Thursday, September 19, 2019

Sponsored By

Organizing Team

Dr. Pauline Assenza

Western CT State University

Danbury, CT

Patrice Gans

Random Hacks of Kindness Junior

Woodbury, CT

Curtis Goodwin

New London Talent Show

New London, CT

Billy Grant IV

Harbor Tides Capital

Hartford, CT

Ryan Keating

Bill Kenney


Ivoryton, CT

Tim Laubacher

SoundWeb Solutions

Haddam, CT

RK Mamillapalli


Ellington, CT

Paige Rasid

State of Connecticut, Department of Economic and Community Development

Hartford, CT

Laura Stetler

Women's Business Development Council

New London, CT

Rob Zielonka

Partners on Prospect, Inc.

East Windsor, CT

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.

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.