(formerly known as the New England Innovation Awards)

1986-2022: 37 years of recognizing, nurturing and fueling Innovation

Robert J. Crowley's brain child, the New England Innovation Award competition was first launched in 1986, and since then, over 3,000 startups have been supported to succeed and scale. Some notable alumni include Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, Staples, Genzyme, MassChallenge, Carbonite, KRONOS, ZipCar, iRobot, zipcar, Keurig and Vistaprint. Today, 37 years later, the program is a 7-month innovation-support system based on Individualized Mentoring, Strategic Guidance, Leadership Education, and Connections to Resources; its objective is to help early-stage startups (pre-Series C) take the next steps in their commercialization journey. In 2021, the program was rebranded as The Eddies. The Eddies name represents:  

  • a nod to Thomas Edison, and his prolific work (and 1,093 innovation patents!) in a variety of industries and sectors; and

  • the circular movement of water, counter to a main current, causing a small whirlpool on the surface of the ocean (similar to the ripples caused to any market by the introduction of a ground-breaking product or technology). 

The Eddies are open to New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont), based startups:


  • with a working prototype of a ground-breaking product or technology,

  • not exceeding 150 employees.


The application fee is $45; there are no further costs associated with the program (including event attendance). The program is industry-agnostic, welcoming applications in the following Innovation Tracks.

  1. Cleantech, Greeentech, Bluetech & Sustainable Living;

  2. Healthy Living & Well-Being; 

  3. Tech, Deeptech & AI;

  4. SMART: Cities Living, Buildings & Construction;  

  5. Life Sciences (Biotech, Medical Devices, Pharma); 

  6. Minority-Owned;

  7. Robotics.