globe money startROCKY HILL: Connecticut Innovations (CI) announced the winners of VentureClash, a $5 million global investment challenge for early-stage digital health and financial technology (fintech) companies.

There were eleven finalists from eight countries, and six companies were awarded with investments, mentoring, customer introductions, grants and services to help them grow and succeed. To receive any aid, the winners are required to establish a presence in Connecticut.

Dream Payments, a Canada-based fintech, won the highest investment award, $1.5 million.

Dream payments partners with financial institutions to “empower” payment solutions. Brent Ho-Young is the CEO of Dream Payments.

UK company Hubbub will receive a $1 million investment. Hubbub provides digital fundraising solutions for the education and nonprofit sectors. Jonathan May is the CEO of Hubbub. 

Four companies received a $500,000 investment award. They included:

AMP Credit Technologies, a Hong Kong–based fintech company helps provide small businesses with financing across global markets. BondIT, an Israel-based company provides “data-driven, personalized, optimal investment recommendations” to client companies. Belgium based LindaCare is a “digital health company” offering software solutions for healthcare providers to facilitate patient remote monitoring.

Streamdata.io, a France-based company develops software and infrastructures that “help developers turn content into streams that easily integrate into front-end and back-end systems.”

Matt McCooe, CEO of Connecticut Innovations said, “this competition showcased an incredible display of talent from companies around the world.” McCooe explained that there was more to do to have the “winners” locate in Connecticut. 

“We have now completed the first step in the process with the awards. The next and more vital piece of this challenge will be getting the deals completed, and setting up a soft landing for the companies in the challenge who decide to open operations in Connecticut.”

A panel of judges at the Yale School of Management included subject matter and investor experts from athenahealth, Canaan Partners, Oak HC/FT, Kepha Partners, Magellan Health, and Point72 Ventures.

The top two investment awards also receive up to $100,000 each in grants for assistance with relocation and other expenses, and each runner-up investment award includes a $50,000 grant. All six winners will also receive $120,000 worth of IBM Cloud Credits, sponsored by IBM. For information www.ventureclash.com.

horsehoeConnecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative officials are on the grid for a trip to the Kentucky Derby for employees at a cost of more than $340,000. Officials in Bozrah and the city of Groton have been demanding information about the annual trip and expense. The corporate “retreat” hosted forty four employees and guests.

Coop management said the costs for the trip are paid from revenues generated by services to the Mohegan tribe, management of hydro systems for Hartford Metropolitan District Commission, and some towns in Massachusetts. The cooperative is owned by six municipally owned utilities including Groton, Norwich and Jewett City.

GEARS CLEARSTORRS: The University of Connecticut, working with the United States Economic Development Administration and Connecticut Innovations is creating a center to “share computer modeling facilities and related expertise with small and medium-sized Connecticut manufacturers, to help these companies create products faster and more efficiently.”

The Connecticut Manufacturing Simulation Center [CMSC], will be funded with a $2.1 million combined investment over five years. The center is being designed to serve small and medium-sized companies with access to resources for computational design, modeling, and simulation, as well as high-performance computing hardware. The center hopes to use computer models to test and modify new product designs and manufacturing processes “virtually” before making a physical prototype, with the goal of lowering the design and manufacturing costs.

Kazem Kazerounian, dean of the UConn School of Engineering, said “the Connecticut Manufacturing Simulation Center will allow UConn to share our advanced modeling capabilities with industry throughout the state.” 

CMSC will work on a “subscription” model providing access to modeling technology for a “fraction of the cost of installing a similar high-performance computing system.” The CMSC will be housed within UConn’s new Tech Park, with the first building scheduled for completion next year.

WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA: Connecticut Business Systems (CBS), a Xerox company headquartered in Wethersfield, opened a new facility, its tenth in Connecticut and Massachusetts, that it calls a state-of-the-art technology center in West Springfield.

The facility has an on-site demo room “providing the opportunity for clients to come in and experience the most advanced office technology in the industry.“

When most people hear the word “Xerox,” they immediately assume copiers. In reality, this local technology company offers an entire suite of solutions ranging from scanners to folding machines, document management to marketing software, audio visual to digital communication and much more.

office People Working 118427780WETHERSFIELD: The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday awarded the Connecticut Department of Labor $924,509 to improve technology for existing workforce services and programs.

The award under the National Dislocated Worker Grant will help unemployed residents, jobseekers and employers “better connect” to workforce services through upgrades to a variety of systems, including development of a mobile-friendly platform for accessing the agency’s website.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy said “this award will help the Department of Labor in its continuing efforts to develop a thoroughly integrated workforce system that can provide real-time data to better meet the needs of today’s jobseekers and employers.” 

Company Investigates Its Sales Practices

By Mitchell Young

Alexion logo colorNEW HAVEN: Alexion Pharmaceuticals [Nasdaq: Alxn] moved into a new global corporate headquarters in downtown New Haven at the beginning of the year and that was big news for New Haven. The news for Alexion hasnt stopped, however, and although much of it is very good, some recently not quite so much.

In early November, shares were halted in Alexion as the company announced an internal” investigation into some sales practices to determine if they met the  “policies and procedures and the related disclosure and other considerations raised by such practices.”

The company declined to release its 10Q report on time and said that the release would be delayed beyond a few days.

The allegations about the sales practices were raised by a former employee of the company involving the company’s flagship Soliris product. Soliris, first approved in 2007 for Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria [PNH], a rare blood disorder, had annual sales of more than $2.5 billion in 2015.

Soliris has been the basis of the company’s growth and financial strength to date and is now also approved for another rare disease, Atypical Hemolytic-uremic Syndrome, a disease that primarily affects kidney function, causing abnormal blood clots in small blood vessels in the kidneys that may block blood flow.

schelsinger koltan

Koltan Co-founder
Dr. Joseph Schlessinger recently revealed a “breakthrough in underatanding the genetics of uterine and ovarian cancers.”

HAMPTON, N.J.,  NEW HAVEN,- Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:CLDX) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Kolltan Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately owned clinical-stage company focused on the discovery and development focused primarily on drugs to treat Cancer.

Kolltan has previously reported clinical and preclinical data that its drug candidates “can help overcome tumor resistance mechanisms associated with current tyrosine kinase inhibitors and seen in patients who have failed other cancer therapies.”

Kolltan co-founder  Dr. Joseph Schlessinger, is the William H. Prusoff Professor of Pharmacology; Chair, Pharmacology; Co-Director, Cancer Biology Institute at Yale University School of Medicine.. Early this fall Schlesinger’s lab revealed a major breakthrough for ovarian and uterine cancers, defining the genetic landscape of rare, highly aggressive tumors called carcinosarcomas (CSs), pointing the way to possible new treatments.

tevolution lightRevolution Lighting Technologies (NASDAQ: RVLT) was selected as the fastest growing technology company in Connecticut by the Connecticut Technology Council’s Tech Top 40 Awards.

Revolution Lighting provides LED lighting products and has been named as “Program Partners” with Eversource‘s Small Business Energy Advantage Program (SBEA).  

The Energize Connecticut initiative is designed to work with small businesses with a peak energy demand of less than 200kW per month. Incentives available to businesses through the program could cover up to 50% of qualified costs. In 2016, more than $190 million was allocated for Energize CT‘s efficiency programs.

handshakeFARMINGTON: Recruiter.com, an on-line recruiting and career service technology platform which offers recruiters access to a marketplace of fee-based jobs, announced a strategic partnership with Top Recruiter, a leading film production company for the recruitment industry.

Recruiter.com has more than 3 million users and social media followers. Top Recruiter will promote the Recruiter.com Job Market platform to tens of thousands of recruiters through its alliances and partnerships.

engineering 2017University of New Haven’sTagliatela College of Engineering is quickly gaining esteem according to renowned higher education rankings outlet U.S. News and World Report. Just five years ago, the university’s engineering college ranked number 98 out of 198 top spots, but most recently the school has jumped to spot number 55 in the rankings for top undergraduate engineering programs that do not offer a doctorate. These rankings are based on peer assessment surveys.

tech logoCT Tech Council To Announce Fastest Growers

Hartford: The Connecticut Technology Council (CTC) and Marcum LLP announced the 2016 Marcum Tech Top 40, an annual recognition of the “fastest growing” technology companies in Connecticut. Companies in six industry sectors, including Advanced Manufacturing, Energy/Environmental, Life Sciences, New Media/Internet/Telecom, IT Services, and Software.  Companies are both privately and publicly held, and according to CTC “at least $3 million in annual revenue and a demonstrated record of revenue growth in each of the preceding four years.” 

This year, 12 companies are publicly traded and five have reached more than $1 billion in sales. Bruce Carlson, CTC’s President and CEO said, “Connecticut is proud of its remarkable heritage of innovation and entrepreneurship. Employment growth in Connecticut will come in part from the technology.” Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc.Amphenol Corporation, Cara Therapeutics, Inc.,  Clarity Software Solutions, Inc., Continuity Software, Core Informatics, LLC, Discover Video, Sheffield Pharmaceuticals, LLC. , Square 9 Softworks, Inc. and Z-Medica, LLC are  all local companies that made the initial cutoff. A complete list of companies is available online at www.ct.org.