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New Canaan Businessman Honored By Stamford Innovation Center

Peter Propp, left, chief Marketing Officer of Stamford Innovation Center presents an award to Dick O'Hare of New Canaan. Photo Credit: Contributed
Barry Schwimmer, left, founder and managing partner of the Stamford Innovation Center, greets Ned Gannon of Stamford. Gannon, CEO and co-founder of eBrevia. Photo Credit: Contributed

STAMFORD, Conn. – Ned Gannon of Stamford and Dick O’Hare of New Canaan were named the winners of the inaugural Stamford Innovation Center’s Startup Leadership awards ceremony.

The event was part of the first annual SIC Startup Pitch Night last week at the Innovation Center, one of the Northeast’s premier coworking and technology learning centers.

Gannon, CEO and co-founder of eBrevia, an artificial intelligence platform for the legal profession, won the John Mackie Brown Award for the hardest working startup leader.

O’Hare, CEO and founder of Local Yokel Media, a hyperlocal digital marketing platform, won the Abraham Davenport Light a Candle award for the most fearless leader of a startup.

“We are proud to be the home of some of the most exciting and well-led startups in the Fairfield County region,” said Peter Propp, chief marketing officer for the Innovation Center. “These companies are gaining traction, finding financing and making strong progress in their markets. Their leaders are highly creative and gifted entrepreneurs who work tirelessly in pursuit of their vision - and they are succeeding.”

SIC Startup Pitch night was created as an opportunity for leaders from startups who work at the center to deliver short presentations about their business and share their experiences as startup leaders in the region. 

The Davenport award was named for Stamford resident Abraham Davenport, who kept the Connecticut State Legislature in session on May 19, 1780, during a freak occurrence of total daytime darkness. Instead of adjourning, Davenport famously requested that “candles be brought.” For this, and for assuaging the fears of his colleagues, Davenport became a hero. There is a large mural depicting this moment in the Davenport room at the Stamford Innovation Center.

John Mackie Brown was one of Stamford’s most loved, but shortest term mayors, who died in office in 1915, less than a year after taking office. There is a large plaque to Brown at SIC, which is housed in the Old Town Hall in Stamford.  It notes "His face was to the sunlight.” He was a successful and hard-working businessman before becoming mayor and although his term was short, made a huge difference in his community and that’s why SIC chose him to symbolize hard work and leadership.

“Abraham Davenport and John Mackie Brown are part of the fabric of Stamford and our amazing building.  Our goal is to honor their memory by connecting them to the work of today’s startup leaders. We are very proud of Dick and Ned and our whole community benefits from their hard work and positive attitude,” Propp said.

The Stamford Innovation Center supports and encourages the growth of a vibrant tech and startup economy in the Fairfield County region.For more information, visit

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