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Newtown’s Norah Kolb Captures CTNext Innovation Award



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Newtown High School freshman Norah Kolb was among the top winners of the September 13 Entrepreneur Innovation Awards (EIA) at Old Town Hall in Stamford, and for Norah, it marked another stroke in her endeavor create a product to help swimmers with shoulder pain.

According to a press release for the event, EIA is “CTNext’s Shark Tank-style pitch event where Connecticut startups and entrepreneurs compete for grants that can be applied toward a specific project that will help accelerate growth.”

“It was really, really exciting, especially because all of the companies were [represented by] adults,” said Norah after the event.

Last year, as an eighth grade student, Norah came up with her idea for her award-winning Ray-Board after speaking with fellow swimmers. She submitted her design in the Connecticut Invention Convention, and it went on to the national level of the competition.

The design also earned the ESPN Award.

Since then, Norah said she has been inspired by her parents, Gloria and Eric Kolb, who are engineers and entrepreneurs.

A few months ago, Norah said she entered the CTNext competition. After being chosen, she presented her project at EIA before seven judges.

The judges awarded Norah $10,000 to manufacture her Ray-Board kickboard that will distribute body weight evenly for swimmers. Norah also won $2,000 for being a crowd favorite at the event.

“I will use it to manufacture my board and move my prototype into mass production,” Norah said of her winnings.

She has plans to conduct market research, and she has applied for a patent. A website for her product is also in the works.

Other winning companies at the September 13 EIA event were Actively AI, Dualflo, Encapsulate, Encaptiv, and VigorSential.

“The EIA continues to provide Connecticut’s startups with an opportunity to showcase their innovations and take home grant dollars to help complete an innovative project,” said CTNext Executive Director Glendowlyn Thames in a release. “As usual, all competitors involved put forth impressive presentations. We applaud them for their efforts and thank the judges for their participation.”

More information about CTNext is available on its website, ctnext.com.

Newtown High School freshman Norah Kolb presents her Ray-Board design at the September 13 CTNext Entrepreneur Innovation Awards at Old Town Hall in Stamford.
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