NEW HAVEN — Entrepreneurs local and statewide took home $10,000 prizes to help further their startups at the latest round of CTNext’s Entrepreneur Innovation Awards (EIA).


New Haven-based medical device developer 109 Design earned a $10,000 prize as well as an additional $2,000 as “Judges’ Favorite” for development of a device and smart phone application that gathers and relays data to parents, physicians and patients to incentivize wearing a back brace for those with scoliosis.


Fresh Farm Aquaponics, an aquaponic farm in South Glastonbury, received an extra $2,000 in addition to its prize as the “Crowd Favorite.” Aquaponics is a farming method that raises fish and plants together in a sustainable ecosystem.


Other $10,000 prize winners were: Why Science of New Haven, which is developing a cloud-based educational program to improve learning; Enviroworks (East Hartford), developers of a hydrogen on-demand system to power trucks without using more diesel fuel; Vesselon (Darien), developing a device to treat stroke victims before they reach the hospital; Lab Candy (New Haven), a student-run startup aiming to get girls interested in science through fashionable lab gear; Genius Box (Shelton), an interactive tool to bolster young students’ STEM education; Avitus Orthopaeidcs (Farmington), designers of a minimally invasive tool for harvesting bone grafts; Reconstructive Solutions (Southport) is developing a less visible skin stapler for use in plastic surgery operations; and Engel Power (East Hampton) is developing a solid fuel gasification system using locally sourced raw material like feedstock. 


CTNext is the name of Connecticut’s Innovation Ecosystem, established in 2011 to support and foster entrepreneurial growth in the state. The first EIA awards were held in February 2014; the next will be in October (date and location to be announced), and eligible Connecticut-based startups can apply at