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Adjusted Logo Photo.jpg

congratulations to our 2016 award winners!


congratulations to our 2016 award winners!


Our Mission

To fuel the growth of early-stage, high-growth companies.

The Refinery was founded in mid-2014 to fuel the growth of companies with diverse teams. Through an intense, customized curriculum and structured mentoring, companies develop a growth and funding strategy that is supported by an engaged community of peers, advisors and investors.

In 2 years, The Refinery has achieved rapid results: 31 companies mentored by 70+ subject expert mentors, through four program cycles, raising $8 million+ in funds. 

“We Won’t let you Fail.” 

Read More from our Entrepreneurs

Our Results


Our difference

  • highly individualized program 
  • value added mentors with industry specific and relevant experience matched to each participant's needs.
  • engagement with early stage investors and highly experienced entrepreneurs.
  • CT location allows for accessing both NYC and Boston networks.
  • starting point for a longer term relationship; our mentorship does not end at the end of the formal twelve week period.

Why do we get results?

  • our drive, and the work we expect from each cohort.

  • teams are pushed to understand their customer, refine their business model, build their team, develop their financial outlook and clearly articulate their businesses value to customers, partners and investors.

  • at the end of the Refinery program, companies really know their business — and have a rock-solid foundation that will allow them to scale and grow.

Our programs

  • Winter Advanced Accelerator Program
    • three months
    • interactive content/webinar sessions
    • in-person group discussions
    • structured mentor meetings 
    • end results include growth and funding strategy, milestones, and roadmap
  • Membership
    • Awards, Prizes
    • Mentor Office Hours
    • Workshops

The Founders


The Founders

Janis Collins


Janis is passionate about helping companies innovate, create and quickly launch new businesses.  She is an active participant in growing Connecticut's innovation ecosystem, and mentors and advises CT entrepreneurs.  Committed to promoting women, and providing them access to networks, mentors, and funding, she created Founder's Connect, an entrepreneurial community and pre-cursor to The Refinery.

An early technologist, Janis started her first company 25+ years ago to help technology startups get off the ground faster and more successfully.  

As Consulting Partner at KPMG, she worked with top financial service firms to leverage innovation and technology to recreate businesses and new electronic markets. As Managing Director at JPMorgan's LabMorgan, she ran the financial services business incubator where they advised and funded new Financial Services Technology ventures. 


TEDx -Janis Collins

Retinkering How Companies Are Made (Connections are Important)

Jennifer Gabler


Jennifer's functional expertise is as a CFO for multiple venture backed and startup companies. She has a unique ability to manage the detail while engaged with strategy alongside CEOs, boards, financing, and strategic partners.      

Jennifer's passion for an entrepreneurial environment comes from her love of "building it from scratch." She can walk into a brand new start up and build financial operations responsive to the goals set by management and the board of directors. When required, Jennifer is skilled at untangling existing financial problems and managing cash while a company right sizes. Her experience in financial governance and controls set clear values and directions for strategic planning, risk management, financial operations and the culture required to optimize performance. 


Read Jen's views on Improving Your Chances for Funding