$60,000 Distributed in Prizes to 2nd Annual Fueling the Growth Winners

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Female Founders Pitch One-one-One to Investors

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The Refinery’s Fueling the Growth pitch contest not only provides visibility for women-owned businesses but helps to close the funding gap.

Business accelerator, The Refinery, teamed up with over 30 angel and venture capital investors to organize Fueling the Growth pitch competition for top technology-driven, women-led, ready-to-scale companies. The competition’s unique format had over 80 female founders across three cities pitch one-on-one with investors and receive valuable, on-the-spot feedback. The final pitches took place simultaneously in Boston, MA, Hamden, CT, and Newark, NJ on October 18th.

The Refinery partnered with these three cities to help build their female founder community by integrating the Fueling the Growth pitch event into the local entrepreneurial ecosystems. Boston’s competition took place during Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s Women Entrepreneurs Boston (WE BOS) Week, a week-long series of events designed to support women entrepreneurs comprised of networking opportunities, educational workshops, panel discussions and coaching sessions with industry leaders and investors. In Connecticut, the pitch event was hosted by Quinnipiac University during Connecticut Innovation Week, and in Newark, the event was a key part of Newark Tech Week and Summit.

“Women represent 35% of our small businesses yet women-led companies receive only 2.7% of Venture Capital funding,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh.  “The Refinery’s Fueling the Growth pitch contest not only provides visibility for women-owned businesses but helps to close the funding gap. By working with The Refinery, we can help expand the economic potential and impact of local women entrepreneurs.”

Nine women tech entrepreneurs won cash and other prizes to support their companies’ future growth at the finals events. Boston’s Day Zero Diagnostics, Torigen, and Astarte each took home a title. In Hamden, the winners were LambdaVision, Path Spot, and Wellinks; and in Newark, the top contenders were Mymee, Silver Bills, and Video Fizz.

“Our goal in hosting Fueling the Growth was to get as many female founders as possible in one-on-one meetings with investors to pitch their companies and get feedback,” said Refinery co-founder Janis Collins.

Local sponsors included Latham & Watkins, Unbound, Darien Rowayton Bank, Connecticut Innovations and The Refinery. For more information on Fueling the Growth, visit The Refinery’s website.

More on The Winners
Boston, MA
1st Prize: Day Zero Diagnostics – using genome sequencing & machine learning to modernize infectious disease diagnosis and treatment.
2nd Prize: Torigen – a personalized veterinary cancer immunotherapy.
3rd Prize: Astarte– optimizing feeding, nutrition and gut health for pre-term infants.

Hamden, CT
1st Prize: LambdaVision – commercializing a retinal implant to restore vision for the millions of patients suffering from retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
2nd Prize: PathSpot – scans employee’s hands to detect pathogens that cause food borne illness all in under 10 seconds.
3rd Prize: Wellinks – wearable devices for orthotics and prosthetics, for when your treatment doesn’t’ just end at the doctor’s office.  

Newark, NJ
1st Prize: Mymee – tracking symptoms to help find the root cause of your health issues.
2nd Prize: Silver Bills – relieving the pain of bill paying for the aging.
3rd Prize: Video Fizz – making it easier to create group videos celebrating any occasions.

More on The Refinery
From 2011–2013, women-led companies received only 2.7% of venture capital funding. The Refinery was founded in 2014 to help close this funding gap. Through two programs — Fueling the Growth pitch competition and the Winter Boost — top women-led tech companies are uncovered, accelerated, and scaled by an engaged community of peers, advisors, and investors. In three years, The Refinery has achieved rapid and exciting results: 39 companies mentored by 90+ subject expert mentors, have raised $20 million+ in funds. More than 230 women-led tech companies have been uncovered through our pitch competitions. The Refinery has awarded $200,000+ in non-dilutive grants. Further information can be found on The Refinery’s website.

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Janis Collins
The Refinery
+1 917-861-5937
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