CTNext Awards $34k to Connecticut Companies at Entrepreneur Innovation Awards

Ten companies from around the state competed for $10k grants to support innovative projects

Rocky Hill, Conn. – Feb. 21, 2017 – CTNext, Connecticut’s go-to resource for entrepreneurial support, today announced the three winners of the most recent Entrepreneur Innovation Awards (EIA), which were held on Thursday, Feb. 16, at the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford.

The finalists, who are Connecticut-based companies and entrepreneurs, presented their innovative project ideas to a panel of entrepreneurial experts for an opportunity to secure $10,000 awards to help support business growth. The winners included:

  • GinzVelo Hybrid Electric Cycles (West Hartford): A personal transportation solution powered by pedaling or the electric motor to effortlessly travel up to 100 miles to and from your destination.
  • Sweetflexx (Marlborough): Resistance technology active wear enables muscles to work more efficiently, resulting in a higher rate of calorie burn.
  • Verb Energy Manufacturing (New Haven): A healthy, caffeinated, energy bar that combines your cup of coffee and an energy bar for less cost.

The judges’ favorite ($2,000) went to Sweetflexx, and the crowd favorite ($2,000) was awarded to Verb Energy.

The other finalists included:

  • Global Hydro Pneumatic High Tech Inventions (Shelton) Developing an all-wheel hydraulic power jack system that is safer and less damaging to cars.
  • Loki (Woodbridge) Creating an app that gives users control over their own multi-perspective visual experience.
  • Mobile Sense Technologies (Farmington) Engineering an “off-the-chest” ECG monitor for 24/7 management of cardiac arrhythmias.
  • Obvia (West Hartford) Creating a lightweight, dual-winglet blade for small to mid-sized wind turbines that is both energy- and cost-efficient.
  • Olie Robotics (Manchester) Building a professional robotic vacuum that cleans offices at a third of the cost with no labor hassles.
  • PennSMART (North Branford) Producing a universal retrofit for lighting fixtures that allows surveillance and sends alert notifications.
  • Trekeffect (Niantic) Creating an app that allows individuals to sell their travel itineraries.

“The Entrepreneur Innovation Awards seek to give new and growing companies the support they need to thrive,” said Glendowlyn Thames, executive director of CTNext. “Through these events, we have seen a number of incredible companies that are changing their respective industries and creating a positive economic impact in our state. These grants continue to support companies at the earliest stages of growth and to drive them to the next level of development.”

Since launching the program in February 2014 CTNext has awarded $544,000 to 52 companies through the EIA.

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 the program or to apply, 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.

Media Contact:
Lauren Carmody
Connecticut Innovations


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Winners include Actively, Dualflo, Encapsulate, Encaptiv, Kolb Consultants and V[...]


The next Entrepreneur Innovation Awards (EIA) will be in Hartford at Real Art Ways on Thursday, January 31, 2019. Application deadline is Thursday, December 20, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.


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