Connect Honors Roth, Highlights Product Innovation in San Diego
Connect, the nonprofit supporting entrepreneurship and innovation throughout the San Diego region, offered a final heartfelt goodbye to the late Duane Roth today as part of its 26th annual awards luncheon for the most innovative products introduced over the past year. Roth led Connect for nearly seven years before his untimely death on Aug. 3 from injuries he suffered in a bicycling accident.
“It’s been about four months since Duane passed on and I’m often asked how I’m doing, and I say ‘It sucks,’” said Duane’s brother Ted Roth, a San Diego-based investment banker and Connect board member. Close to 700 people attended the luncheon at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines, and Ted Roth told said his brother would have been thankful for the community’s continued support for Connect and its efforts to grow the innovation economy in San Diego.
Ted Roth accepted Connect’s posthumous award to his brother, saying Duane took particular satisfaction in Connect’s annual Most Innovative Products awards ceremony for calling attention to the feats of innovation and entrepreneurship taking place in San Diego. In an additional honor, Connect renamed the annual award as “The Duane Roth Distinguished Contribution Award for Life Sciences and Technology Innovation.”
About 100 companies submitted products for consideration as the most innovative product in nine categories. Volunteer judges screened the entries for eligibility, and selected six entries for each category to make presentations to a selection committee of industry leaders that chose three finalists in each category. The finalists then made presentations to a panel of judges, drawn from San Diego business, civic, and academic leaders, which voted by secret ballot to determine the winner in each category.
The winners are:
—Aerospace and Security Technologies: Cubic Defense Applications for “One Shot,” technology developed for snipers to enhance their long-range targeting accuracy. One Shot automatically measures and corrects for crosswind speed, direction, and other aiming errors.
—Communications and IT category: iboss Network Security for the iboss Cloud Web Security with Device Management, which enables corporations to provide Web-based security and management for mobile device users over their existing networks. The technology helps IT administrators secure company data, protect against Web threats, and ensure compliance with regulatory protocols.
—Hardware and General Technology: Nextivity, for Cel-Fi Smart Signal Booster, which uses a “smart” signal processor and other technologies to boost indoor wireless connectivity and eliminate dead zones. CEO Werner Sievers said more than 70 percent of all cellular connections or calls are made or terminated indoors.
—Life Sciences–Diagnostics and Research Tools: Life Technologies, for the Ion AmpliSeq Exome, which isolates key regions of the genome more quickly and easily, accelerating routine PCR technology to hours instead of days and providing scientists with faster exome sequencing capabilities.
—Life Sciences–Medical Products: Isis Pharmaceuticals, for Kynamro, the first FDA-approved and systemically delivered antisense drug. Kynamro inhibits the formation of LDL-cholesterol, and is marketed to treat patients with a genetic disease characterized by severely high LDL-cholesterol.
—Mobile Apps: OneHealth Solutions, for OneHealth, which combines social networking technology, game theory, and clinical principles to provide immediate peer support for users with eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and other behavioral health issues. The mobile app also meets federal requirements for healthcare privacy and confidentiality.
—Software: Emotient for Facet, technology that translates facial expressions into actionable information, enabling companies to develop emotion-aware technologies and create new levels of customer engagement.
—Sport & Active Lifestyle Technologies: Hookit for the Hookit Athlete Index, technology that enables marketers and companies that specialize in sports and active lifestyles to monitor and quantify how much exposure and promotional attention athletes get in social media. CEO Scott Tilton said marketers invest $12 billion in athlete endorsements every year, and Hookit’s technology enables them to assess athletes’ real-time influence in today’s complex world of digital media.
—Sustainability: Achates Power, for Achates’ opposed-piston, two-stroke internal combustion engine. Achates’ design increases fuel efficiency and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. CEO David Johnson said the engines meet U.S. military requirements for power density, fuel efficiency, heat rejection, and multi-fuel capabilities.
Connect also gave its William W. Otterson Award to Life Technologies (NASDAQ: LIFE). The award, named for Connect’s founding director, goes to local technologies or products that have demonstrated a significant positive impact on society and quality of life.