2021 BioCT Entrepreneurs of the Year

Jonathan Rothberg, Chairman & Founder of all 4C companies, 4Catalyzer, 2021 BioCT Entrepreneur of the Year

Nicole Wagner, President & CEO of LamdaVision, 2021 BioCT Rising Entrepreneur of the Year

Jonathan Rothberg, Ph.D
Chairman & Founder of all 4C companies

Jonathan Rothberg, PhD, a serial entrepreneur who founded 4Catalyzer and has founded and led a number of other Connecticut bioscience initiatives has been named the 2021 BioCT Entrepreneur of the Year.

The Entrepreneur of the Year award was established by BioCT and the law firm of Shipman & Goodwin LLP to acknowledge the importance of showcasing unique accomplishments of entrepreneurs in the Connecticut community whose achievements are also having an impact beyond the borders of the state.

Dr. Rothberg founded CuraGen in 1991 while a graduate student at Yale. In 2000 he founded 454 Life Sciences, which brought to market a new method for sequencing genomes.

Dr. Rothberg went on to invent semiconductor chip-based sequencing, and to found such diverse companies as Ion Torrent, Clarifi, RainDance Technologies, Ai Therapeutics, Quantum-Si, Hyperfine, Detect and Butterfly Network.

In 2021 alone he took three of his recent companies public: Butterfly Network, the developer of the world’s first ultrasound-on-a-chip; Quantum-Si, which expands the frontier of protein sequencing; and Hyperfine, the creator of the world’s first portable MRI.

Colleagues describe Dr. Rothberg as “an outstanding innovator who has demonstrated leadership in advancing the pursuit of scientific breakthroughs applied to real-world problems.” He has been quoted as saying “The best way to predict the future is to make it.”


Nicole Wagner, Ph.D
President & CEO

Dr. Nicole Wagner, President and CEO of LambdaVision, has been named the 2021 BioCT Rising Entrepreneur of the Year.

LambdaVision is a UConn-based startup company that is developing a protein-based artificial retina. Since taking on the role of CEO, Dr. Wagner has managed and coordinated the efforts of a number of experienced scientists, entrepreneurs, and industry experts to develop the company’s artificial retina technology and commercialization strategies, at the same time participating actively in many Connecticut bioscience community programs.

She has successfully secured $8.75M in funding to drive commercialization of the company’s technology, and she led LambdaVision at its pre-IND meeting with the FDA. Under Dr. Wagner’s leadership, LambdaVision forged a successful partnership with NASA and the International Space Station, becoming the first organization to perform layer-by-layer manufacturing experiments on the space station, work that could establish a foundation for products that have direct clinical benefit.

Colleagues have described Dr. Wagner as “a resourceful leader who demonstrates exceptional grit and creativity, and who personifies generosity and passion.”

Dormer Stephen, a partner at Shipman & Goodwin, said “It is so great to see such groundbreaking research turn into such impactful innovation, both Jonathan and Nicole demonstrate the true passion of Connecticut’s life science industry and I am excited to continue to see them grow. Congratulations to both and thank you to BioCT for recognizing such great talent.”

Dawn Hocevar, President and CEO of BioCT, added, “It is an honor to recognize Jonathan Rothberg for all his contributions to improving patients’ lives.  He has contributed much to the life science ecosystem in Connecticut and we are proud to celebrate his accomplishments.

“It is an honor to recognize Nicole Wagner for her passion to help patients regain sight. Her work with NASA to create an artificial retina will expedite their research efforts on this very important work. We can’t wait to see what Jonathan and Nicole do next!”

The 2021 BioCT Entrepreneur of the Year and 2021 BioCT Rising Entrepreneur of the Year Award were presented at the BioCT Annual Bioscience Holiday Event, held virtually this year on December 14.


Please click below to watch the 2021 Entrepreneurs of the Year Acceptance Speeches.

Jonathan Rothberg, Ph.D Acceptance

Nicole Wagner, Ph.D Acceptance