CONNECT Announces Winners of 2018 Most Innovative New Product Awards

Nov 29, 2018

Media Contact: Jana Wallis


CONNECT Announces Winners of 2018 Most Innovative New Product Awards

Seven San Diego companies selected as recipients of annual award. Mark Dankberg inducted into CONNECT Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.


SAN DIEGO (November 29, 2018) – Today CONNECT, a premier innovation company accelerator in San Diego that creates and scales companies in the technology and life sciences industries, announced the winners of its 31st annual Most Innovative New Product Awards. The prestigious competition, which begins with an application process in the spring and culminates in the awards ceremony in late fall, is CONNECT’s signature event that recognizes innovators and their latest groundbreaking products.

“The winners of tonight’s Most Innovative New Product Awards are changing the world. The companies and products showcased in this event demonstrate the incredible talent and drive that exists in San Diego’s innovation ecosystem,” said Greg McKee, CEO of CONNECT. “The Most Innovative New Product Awards event is San Diego’s most celebratory night in innovation because it brings to the forefront what is exciting and new. CONNECT is proud to highlight all of the finalist and winner companies. We know they will go on, as many MIP winners before them have, to do great things.”

The 2018 Most Innovative Product Award winners faced a rigorous judging process that evaluated companies of all sizes across multiple categories before being selected as finalists. Twenty-three finalists pitched their products live in front of an expert judging panel in October, from which the seven winners were selected.

Listed below, in their respective categories, are the seven 2018 Most Innovative New Product Award winners. You can view photos of the winning products here.

Aerospace, Robotics, and Transportation:           

Citadel Defense – Citadel Titan. Counter-drone (C-UAS) technology detects and classifies Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s or “drones”) threatening combat troops. The system uses AI-based search and classify methods as well as Electronic Counter Measures to detect and interdict UAV-Controller communications, causing the UAV to leave the field. Currently deployed with US troops.

Cleantech, Sustainability, and Energy:

Primo WindEnergiPlant. The patented EnergiPlant provides data collection and security using an LTE or 4G camera for direct streaming of data and video capture. The camera includes a noise detector that deciphers gunshot alerts. The EnergiPlant also includes: an 800W wind generator, 200W solar panels, a camera with data and security, a noise detector, two-way calling, WiFi hot spot, LED lighting, 6 USB ports, energy controller, and AGM batteries.

Defense and Cybersecurity:

FormalloyL-Series 3D Printer. Formalloy’s L-series metal 3D printer is the first system to utilize a blue laser for additive manufacturing applications. The L-series can build 2-100x faster than competing technologies, and can process the most comprehensive range of metal alloys on the market. The L-series is scalable for prototyping to production.

Information Communication Technologies and Software:

QubitekkQuantum Transceiver. Qubitekk has developed an advanced cybersecurity encryption and authentication technology for defense and energy applications. This new technology, called Quantum Key Distribution (or QKD), uses physics, not algorithms, to guarantee the integrity of communication channels. The Qubitekk QKD Transceiver is the product which transmits and receives QKD.

Life Science Diagnostics:

Banyan BiomarkersBanyan BTI. The Banyan BTI™ the first in vitro diagnostic blood test developed to aid in the evaluation of patients with suspected mild traumatic brain injury, also known as concussion. 

Life Science Products (Clinical Stage) and Pharmaceuticals:

Biological DynamicsOmniVerita. OmniVerita is a benchtop platform for genomic analysis of cancer biomarkers directly from blood without needing to pre-process samples. OmniVerita’s approach takes as little as thirty minutes, instead of hours or days required by conventional diagnostics. It is being developed for use in real-time treatment response monitoring for cancer patients.

Life Science Research Tools and Medical Devices:

StemoniXmicroBrain 3D Assay Ready Plate. microBrain® 3D Assay Ready Plates are a human neural spheroid screening platform. Each plate contains 384 functioning spheroids comprised of neural cells that fire spontaneously. Delivered to customers under ambient conditions, the plates are easily implemented as a reliable high throughput screening platform for drug discovery and neurotoxicology.

To be eligible for the 2018 Most Innovative New Product Awards, the product must have been first introduced after January 1, 2016, 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 last night, November 29, at the 31st annual, 2018 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 Mark Dankberg, founder and CEO of Viasat, into the CONNECT Entrepreneur Hall of Fame. In addition, CONNECT honored two other renowned San Diego luminaries: Peter Ellsworth, with the Duane Roth Award for Distinguished Contribution in Technology and Dr. Eric Topol with the Duane Roth Distinguished Contribution Award for Life Sciences.



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.