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Entrepreneur Innovation Awards’ Winners Announced

CTNext Awards Connecticut-based Companies for Innovative Project Ideas
Entrepreneur Innovation Awards’ winners receive $10,000 grants

CTNext, Connecticut’s innovation ecosystem supporting the success of companies and entrepreneurs, today announced the winners of the latest round of Entrepreneur Innovation Awards (EIA), which was held on Wednesday, April 2, at the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford, Conn.

The winners, who are Connecticut-based companies and entrepreneurs, received $10,000 for their project ideas. They included:

  • Azim Munivar and Travis Whitfill, co-founders of New Haven-based Azitra, are developing a unique and cost-effective option for the delivery of biologics that can be produced by the bacteria in situ.
  • Bijan Almassian, president and CEO of Hamden-based CaroGen, is developing transformational and prophylactic vaccines for viral diseases.
  • Ned Gannon, CEO of Stamford-based eBrevia, is a startup commercializing artificial intelligence technology to analyze, extract information from, and summarize legal documents.
  • Chris Bartley, founder of New Haven-based EverSci, has built a tool that allows scientists to access information that is related to text in research articles with a single mouse click.

In addition to being a $10,000 winner, EverSci also took home $2,000 for receiving the judges’ favorite award.

The crowd favorite selection (also worth $2,000) was awarded to Josh Westbrook, founder of Hartford-based The Brothers Crisp, a designer and manufacturer of custom shoes using traditional moccasin techniques.

“This event captures not only some of the highest-caliber ideas and thinkers that our state has to offer, but also assembles a network of energetic, dynamic and gifted entrepreneurs, startups and advisers,” said Claire Leonardi, CEO of Connecticut Innovations. “It also allowed us to see a diversity of industries and the steps those companies are taking to get their business to the next level.”

The full list of finalists, which were selected from nearly 40 applications, included:

To be eligible for the EIA, 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, IP assessment, product or service development, market research, licensing, and more. A full list of the criteria can be found on the application page.

The next EIA event will be on Thursday, July 17, 2014 and applications are due Friday, June 13, 2014. The location of the next event will be disclosed in May. For more information on how to apply for an EIA, visit ctnext.com/eia.

CTNext was established by Governor Malloy and private-sector leaders in the 2011 Connecticut Jobs Bill to support the state’s most promising entrepreneurs and startup companies.

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