News Release: CT Entrepreneur Awards Recipients Named 4.19.21

VIEW RELEASE AS A PDF (winners only)

VIEW THE FULL RESULTS AS A PDF (winners and honorable mentions)



April 19, 2021 Bernard Kavaler, 860.729.3021

Winners Announced at 2021 CT Entrepreneur Awards;
Leading CT Entrepreneurs Recognized for Growth, Innovation,
and Achievements by Community Voting, Global Judges Panel

The Connecticut Entrepreneur Awards announced an impressive array of 25 category winners, along with 67 runners-up, during the 2021 Connecticut Entrepreneur Awards, which were presented during a virtual awards ceremony that highlighted the accelerating growth of the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

The 5th Annual event celebrated Connecticut’s leading entrepreneurs, ventures, and the varied ecosystem elements throughout the state that support and encourage them. The awards ceremony highlighted businesses, organizations, and individuals from communities all across Connecticut, pursuing business opportunities across many sectors and industries. 

Announcement of the winners followed an afternoon virtual expo and interactive product demonstrations, concurrent sessions, and panel discussions, in addition to the results of the public voting and judge’s choices.  There were 15 Community Voting category winners and 9 Judges Selection category winners announced, along with honorable mention recipients. There were a total of 225 individuals, businesses, and organizations selected as finalists earlier this year, drawn from 434 nominations.

“The caliber of this year’s nominees was phenomenal. Collectively, those selected as winners in their categories, those earning Honorable Mention, and all the finalists, have a strong impact on our state and its communities,” said CT Entrepreneur Awards founder Bill Kenney.  “Despite the obstacles of the past year, Connecticut’s entrepreneurial community showed tremendous resilience and ingenuity.  These enterprises and initiatives are driving entrepreneurship and economic independence throughout Connecticut.” 

There were 9 categories of Judges Selections, determined by panels of more than two dozen expert judges from outside Connecticut who evaluated the finalists.  Winners were:


Entrepreneur (Scaling Company) Eric Rosow, Diameter Health, Farmington
Entrepreneur (Scalable Venture) Earl Valencia, Plentina, Westport
Entrepreneur (Main Street) Robert LaBonne Jr., LaBonne’s Markets, Woodbury
Entrepreneur (Social Good) Batouly Camara, Women and Kids Empowerment, Storrs
Entrepreneur (Student) Batouly Camara, Women and Kids Empowerment, Storrs
Venture (Revenue) Plentina, Westport
Venture (Pre-Revenue) VeraDermics, West Hartford
Community Builder Harry Bell, The Color a Positive Thought Organization, Bridgeport
Community Promoter Community Economic Development Fund (CEDF), Meriden


In addition to the Judges Selection, in the community, online voting, a winner and two honorable mention recipients in each category were announced, based on the community voting totals.  The winners were:

Entrepreneur (Scaling Company) Eric Rosow, Diameter Health, Farmington
Entrepreneur (Scalable Venture) Jared Zima, Reliefwax, Berlin
Entrepreneur (Main Street) James Perkins, Elite Soccer Performance, Berlin
Entrepreneur (Social Good) Erica Morrison, WaxPax Solutions, Torrington
Entrepreneur (Student) Jared Zima, Reliefwax, Berlin
Venture (Revenue) Plentina, Westport
Venture (Pre-Revenue) History Chip, Bethlehem
Community Builder Shaenna Taylor, Bridgeport Strong, Bridgeport
Space Cultured Studios, Cultured AF, New London
Program Masheen, Avon
Funding Brendan Lynch, Sharpe Capital, Newington
Economic Development [TIE]  Angela Wong, City Center Danbury, Danbury

          Lindy Lee Gold, DECD, Hartford

Event Career DECA Virtual Fundraiser with CT Food Bank, Adji Cisse,             West Haven
Education Scarlett Lewis, Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, Newtown 
Corporate/Institution Travelers, Hartford


This year’s award recipients included a two-time winner (Masheen), two individuals (Jared Zima and Batouly Camara) selected as the winner in two categories, and two instances where the panel of judges and public community voting both selected the same category winner (Eric Rosow and Plentina).  One category finished in a tie in the community voting.  

2021 CT Entrepreneur Awards sponsors include Imageworks, Murtha Cullina, Startups and Scholars, Webster Bank, Litchfield Distillery, and Entrepreneurship Foundation.

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 Connecticut. (See a list of affiliated organizations at 

The CT Entrepreneur Awards have been held annually since 2017, coordinated by the growing group of volunteers and led by founder Bill Kenney. Nominations for 2022 will open on December 1, 2021. For more information about the 2021 CT Entrepreneur Awards and plans for 2022, contact Bill Kenney at


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