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Tuesday named Michael Cantor of West Hartford, a prominent patent attorney, as chairman of Connecticut Innovations, the quasi-public agency that manages a revolving fund that invests in high-tech companies.

“Michael Cantor has years of experience working with high-tech companies, serving as an advisor to help their operations grow and push boundaries.  He is an energetic, hands-on leader whose proficiencies, particularly within the engineering field, will serve as a benefit to both CI and the people of Connecticut,” Malloy said.

Cantor is the co-managing partner of Cantor Colburn, a downtown Hartford law firm that specializes in patent law. He is married to Shari Cantor, a Democratic member of the West Hartford town council.

Cantor was appointed by Malloy’s predecessor, Gov. M. Jodi Rell, to the board of the Connecticut Development Authority and was named by Malloy to the board of Connecticut Innovations when the two agencies merged last year.

“We will continue to work energetically to provide strategic support that advances the success of technology, engineering, biotech, and other companies, with the goal of significantly increasing prosperity in the state,” Cantor said.

By law, the commissioner of economic development automatically was the chair of Connecticut Innovations. Legislation passed this year requires the governor to name a chairman.

The agency was formed in 1989, funded by state bond proceeds. It has relied on returns from its investments for funding since 1995.

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