Startup Success: Monitoring the oceans thanks to undersea technology

A 19th century naval officer continues to inspire maritime strategy today. ThayerMahan Inc., located in Groton, is named for the famed officer. This 21st century company is dramatically changing how the physical and environmental security of the world’s oceans are monitored.

ThayerMahan, founded in 2016, uses modern technology and robotics for undersea security to protect the world’s maritime food supplies, trade routes, industrial infrastructure and borders. While not a submarine supplier, ThayerMahan’s technology complements the use of submarines with smaller, less expensive undersea vehicles that can go places larger submarines can’t.

“There was never any doubt that Groton was where we wanted to start and grow our company,” says founder Mike Connor. “This area is a natural match for ThayerMahan. Being near the Navy base, UConn, URI while close to MIT and Woods Hole is critical. Naval, science, environmental — it’s all here.”

Connor also notes that the quality of life in this part of Connecticut was also a draw; and the Town of Groton offered business support.

“Sam and Paige from Groton’s Economic Development office were a big help. They guided us and connected us with resources that we didn’t know existed.” Connor said.

As a result of one of those connections, ThayerMahan received a loan from the Department of Economic and Community Development. That means ThayerMahan will create jobs in Connecticut.

ThayerMahan has grown to eight employees and is recruiting electronic and marine technicians, electrical and mechanical engineers, coders and data science/AI developers. Government experience is a plus, but technicians right out of school are also a good fit.

Connor is optimistic that the talent he needs will enjoy living and working in southeastern Connecticut. He says, “We don’t work in a cubicle here at ThayerMahan. Your idea today can be in the water in six months.”

Emma Palzere-Rae is the Ignite Program Manager for Thames River Innovation Place. Entrepreneur looking for support can visit for information on programs and resources.



Where: Groton Business Park, Groton

Founded: 2016

Who: Mike Connor, founder and chief executive officer


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