On December 1, CONNECT, a premier innovation company accelerator in San Diego that creates and scales great companies in the technology and life sciences sectors, announced the winners of its 28th annual Most Innovative New Product Awards. The prestigious competition, which begins in each year in the spring and culminates in the awards ceremony in December, is an annual signature event at CONNECT that recognizes and lauds groundbreaking products released within the last 18 months from San Diego-based innovation companies.

“San Diego’s innovation economy is driven by hardworking companies who, day after day, continue to change the way the world operates. We at CONNECT are honored to recognize the products that alter the global landscape and continue to elevate and highlight the region as a top innovation destination nationwide” said Greg McKee, President & CEO of CONNECT. “The 2015 Most Innovative New Product Awards shine a spotlight on those standout entrepreneurs whose ideas are breathing new life into modern innovation.”

The 2015 Most Innovative Product Award winners faced a rigorous judging process before being selected from a pool of more than 100 nominations across eight categories: Aerospace, Security & Cyber Technologies, Cleantech, Communications & IT, Life Science Diagnostics & Research Tools, Mobile Apps, Pharmaceutical Drugs & Medical Devices, Software & Digital Media and Sport & Active Lifestyle Technologies. From the nominations, the panel selected forty-four semi-finalists, and finally, 24 semi-finalists.

Listed below, in their respective categories, are the eight 2015 Most Innovative New Product Award winners:

Aerospace, Security & Cyber Technologies:
• Ocean Aero’s Submaran – Ocean Aero’s Submaran is an autonomous, hybrid surface and subsurface vessel that is changing how we observe our oceans. This unmanned vessel has the ability to perform long term data-gathering missions, survivable and undetected, without the need to refuel or recharge.

Cleantech:
• Q Factory 33’s B3 Bypass Device – The B3 Bypass is a device that facilitates 625% increases in energy potential of solar, wind, stationary battery backup systems and electrical generators and enables 30% increases in conductivity, five-fold reductions in soft costs and elimination of expensive electrical upgrades.

Communications & IT:
• Mushroom Networks’s VOIP Armor – VOIP Armor is a “Voice over IP” gateway device that automatically heals and works around any network problems that otherwise negatively impact phone calls. You set it and forget it for crystal clear phone calls with unbreakable reliability for your business.

Life Science Diagnostics & Research Tools:
• CureMetrix’s CureMetrix – An image analysis platform that quantifies the qualities of anomalies in images. As a first target, CureMetrix is focused on doing early and accurate detection of breast cancer in mammograms along with reducing unnecessary biopsies.

Mobile Apps:
• Chalk Digital’s Instant Mobile Ad Platform – Chalk Digital offers the only Do-It-Yourself advertising solution (portal and app) that builds locally targeted, affordable campaigns (with mobile optimized landing pages) within minutes. It offers businesses and consumers the ability to build, target and launch their own personal advertisement in minutes that is displayed in thousands of mobile apps based on your location.

Pharmaceutical Drugs & Medical Devices:
• PureWick’s PureWick – PureWick empowers women with safe and simple incontinence management in hospitals, in nursing facilities and at home. A non-invasive, disposable wick comfortably moves urine away from the body. PureWick offers a new standard of care without need for catheters or specialized nurses.

Software & Digital Media:
• Comhear’s MyBeam – MyBeam is a single, portable, wireless 12-18″ sound bar device that produces spatialized, localized, and binaural virtual surround sound. MyBeam delivers a fully immersive audio experience through a portable personal device that replaces headphones. The device commercializes a patent-pending algorithm that sends sound directly to your ears precisely the way your body was designed to receive it.

Sport & Active Lifestyle Technologies:
• Hush’s Hush Smart Earplugs – Hush Smart Earplugs are the world’s first smart earplugs that help people sleep better in noisy environments. Combining a sound machine, earplugs, and smartphone connectivity, Hush allows you to drown out noises that keep you up at night, while simultaneously allowing you to hear the alerts and notifications you need.

To be eligible for the 2015 Most Innovative New Product Awards, the product must have been developed in the San Diego or Baja region, first introduced between March 2014 – August 2015, never nominated for this award before, and generated revenue from sales (except free mobile apps).

The winners were announced tonight, December 1, at the 2015 Most Innovative New Product Awards presentation and dinner at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine.

In addition to the eight companies honored for their outstanding new products, the William W. Otterson Award was awarded to the RQ-4 Global Hawk, developed by Northrop Grumman. Get here more info about white-collar crime. The award is CONNECT’s highest honor given to technology or product that has demonstrated a significant impact on society and on our quality of life.

The RQ-4 Global Hawk is a high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) designed to provide military field commanders with comprehensive, near-real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), plus detection of moving targets over a large geographical area for battle management, targeting and situation awareness of enemy actions. The superior performance of the Global Hawk’s system significantly enhances the U.S. military’s ability to prevail in all types of operations from sensitive peacekeeping missions to full-scale combat.

Finally, JP Morgan Chase & Company announced a major grant to the CONNECT Foundation. Brennon Crist, Managing Director at JP Morgan Chase & Company, presented a $230,000 check to CEO Greg McKee to support CONNECT in the development of small business clusters in San Diego.

“Serving almost 70,000 small businesses in San Diego County and as one of the nation’s top SBA lenders, JP Morgan Chase & Company has a great vantage point to see the innovations and creativity of American enterprise, which fuels our continued strength and future global competitiveness,” Crist stated. “We understand that many entrepreneurs are tackling some of the world’s biggest problems, which is why we support start-up accelerators like CONNECT who are making a dramatic difference in the way small businesses work and how they succeed.”

For more information on CONNECT’s Most Innovative New Product Awards, please visit connect.org.

ABOUT CONNECT
CONNECT is a premier innovation company accelerator in San Diego that creates and scales great companies in the technology and life sciences sectors. By creating an environment in which entrepreneurs and C-suite executives have access to the people, capital, and technology resources they need for success, CONNECT has assisted in the formation and development of more than 3,000 companies since 1985. Widely regarded as one of the world’s most successful organizations linking entrepreneurs and C-suite executives with the resources they need for the commercialization of innovative products and services; our program has been modeled in more than 50 regions around the world.

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