Poplar Network Wins CTNext Entrepreneur Innovation Award

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Company receives $10,000 to expand green building and LEED workforce education and training curriculum.

Rob Freeman presents Poplar Network at CTNext EIA Event

Rob Freeman, founder and CEO of Poplar Network, presents at CTNext EIA Event

This was the first Entrepreneur Innovation Awards event and we couldn't have asked for a better group of companies and innovative project ideas.

Poplar Network today announced it received a CTNext Entrepreneur Innovation Award (EIA), at the first EIA event on Feb. 27, at The Bijou Theatre in Bridgeport, Conn. The award provides $10,000 for innovative project ideas that help propel startups to the next level.

CTNext, Connecticut's innovation ecosystem, is managed by Connecticut Innovations which equips startups and entrepreneurs with tools and resources to accelerate their growth.

Ridgefield, CT based Poplar Network is one of six companies to receive the funding. The capital will allow Poplar Network to speed the launch of a new online workforce training program designed to help building design and construction professionals get experience working on green building projects. Poplar Network offers training in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (“LEED”) rating system and other green building specialties.

“This was the first Entrepreneur Innovation Awards event and we couldn’t have asked for a better group of companies and innovative project ideas,” said Claire Leonardi, CEO of Connecticut Innovations. “The event assembled an enthusiastic group of entrepreneurs and startups that will contribute to the positive growth of businesses in Connecticut.”

Poplar Network was established in 2013 with the purpose of connecting the world’s building design and construction professionals through LEED and green building education. Led by experienced Internet technology and education professionals, Poplar Network has attracted over 3,500 green building members since its launch.

“It was very exciting... a little like Shark Tank!” said Rob Freeman, founder of Poplar Network. “We were honored to have been selected as one of the first recipients of a CTNext Entrepreneur Innovation Award. This money will help us accelerate the development of version 2.0 of our successful online LEED Professional Project Experience training program.”

CTNext was created in the 2011 Jobs Bill as an initiative of Governor Dannel P. Malloy and private-sector leaders to support the growth of Connecticut’s most promising startups. The Entrepreneur Innovation Awards (EIA) is a competitive pitch process that provides awards up to $10,000 to entrepreneurs in Connecticut for growth-related activities to help propel a business to the next level.

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Rob Freeman
Poplar Network
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