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Global venture fund to pilot new health and real estate technologies in Hartford this fall

Hartford, CT (7/29/2020) — Upward Labs, Connecticut’s first venture fund and pilot lab for tech

companies creating the future of smart buildings and senior care, has selected its third

cohort of companies to live and build their businesses from Hartford. The 6-month pilot

experience is slated to start September 1, 2020 in adherence with state and local travel

laws. The announcement was made by Shana Schlossberg, CEO, Upward, in collaboration

with Philip Siuta, CFO and COO of Connecticut Innovations (CI).

The penultimate cohort of the 2-year program brings technologies that address critical

health and operational issues recently amplified by COVID-19, such as social isolation,

utility inefficiency, and indoor air quality, to 30+ corporate and pilot partners throughout

the Greater Hartford Area.

“When selecting this cohort’s participating companies, we hyper-focused on technologies that would make the greatest impact in this ‘new world’ posed by COVID-19,” said Upward CEO, Shana Schlossberg.

“The upcoming fall and winter seasons will be a pivotal time for AgeTech and PropTech innovators to rise to the unique challenges faced by the healthcare and real estate industries. These startups will be instrumental in alleviating burdened senior living facility workers, isolated seniors, property owners and managers, and other members of our community who are navigating a new normal. These technologies are designed to make their daily experiences more efficient, enjoyable, and overall, a bit easier.”

Companies from the first two cohorts are continuing their work with the Labs’ corporate partners with whom they collaborated over the 6 months of their respective programs. Many have established, or are in the process of establishing, local operations in Hartford to continue these partnerships.

“Upward Labs has been able to recruit and attract companies into the state, making a positive and immediate impact on the state’s innovation ecosystem,” said Philip Siuta, CFO and COO of Connecticut Innovations. “In a year of unprecedented change, Upward Labs continues to bring value to both startups and Connecticut’s corporate community.”

Upward’s third cohort of startups is projected to launch its 6-month intensive program in Hartford beginning September 1, 2020. The participating companies include CareClever, CleanAir.AI, DjinnSensor, Ellcie Healthy, HeyHerbie, Hibernate, ImagineX, KomfortIQ, OVAL Digital, and Unifi.ID. The companies will build custom pilots and refine their technologies for the US market under the purview of 30 industry-leading partners throughout the USA.

About the companies

CareClever is the developer of Cutii, a companion robot designed to address social isolation in vulnerable seniors.

CleanAir.AI provides a smart air purification system that drives HEPA-class air quality, lowers building energy consumption, and provides actionable insights on filter performance and indoor air quality events.

DjinnSensor helps to build Human-Centered Smart Buildings that increase safety, improve workplace conditions, and reduce operational costs by providing an Internet-of-Things (IoT) device-platform and cloud service for indoor environment management.

Ellcie Healthy develops smart glasses equipped with artificial intelligence designed to improve health awareness, wellness and security.

HeyHerbie is a TV-based platform that connects older adults with their loved ones and helps them stay active and vibrant in their own homes.

Hibernate is a non-wearable, mobile, and Bluetooth-enabled sleep technology that improves an individual’s sleep in real time by responding to the brain’s natural rhythms.

ImagineX helps companies increase their sales via upselling and cross-selling through physical and digital channels using a unique blend of industry 4.0 technologies including virtual/augmented reality (VR/AR) and artificial intelligence (AI).

KomfortIQ increases tenant comfort while saving up to 50% of energy costs by providing a unique micro-zone system with room-by-room control of the HVAC system in commercial office buildings.

OVAL Digital makes a small, wireless multi-function smart sensor that monitors and alerts you in real-time to sudden or gradual changes in temperature, light, humidity, motion, and water without the use of cameras or microphones.

Unifi.ID delivers seamless detection solutions that allow building managers to have all the actionable data needed on the movement of occupants within their buildings.


About Upward

Upward is a Connecticut-based social enterprise with a mission to reinvigorate our nation's second and third tier cities by transforming them into thriving hubs of innovation, community, and co-creation. Upward’s multi-city network connects unique and viable resources with local industry titans and progressive educational institutions in vibrant downtown areas. Our goal is to stimulate regional development, strengthen native talent, foster opportunities, and create economic prosperity and Upward movement for all. Learn more at

Press Contact

Jess Morin, Marketing Communications Manager @ Upward


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