CONNECT Announces Winners of 2017 Most Innovative New Product Awards

Dec 1, 2017


Media Contact:
Elizabeth Hobson

CONNECT Announces Winners of 2017 Most Innovative New Product Awards

Ten San Diego companies selected as recipients of 30th annual award. Jay Flatley inducted into CONNECT Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.

SAN DIEGO (November 30, 2017) – Today 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 30th annual Most Innovative New Product Awards. The prestigious competition, which begins each year in the spring and culminates in the awards ceremony in late fall, is an annual signature event at CONNECT that recognizes and lauds stars of innovation and their latest groundbreaking products.

“At CONNECT, we believe San Diego entrepreneurs are disrupting the world. Tonight’s winners, demonstrate the incredible intellect and drive that continue to elevate our region’s innovation ecosystem,” said Greg McKee, CEO of CONNECT. “The Most Innovative New Product Awards event is San Diego’s most exciting night in innovation because it provides a peek into the future of the next big thing. CONNECT is proud to highlight all our finalist and winner companies. We know they will go on, as many MIP winners before them have, to do great things.”

The 2017 Most Innovative Product Award winners faced a rigorous judging process that vetted companies of all sizes across ten categories before being selected as winners. Thirty-three Finalists pitched their products live in front of an expert judging panel earlier this month, from which the ten Winners were selected.

Listed below, in their respective categories, are the ten 2017 Most Innovative New Product Award Winners. You can view photos of the winning products here.

Cleantech, Sustainability, and Energy:

  • Amionx’s SafeCore – Amionx SafeCore prevents a lithium-ion battery from being the source of fire or an explosion; adds minimal cost to the bill of materials of a battery and requires no increased capital cost or cycle time in a factory. Amionx is licensing SafeCore for use in lithium-ion batteries globally.

Defense, Aerospace, and Transportation:            

  • Fuse Integration’s CORE – CORE is a miniaturized networking system with embedded encryption and advanced cybersecurity.  Ruggedized for military airworthiness, CORE provides tactical platforms with secure data communications across multiple domains.   CORE enables flexible Command and Control (C2) and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) functionality over IP networks.

Information Communication Technologies:

  • Nextivity’s Cel-Fi GO – Cel-Fi GO improves cellular voice and data service by eliminating dead zones and dropped calls. Cel-Fi GO is NEMA 4 rated, and can be deployed in harsh environments, indoors or outdoors, for mobile or stationary applications.

Life Science Diagnostics and Research Tools:

  • StemoniX’s microHeart – microHeart are biologically accurate beating heart micro-organs derived from stem cells created from skin cells.  microHeart is used by major pharma for screening drugs for heart toxicity and efficacy to discover new cures and personalized medicine.

Life Science Products, Clinical Stage:

  • ViaCyte’s PEC-Direct – PEC-Direct is intended as a functional cure for patients with high-risk type 1 diabetes. PEC-Direct product candidate is composed of stem cell-derived pancreatic progenitor cells contained within a subcutaneous implantable device.  After implantation, the cells are expected to mature into the full complement of islet cells, including insulin-producing beta cells.

Medical Devices:

  • TereoPneuna’s ReDe Mask – The ReDe Mask is an oxygen facemask that provides a visual signal of a patient’s exhalation.  A universal three colored signaling system is used to indicate the respiratory rate; green indicates normal breathing, yellow alerts to potential breathing problems, and red alarms that the patient needs attention.

Mobile Apps:

  • NotesFirst’s NotesFirst App – NotesFirst is a mobile platform for capturing and improving the quality of health data for lower-middle income regions of the world.

Robotics and Unmanned Vehicles:

  • Brain Corp’s BrainOS – BrainOS is a self-driving A.I. technology service and proprietary operating system that integrates with off-the-shelf hardware and sensors to provide a cost-effective “brain” for robots. It enables robots to perceive their environment, control their motion, and navigate using visual cues and landmarks while avoiding people and obstacles.

Software & Digital Media:

  • Sourcify’s Sourcify – Our platform connects companies with the right factories and walks them through the product development cycle with project management tools.

Sport & Active Lifestyle Technologies:

  • Levitate Technologies’ AIRFRAME™ – The Levitate AIRFRAME™ is a lightweight wearable exoskeleton technology engineered to support the upper extremity of professionals and skilled trade workers who are exposed to the repetitive elevation of the arms.  The AIRFRAME provides all day and seamless ergonomic support and reduces muscle fatigue resulting in a healthier worker.

To be eligible for the 2017 Most Innovative New Product Awards, the product must have been first introduced after January 1, 2015, never nominated for this award before, and generated revenue from sales (except free mobile apps and companies submitting for the Life Science Products – Clinical Stage category).

The winners were announced tonight, November 30, at the 30th Anniversary 2017 Most Innovative New Product Awards presentation and dinner at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine.

The evening’s celebration also featured the official induction of Jay Flatley, Executive Chairman of Illumina, into the CONNECT Entrepreneur Hall of Fame. In addition, CONNECT will honored four renowned San Diego innovators: Dick Atkinson, the CONNECT Founders Award; Joe Markee, the Duane Roth Award for Distinguished Contribution in Technology; Dr. Richard Lerner, the Duane Roth Distinguished Contribution Award for Life Science Innovation; and Larry Bock, the Duane Roth Distinguished Contribution Award for Life Science Innovation.

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


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.