161116-RefineryCT-UberPITCH-172 (1).jpg
IMG_5090.JPG
jenandjaniswitouttag.jpg
161116-RefineryCT-UberPITCH-172 (1).jpg

The Refinery


assists in the design and build of innovation ecosystems.

SCROLL DOWN

The Refinery


assists in the design and build of innovation ecosystems.

 

Our Program Results

In four+ years, The Refinery has achieved rapid and exciting results: 39 companies mentored by 90+ subject expert mentors, have raised $26 million+ in funds. More than 250 women-led tech companies have been uncovered through our pitch competitions. The Refinery has awarded $260,000+ in non-dilutive grants.

 

" Out of all the pitch events we have participated in, we made more direct investor connections through the Fueling the Growth competition than any other event. Janis and the whole Refinery team really understand the value of connecting startups to relevant investors / mentors and they were extremely helpful at making proactive introductions tailored to our needs. Overall, it was very well-run and lots of fun - I am so glad we participated and would do it again if we could! "  Jacqueline Loeb, CEO,  Scouted.io

"Out of all the pitch events we have participated in, we made more direct investor connections through the Fueling the Growth competition than any other event. Janis and the whole Refinery team really understand the value of connecting startups to relevant investors / mentors and they were extremely helpful at making proactive introductions tailored to our needs. Overall, it was very well-run and lots of fun - I am so glad we participated and would do it again if we could!"

Jacqueline Loeb, CEO, Scouted.io


161116-RefineryCT-UberPITCH-245.jpg

"Fueling for Growth Pitch Competition was a great way for women entrepreneurs to gain invaluable exposure to some of the top investors in the area. With the investor's undivided attention, you are able to have a candid conversation about your company and receive constructive feedback." Ashley Kalinauskas, Torigen

161116-RefineryCT-UberPITCH-218.jpg

"Through participating in Fueling the Growth with UberPITCH I feel empowered to grow Corrie Health into a successful and sustainable company that addresses the real medical economics issues of readmission and revolutionizes heart attack recovery to be safer, faster, and more effective." Francoise Marvel, Corrie Health

 
161116-RefineryCT-UberPITCH-199.jpg

"UberPitch was an incredible experience for my company. We pitched to investors, received tremendous press, and met incredible female CEOs from all over the country. We learned so much from the experience and highly recommend this event!"

Ellen Matloff, MyGeneCounsel

IMG_5090.JPG

Leadership


Leadership


Our Thoughts on Leadership

It all starts with Core Values - Janis Collins, co-founder of The Refinery, explores reacting to a crisis with Sarah Biller, a leader who chooses to act, and trusts in her values.

Sarah Biller was working at a large Asset Management firm in 2007 — a noisy and frenetic place — when suddenly, there was deafening silence. One of the worst economic disasters since the Great Depression had begun. Sarah recalls, “We all knew what was happening, but would we just stand-by and watch the financial markets collapse?” Something inside her clicked, and she knew she had to help head off this kind of disaster in the future.

What made Sarah act instead of shrink in the face of crisis? Read how Sarah’s trust in her core values here led her into action.

And, leadership requires resilience. Janis Collins, co-founder of The Refinery, explores resilience, and coming back from failure with Jenny Lawton, Techstars.

Jenny’s story is powerful and inspiring. An early tech entrepreneur, she grew her startup to become one of Inc.’s 500 fastest growing companies in 1998. When she sold her company a few years later, she had money in the bank and a home in CT, where she and her husband raised their two sons. Then 9/11 hit, and like many others, Jenny wanted a change from the fast pace world of startups and investing.

Jenny purchased a bookstore business in Greenwich, CT and learned very quickly that running a small business was much harder than anything she had ever done before, and nothing like the tech world she had come from.

Financial pressures forced her to sell the business. And behind the scenes, her personal life was also unraveling. Suddenly, Jenny found herself with a failed marriage, a struggling teenager, huge amounts of debt, and no money in the bank.

Learn 4 great lessons in Resilience here

jenandjaniswitouttag.jpg

The Founders


The Founders


Janis Collins

Co-founder

Janis has been helping companies innovate, create and quickly launch new businesses for more than 25 years. First, through her own company, which focused on helping high tech startups and then later advising and funding new financial service companies.  Janis has helped found and launch several companies including two non-profit organizations.

As a Consulting Partner at KPMG, Janis worked with top financial service firms, leveraging innovation techniques 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.  

Dedicated to community service, always an innovator, and creator of pragmatic solutions, Janis served on Westport’s Board of Finance, and as Chairman of Westport’s Parks and Rec, where she created an innovative public/private solution to continue the investment in the Town’s parks and recreation facilities.

TEDx -Janis Collins

Don't go it Alone (Connections are Important)

Jennifer Gabler

co-founder

Jen has over twenty five years of experience as CFO for venture backed and startup companies in multiple industries.  She has the unique ability to manage detail while engaged in strategy alongside CEOs, boards, financing and strategic partners. Recent clients include venture backed high tech and biotech companies, media and e-commerce companies and consumer product companies.

Jen began her career as an investment banking analyst at Merrill Lynch.  After Columbia Business School, she focused on developing her operational finance expertise as a senior manager and CPA in the entrepreneurial services and administrative leadership at Coopers & Lybrand.  She was the CFO for Extraprise (now Quickpivot) for its first seven years where she built and oversaw finance, HR and IT.  She has deep expertise in financial modeling, fund raising, mergers and acquisitions, HR and back office operations, and a strong track record raising venture capital and early stage financing. 

Jen has an AB from Dartmouth College and has been a lecturer and researcher at both Tuck and Harvard Business Schools.

Read Jen's views on Improving Your Chances for Funding