Mark OBrienSOUTH WINDSOR: O’Brien Communications Group [OCG], a B2B brand-management and marketing-communication firm, signed Finys of Troy, MI, a provider of software and services to the property/casualty insurance industry, to a full-service engagement.

OCG will provide to Finys strategic consultation and planning for all of its brand-positioning and marketing efforts; all requisite creative and program-development activities; and all tactical program implementation and execution activities.

3bar transNEW HAVEN: Verb Energy, a New Haven–a manufacturer of “a healthy, caffeinated energy bar, took first place at CTNext’s first Entrepreneur Innovation Award (EIA) All-Stars event on Thursday, January 19, at the College Street Music Hall in New Haven.

VE was awarded $30,000 for the first prize and an additional $5,000 for winning the crowd favorite selection.

Envirowerks and GestVision each received $15,000 grants for winning the second- and third-place awards at the event.

women entrepreneurThe U.S. is home to more than 11.3 million female-owned businesses which employed around nine million people but according to a report by  Connecticut has not been a hospitable home for female entrepreneurs. The small business website ranked Connecticut 48th among all US States for "desirability for female business owners."

The report says “ver the last nine years, the number of female generated over $1.9 trillion in 2016, -owned businesses has grown five times faster than the national average.”