Startups from the FORGE Network Win at Connecticut Competition

Seven FORGE Startups Won a total of $25,000 in Entrepreneurship Foundation New Product Competition 

HARTFORD, CT – June 29, 2023 – Startups from the FORGE network won top prizes in Connecticut’s Entrepreneurship Foundation new product competition on April 21. The seven startups earning prizes offer innovative products ranging from alpaca wool socks to ice dam prevention solutions to foot pain relief for UConn’s women’s basketball team, and more.  

“The Entrepreneurship Foundation and FORGE have an effective partnership designed to help startups succeed,” said Mike Roer, president, Entrepreneurship Foundation Inc. “Both organizations have representatives on committees of the other, resulting in excellent communication and understanding of capabilities. The relationship has been a model of collaboration and cooperation.” 

“The results of the EF new product competition are a terrific example of Connecticut’s innovation and manufacturing collaboration,” said Adam Rodrigues, FORGE Connecticut. “Cross-promotion and right-fit introductions are what keeps an innovation ecosystem thriving.”  

“FORGE has been a crucial partner as we scale our product for launch. We would not have hit many milestones without them,” says David Dellal, CEO of Floe, a Yale startup and one of the winners. “Building hardware is hard, but FORGE is a catalyst, helping founders turn their product dreams into a reality.” 


  • Floe won $5,000 for its innovative, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly solution to prevent property damage from ice dams.  

  • Zaneez® Health & Fitness won $5,000 for its AnkleSTONE®, an orthopedic appliance used in medical and sports therapy to relieve foot and ankle pain and improve mobility. The company works with UConn women’s basketball and a local minor-league hockey team.   

  •  Ainara Design won $5,000 for a patent-pending necklace designed to assist and empower nursing mothers. 

  • Bella Alpacas Farm Sanctuary won $4,000 to help give alpacas in need a safe home and generate income for their care by selling socks made from their fiber.   

  • Climate-tech startup BRASH Power won $2,000 for its patented steam power technology. The micro-combined heat and power (mCHP) prototype is designed to provide heat and low-emission electric power to North American homes.  

  • IRL Innovations won $2,000 to support the development of consumer products that solve daily life problems including the patent pending Toobe bathtub which helps toddlers safely transition to full-size bathtubs.  

  • Garrett & Co. won $2,000 to support the development of its power connector which is installed in doorways to enable access to generators located outside during power outages, eliminating the need for consumers to prop open doors. 

Learn more about how FORGE helps guide startups through the complex journey from prototype to manufacturing at scale.  


Since its founding in 2015, FORGE has helped more than 650 innovators on their journey from prototype to production and scale. FORGE leverages deep knowledge of the innovation, supply chain and manufacturing spaces to create productive business relationships and foster creative, modern solutions to world problems.

FORGE’s support for startups creating physical products has yielded considerable success. A large percentage of the startup companies that engage with FORGE mature and thrive, supporting more than 5,500 innovation and manufacturing jobs. Learn more at

About Entrepreneur Foundation Inc. 

The Entrepreneur Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. Their mission is to provide effective resources for educators and entrepreneurs.