CTNext, Connecticut’s innovation ecosystem managed by Connecticut Innovations, announced winners of the most recent Entrepreneur Innovation Awards, which were held on January 21 at The Bijou Theatre in Bridgeport, CT.
The finalists, who are Connecticut-based companies and entrepreneurs, presented their innovative project ideas at a Shark-Tank-style event for an opportunity to secure $10,000 awards. Winners included:
- Asarasi, Inc. (Cos Cob): Developing a proprietary manufacturing process for allowing biological plant-based water to go to market with an indefinite shelf life in a glass container.
- Freedible, Inc. (Darien): Developing a social marketplace for custom eaters and the bloggers and brands that feed them.
- OuttaVue LLC (Old Lyme): Creating the OuttaVue Shield, a new product designed to rapidly block the view of a hostile intruder into a classroom.
- Shoplandia, Inc. (Stamford): Enabling and empowering shoppers to instantly purchase direct-from-video, using the first end-to-end shoppable video creation and streaming platform for mobile devices.
- The TubieGuard LLC (South Windsor): Creating a medial bracket that protects feeding tubes, catheters and other medical ports from accidentally disconnecting.
The other finalists that were selected by an outside review committee and presented at the event included:
- Aeolian Kitesurfing LLC (New Haven): Combining an electric inflator with a dual-action hand pump to make a lighter, cheaper and more dependable portable compressor.
- Agrivolution LLC (South Windsor): Redesigning a vertical green growing system to be installed in K-12 schools in Connecticut, promoting hands-on STEM-based education.
- FRESH Farm Aquaponics (South Glastonbury): Working toward a minimum viable product (MVP) for the aGrow2, a vertical growing tower designed to increase the agricultural production using aquaponic technology.
- MoVi Interactive (Hamden): Refining Fitness Faceoff, an engagement and marketing platform collecting fitness-based data while allowing the user to compete against others.
- RepVisits (Wethersfield): Building an API to increase access to higher education by connecting school counselors and college representatives.
*The judges’ favorite ($2,000) went to The TubieGuard LLC. The crowd favorite ($2,000) was awarded to Aeolian Kitesurfing LLC.
“This Entrepreneur Innovation Awards event attracted members of the entrepreneurial community from all over the state and The Bijou Theatre delivered a positive atmosphere full of energy and charisma,” said Glendowlyn Thames, director of Small Business Innovation (SBI) and CTNext. “This program has provided project funding to almost 40 companies in Connecticut since launching in 2014 and we look forward to adding to that list this year.”
To be eligible for an Entrepreneur Innovation Award, startups must be Connecticut-based, registered as CTNext members, and looking to conduct growth-related activities to help advance their business. Project examples include, but are not limited to, prototyping, performance testing, compliance testing, product or service development, market research, and licensing. A full list of criteria is available on the Entrepreneur Innovation Awards application page. Find out how to apply for an Entrepreneur Innovation Award.