Nominations Open for State's First Connecticut Entrepreneur Awards

A consortium of public and private associations and agencies, higher education institutions and entrepreneur-assisting nonprofit and for-profit organizations is launching the CT Entrepreneur Awards, designed to celebrate “the entrepreneurs and support system that make Connecticut work.” The inaugural awards, to be presented this spring, will recognize a variety of individuals and organizations that connect, collaborate and communicate amongst each other to help entrepreneurs succeed, according to organizers of the initiative. Nominations are now open for the CT Entrepreneur Awards, which will recognize the individuals and organizations that are instrumental in running the state’s ecosystem. From community builders and events to government officials and advisors that continuously support entrepreneurs, the awards are intended to highlight local leaders “that make a difference.”

Award categories include: Venture, Community Builder, Program, Space, Event, Education, Funding, Corporate/Institutional, and Government.

The CT Entrepreneur Awards are described as “community driven,” reflecting the easy online nomination form. The nine main categories were established in an effort to gather and honor “a broad array of leaders that create the foundation for entrepreneurs to succeed.” Individuals are asked “to nominate as many leaders that deserve recognition for their work in the community.”

During January, nominations are being sought and collected. From that broad list, the consortium will narrow the field and hold final online voting in February. Plans are to hold an awards in late March or early April, with event serving to “bring together all of the people dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs throughout the state.”

The CT Entrepreneur Awards are a product of the CT Entrepreneur Event Organizers consortium, an all-volunteer cooperative effort of people and organizations that host and facilitate entrepreneur facing events in throughout the state.  Proceeds from the CT Entrepreneur Awards will be directed to fund the statewide Entrepreneur Events Calendar,

Consortium members include Accelerated Ventures, Axis 901, Baypath University, BEACON, Bridgeport Innovation Center, Business New Haven, CBIA, CCSU,, Congressman Jim Himes, Connecticut Economic Resource Center, Inc., Connecticut Innovations, CTNEXT, Connecticut Small Business Development Center, Connecticut Technology Council, CountMeIn!Hartford, Crossroads Venture Group, CT Entrepreneur Meetup, CT Hackerspace, CT Invention Convention, CT User Experience, Design Professionals CT ,Women's Small Business Development Council, CURE, and Danbury Hackerspace.

Consortium members also include the state Department of Economic & Community Development, Digital Surgeons, Economic Development Corp of New Haven, Enhanced Capital, Entrepreneurship Foundation, Fairfield University, Founderstood, Goodwin College, Hartford Business Journal, Help CT Grow, Innovate Hartford, Innovation Destination: Hartford, Launch EZ, LEARN TO PROGRAM MEDIA, LootScout, M5 Information Services, Madison Mott, MakeHaven, MakerspaceCT, Metro Hartford Alliance, Miles Finch Innovation, and MJX Asset Management

Also participating in support of the initiative are National Invention Convention, New Haven Chamber of Commerce, New Haven Lean Startup Meetup, Remarkable Technologies, reSET, SCORE – Hartford, SCORE - Western Connecticut, Senator Chris Murphy’s office, Spark, SPARK MakerSpace, Stamford Innovation Center, Stamford Tech Meetup, Startup Grind - New Haven, Startup Hartford, TAN2000 International, Test My Pitch, The Business Council of Fairfield County, The Diversion, The Grove, The Refinery, Thrise, Town of Old Saybrook, and Transactions Marketing, Inc.

Members also include the U.S. Small Business Administration, University of Connecticut, UConn - Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, UConn - Entrepreneurship and Innovation Consortium, UConn - School of Business, UConn - School of Engineering, UConn - Technology Incubation Program, University of Hartford - Entrepreneurial Center, University of Hartford - Women's Business Center at Entrepreneurial Center, University of New Haven - Tagliatela College of Engineering, Wesleyan University, Western Connecticut State University, Westfair Communications, Whitneyville Cultural Commons, Yale Center for Molecular Discovery, Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, Yale Office of Cooperative Research & Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, Yale School of Management, and Yale University.