The Refinery teamed up with angel and venture capital investors to host it's second annual multi-city Fueling the Growth pitch competition to uncover the top technology-driven, women-led companies that are ready to scale. Participating cities included Boston, MA, Hamden/New Haven, CT, and Newark, NJ.  We partnered with each city to coordinate Fueling the Growth with other entrepreneurial events. In Boston, our pitch event was during WEBOS, a week of women's entrepreneurial programming sponsored by the City of Boston.  In Hamden/New Haven, we were hosted by Quinnipiac University during Connecticut Innovation Week, and in Newark, we participated in Newark Tech Week and Summit.

Competitors won prizes and gained valuable investor feedback. Please see the individual pages for details on each city's Fueling the Growth events.

Fueling the Growth - Boston

Fueling the Growth - Hamden/New Haven

Fueling the Growth - Newark

It all started with an opportunity to pitch one-on-one to an investor and receive valuable feedback.

Meet the Refinery Fueling the Growth Team:

Meet our winner from last year's Fueling the Growth:


Fueling the Growth was an amazing experience. The opportunity to receive instant feedback on my pitch from an investor was incredibly helpful. The added opportunity to apply that advice to subsequent presentations was invaluable. Through Fueling the Growth, I instantly expanded my network of women entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders. Winning Fueling the Growth was great exposure for our company, but more importantly, the experience helped me to gain the confidence to pitch to any investor.” – Lisa Wong, Liquidaty

Read more about last year's event and winners.

Here’s how it worked:

  1. Submit an application for your company by October 13 at noon.
  2. If selected, you will meet one on one with a top investor for 15 minutes on October 18 in one of the participating cities* to pitch your company and receive feedback.
  3. Selected companies must be pitch ready, with a 7 minute pitch, slides are not required.
  4. Investors will select top local winners for awards to be presented at local networking event on end of day, October 18.

To be eligible, companies will:

  • Have at least 1 female founder. (female founder must pitch)
  • Utilize technology in their business (including technology-enabled healthcare and financial services companies).
  • Demonstrate proven scalability with market fit.
  • Be present in one of the participating cities* on October 18.


*Participating cities: Boston, MA, Hamden, CT, Newark, NJ

Additional details: 

  • Companies who submitted applications by October 13 and are eligible to participate will be notified by October 16 and given a time slot and co-working location.
  • Selected entrepreneurs must show up 15 minutes early for their designated time slot, pitch ready ie if using a deck, on their computer, open and ready to show.
  • Participants will have 7 minutes to pitch their business and receive 7 minutes of feedback from the investor.  
  • All participants are invited to attend the local awards event on evening of October 18.

Need help with your Pitch? here a few resources:

Skyler Fernandes Best Pitch Video

Skyler Fernandes Best Pitch Outline