The Refinery is teaming up with angel and venture capital investors to launch its 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 include Boston, MA, Hamden/New Haven, CT, and Newark, NJ.  Each location will be sponsoring a local awards/networking event - all participants are invited to attend this event and others going on at the same time including:  Boston, WEBOS, Hamden/new Haven, Connecticut Innovation Week, and Newark, Tech Week Newark.

Competitors will have a chance to win prizes and gain valuable investor feedback.

And, it all starts with an opportunity to pitch your business to an investor on October 18 as well as get mentoring, gain visibility and make connections. You will get immediate feedback from the investor and be eligible to move to the next level of the pitch competition.

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 works:

  1. Submit an application for your company by October 6.
  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 6 and are eligible to participate will be notified by October 13 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