Hong Lip Yow, AcousticSheep, Paper Battery Company and Whistle Sports Network Honored with the Consumer Technology Association’s 2015 Innovation Entrepreneur Awards

NEW YORK--()--The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)TM , formerly the Consumer Electronics Association® , announced the winners of its fourth annual Innovation Entrepreneur Awards. The honorees included Hong Lip Yow, an entrepreneur whose motto for life and business is ‘live with impact’; AcousticSheep, creators of a new ‘sleep category’ of headphones founded by a physician; Whistle Sports Network, a mobile-first network that embraces the idea that sports is everywhere; and Paper Battery Company, developers of a super capacitor-based energy storage and battery enhancement technology.

These prestigious awards were launched in 2012 by CTA’s flagship magazine, It Is Innovation (i3) and the CTA Small Business Council. The awards recognize entrepreneurs and businesses with revenues under $30 million for the contributions they make to the U.S. economy. Each year, a panel of judges recognize one executive, a small business and a startup company. This year, the field was so rich with contenders that the judges selected two startups as award winners.

“This year’s Innovation Entrepreneur Awards winners demonstrate the exciting possibilities of the technology industry,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “The award acknowledges innovative businesses such as AcousticSheep and Paper Battery Company who are creating entirely new and innovative ways to improve consumers’ lives. And we honor Whistle Sports Network which turned the sports broadcast model on its head by creating a sports community that is providing engaging content for millennials and Hong Lip Yow, an immigrant entrepreneur, who is motivated to create local jobs, and give back to the community, while developing innovative products.”

Small Business Executive of the Year: Hong Lip Yow grew up in Malaysia and was influenced by his Chinese immigrant father, who ran a lumber shop and taught him about responsibility to the local community and his employees. Yow draws on those origins to create a vibrant culture at Trident Case, which is excelling at creating local jobs, charitable partnerships, as well as innovative products. Currently Trident’s Made in the USA program accounts for half of the products, and Yow expects that to increase to a majority of the product line next year. In addition to his role as CEO, he contributes to a number of non-profit charities.

Small Business of the Year: AcousticSheep – Family physician, Dr. Wei-shin Lai, struggled to fall back asleep after late night patient phone calls. She tried listening to relaxing music in bed, but there were no headphones or earbuds comfortable enough for sleeping. With no product in the market that fit her needs, she worked with her husband, Jason Wolfe, to create a unique solution, SleepPhones. The company strives to create a world of happy, healthy, well-rested people with their ‘sleep category’ of headphones. The company also has an app with soothing sounds and the next app in development senses when you’re restless and works harder to help you sleep.

Startup of the Year: Paper Battery Company has developed an innovative supercapacitor-based energy storage and battery enhancement technology. The Paper Battery advantage is delivering peak pulse currents in very small devices, such as when a smartphone makes contact with a cell tower or when a camera emits a high-powered flash. Their ultrathin supercapacitors allow a new approach to power and energy management that promises to improve significantly availability, safety and battery life in today’s consumer electronics.

Startup of the Year: Whistle Sports Network is a social sports network designed to entertain, inspire, and equip today’s young millennial generation of fans and athletes. Its social media platforms include 285 YouTube Channels, more than 76,000 videos, and three billion views. With a foundation of strong partnerships including the NFL, MLB, PGA Tour and NASCAR, they have revolutionized how sports fans consume and produce sports media. They stand apart by disrupting the way sports content is created with unexpected, quirky content that engages their online community of millennial consumers.

A distinguished panel of media and industry judges selected the Innovation Entrepreneur Awards honorees:

Jim Barry – CTA’s Digital Answer Man
Gregory Borchardt – Caerus Ventures
Trace Cohen – New York Venture Partners
Frank Gruber – Tech.co
Ximena Hartsock – Phone2Action
Robert Heiblim – BlueSalve
Lawrence Richenstein – Peak Ventures
Paul M. Sabbah – Stamford International
Eric C. Schwartz – NAPCO Media
Gary Yacoubian - SVS | Specialty Technologies

To learn more about the Innovation Entrepreneur Awards, visit CTA.tech/IEA for videos of the winners and information on the 2016 nomination process. Find complete profiles of the IEA winners in the January CES issue of It Is Innovation (i3) magazine.

About Consumer Technology Association:

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)TM, formerly the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®, is the trade association representing the $285 billion U.S. consumer technology industry. More than 2,200 companies – 80 percent are small businesses and startups; others are among the world’s best known brands – enjoy the benefits of CTA membership including policy advocacy, market research, technical education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CTA also owns and produces CES® – the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technology. Profits from CES are reinvested into CTA’s industry services.


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Consumer Technology Association
Laura Hubbard, 703-907-4326
Danielle Cassagnol, 703-907-5253

Release Summary

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)TM , formerly the Consumer Electronics Association® , announced the winners of its fourth annual Innovation Entrepreneur Awards.


Consumer Technology Association
Laura Hubbard, 703-907-4326
Danielle Cassagnol, 703-907-5253