Thursday, August 22, 2019

Sponsored By

Organizing Team

Ryan Keating

Ryan Keating, Vice President at Keating Agency, is building & growing the modern insurance agency by adopting technology trends and finding opportunities to make the commercial and personal insurance experience more efficient for all. Ryan spent the better part of a decade in Florida, California, and Texas gaining experience working with various startups, major league sports franchises, and his own entrepreneurial endeavors before returning to CT.


Ryan is an entrepreneur at heart and has used this drive to help the Greater Hartford community. He was the founding president of FLOW – Future Leaders of West Hartford, host of Linkedin Local Hartford and recently co-founded a non-profit Finest Hours Hartford to support and promote nonprofits in Greater Hartford by bringing people together for events and volunteer opportunities.


Actively involved in the community, Ryan is an advisor with InsurTech Hartford, Playhouse Theatre, Board of Governors for the Hartford Club and co-host of the Experience We-Ha Podcast.

Bill Kenney

Bill Kenney has founded 6 companies and currently leads to growing ventures. MEET, which specializes in helping growth companies effectively exhibit at trade shows. Test My Pitch is an online platform that helps students, entrepreneurs and professionals develop their communication skills quickly in a safe and collegial environment.


Bill entertains audiences frequently and speaks on a variety of topics, including entrepreneurship, networking, revenue generation and community building.


He also co-leads several community building efforts in his home state, Connecticut, USA. Bill is an active participant in the Startup Champions Network (formerly Startup America). He is an avid sailor, cyclist, and paddleboarder.

Eric Knight

Eric Knight

Eric Knight is a business pioneer, futurist, serial inventor, serial entrepreneur, and angel investor. He is the President of Remarkable Technologies, Inc., a company he founded in 1994.


In the 1980s, Eric created what many now recognize as one of the world's first global "e-commerce" systems. In 1996, he created one of the world's first online travel agencies. During the 1990s, he was a principal of a leading Web-development company that had over 250 employees, spanning 18 offices in 13 countries.


As an inventor, Eric has appeared on numerous television programs and talk shows -- including a guest appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman. He has commercialized many products and services across a wide variety of industries.


Eric is an active angel investor and member of the Connecticut-based Angel Investor Forum "AIF". He helps fund new independent ventures across many business sectors, and is instrumental in bringing to life innovations arising through his own company.

Tim Laubacher

Tim Laubacher is a Connecticut entrepreneur and software engineer. Tim's company, Sound Web specializes in helping people with ideas for new tech business get started. Sound Web is celebrating 10 years in business in Connecticut this year.


Tim is involved in Connecticut's entrepreneurial ecosystem in several ways. This is Tim's third year supporting the CT Entrepreneur Awards. Tim in an EIR (entrepreneur in residence) at The MEWS in Middletown where he mentors startups on technology related matters.


In 2014, Tim started developing Launch EZ to help serve startups in Connecticut, which he launched in January of 2015. Launch EZ is currently being used in Innovation Destination Hartford, reSET, CTNext and The MEWS websites. In 2018, Launch EZ served over 45,000 search results to entrepreneurs in Connecticut and around the country.

Rob Zielonka

Rob Zielonka

Rob is president of Dungeons of Hope, a nonprofit focused on fundraising for local charities by playing fantasy role playing board games. He is also a seasoned supply chain leader currently working for United Technologies while focusing on launching several business ventures.


Rob enjoys supporting the local community by co-hosting with Ryan Keating a monthly charitable networking event called Finest Hours Hartford. He also enjoys supporting entrepreneurial education by judging collegiate business plan competitions. Personally, Rob enjoys traveling with his wife and skiing with his friends.