CTNext Awards $64K to Connecticut-Based Companies at Pitch Event

Nearly 50 Connecticut companies awarded more than $500,000 through Entrepreneur Innovation Awards since 2014

Rocky Hill, Conn., Sept. 21, 2016 – CTNext, the go-to resource for entrepreneurial support, today announced the winners of the most recent Entrepreneur Innovation Awards (EIA), which were held on Thursday, Sept. 15, at Bill Miller’s Castle in Branford, Conn.

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.
  • Eureeka (New Britain): Creating decision-making software for logistics professionals.
  • EZ ICE, Inc. (New Haven): Manufacturing a kit for a custom and portable backyard ice rink that can be assembled in under an hour, with no tools and on any surface.
  • *Lucca Ventures Inc. (Southington): Creating a device that drastically improves voice communication for patients with respiratory illness.
  • Medframe LLC (Storrs): Creating a protective covering for stethoscopes to avoid infections.
  • Pelletric LLC (Norwalk): Manufacturing a wearable device that gives accurate vital sign measurement.

The other finalists that were selected by an outside review committee and presented at the event included:

  • Bariatric Collar, LLC (Mansfield): Testing the market for a bariatric collar, an effective solution to immobilizing bariatric patients to be used by emergency medical services (EMS) providers.
  • GinzVelo, LLC (West Hartford): Creating a “velomobile,” an enclosed bicycle that is safer and more versatile than a traditional bicycle.
  • TruckHike (Waterbury): Building an online traveler-reservation system designed to utilize trucker routes to reserve passage to any segment on the trucker’s route.
  • MindNest Health (New Haven): Developing a platform to connect clients and providers focused on children’s behavioral health.

*The judges’ favorite ($2,000) went to Lucca Ventures Inc., and the crowd favorite ($2,000) was awarded to Asarasi, Inc.

“This was the 10th Entrepreneur Innovation Awards event we’ve hosted, and these awards continue to attract new members of the entrepreneurial community,” said Glendowlyn Thames, director of CTNext. “The formalization of CTNext by the legislature this year will allow us to continue and expand this program and add others that will support the entrepreneurs in our state.”

To be eligible for an 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, product or service development, market research, licensing and more. A full list of criteria can be found on the application page. For more information on how to apply for an EIA, visit

CTNext has awarded $510,000 to 49 companies and entrepreneurs through the EIA, which began in February 2014.

About Connecticut Innovations Inc.
Connecticut Innovations (CI) is the leading source of financing and ongoing support for Connecticut’s innovative, growing companies. To maximize the growth potential of each business, CI tailors its solutions and often combines its funds with resources from other financial leaders to provide venture capital and strategic support for early-stage technology companies; grants that support innovation and collaboration; and connections to its well-established network of partners and professionals. For more information on CI, please visit

About CTNext
CTNext is Connecticut’s go-to resource for entrepreneurial support. The goal of the program is to build a more robust community of entrepreneurs and to accelerate startup growth by providing access to talent, space, industry expertise, services, skill development and capital to foster innovation and create jobs for people in Connecticut. CTNext launched in 2012 and has more than 1,500 members in its network.

Lauren Carmody
Connecticut Innovations


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