A security startup that detects anomalous cyber behavior and a life sciences company that makes 3D liver tissue for use in drug toxicity testing were among eight San Diego companies that won engraved Lucite trophies last night for the most innovative products of 2014.
The awards were handed out by Connect, the San Diego nonprofit organization that supports local innovation and entrepreneurship. It was the first time Connect has handed out its most innovative product awards at dinner since the event began in 1988.
“After 26 luncheons, this is the first time they’ve let you celebrate at night,” joked Maureen Cavanaugh, a San Diego broadcaster who served as master of ceremonies for the evening. The annual awards were conceived as a way to highlight the technical wizardry in new products introduced by San Diego companies over the previous 18 months. More than 600 people attended last night’s event at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla hotel.
The break from the luncheon tradition was one sign that a new CEO is now running the show at Connect. Greg McKee, a former biopharmaceutical executive and financier was recruited to take over Connect nine months ago, following the untimely death of Duane Roth in a bicycling accident in 2013.
In a brief introduction, McKee put his own mark on the Connect franchise—referring to the venerable organization as “Connect 3.0,” and describing it as “a business accelerator that creates and scales great companies in the technology and … Next Page »