CTNext awards $10K each to pair of county startups

By Kevin Zimmerman

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Two Fairfield County companies are among the winners of CTNext’s annual Entrepreneur Innovations Awards (EIA), presented to startups “looking to conduct growth-related activities to help advance their business.”

Asarasi Inc., the Greenwich-based company that manufactures bottled water left over from maple tree sap as it is processed to create maple syrup, was cited for “developing a proprietary manufacturing process for allowing biological plant-based water to go to market with an indefinite shelf life in a glass container.” Norwalk’s Pelletric LLC was recognized for “manufacturing a wearable device that gives accurate vital sign measurement.”

EIA finalists, who must be Connecticut-based companies and entrepreneurs as well as CTNext members, presented their project ideas at a “Shark Tank”-style event for an opportunity to secure the $10,000 EIA awards. Other winners were New Britain software company Eureeka; New Haven backyard ice rink manufacturer EZ Ice Inc.; Storrs firm Medframe Inc., which makes protective coverings for stethoscopes; and Southington company Lucca Ventures Inc., which creates a device that improves voice communication for patients with respiratory illnesses.

Asarasi also received a $2,000 “crowd favorite” award, and Lucca Ventures took home a $2,000 “judges’ favorite” award.

“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,” said CTNext Director Glendowlyn Thames.

The goal of CTNext is to support and accelerate the growth of startups 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. Since 2014, the group has awarded more than $500,000 through the EIA.wd favorite” award, and Lucca Ventures took home a $2,000 “judges’ favorite” award.

“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,” said CTNext Director Glendowlyn Thames.

The goal of CTNext is to support and accelerate the growth of startups 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. Since 2014, the group has awarded more than $500,000 through the EIA.

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