HARTFORD – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) announced on Friday that Checkmate of Hamden is this month’s “Murphy’s Innovator of the Month.” Founded in 2015 by Quinnipiac University alumni, Checkmate designs and builds custom software for innovative startups in the medical, travel, financial services, virtual reality, cyber-security, construction, fitness, and humanitarian sectors. Murphy presented Checkmate founder Tom Nassr with a congressional certificate recognizing their achievement during his pancake breakfast in Hamden on Friday. 

To date, Checkmate has worked with companies such as The Glimpse Group, My Gene Counsel, MartyrApp, give365.co, LearnToProgram.TV, Carrot Creative, among others. In the last year, Checkmate has doubled their revenues along with the size of their workforce. Today, the Hamden company employs 16 workers and offers apprenticeships to curious and proactive people. 

“Checkmate is using technology and design to help other businesses turn their ideas into reality,” said Murphy. “They’re growing fast and sparking even more innovation in the process. Connecticut’s a great place for creative, new businesses to start and expand. Companies like Checkmate are an important part of our state’s new innovation economy and I wish them continued success.”

“Our first website sold for $500 on February 1, 2015, and then things just snowballed from there. It’s very exciting,” said Tom Nassr, CEO and Co-Founder of Checkmate. “Connecticut has been very good to us. There are so many people in the entrepreneurial scene here, and everyone really wants to help. We want to stay in Connecticut because our employees want to stay here and raise their families. Our state is really on the cusp of a lot of things happening.” 

Murphy believes entrepreneurship and innovation are building blocks for a strong economy. In the U.S. Senate, he has introduced two bipartisan pieces of legislation to incentivize angel investors to put more money into startup companies – the Angel Tax Credit Act and the Helping Angels Lead Our Startups (HALOS) Act. Last month, Murphy’s HALOS Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives. Startup companies create an average of 2 million jobs each year.