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Adjusted Logo Photo.jpg

The Refinery

fueling the growth of women-led companies


The Refinery

fueling the growth of women-led companies


Our Mission

To fuel the growth of women-led companies.

We provide the foundation, the connections, and the funding to help early stage companies with at least one woman in a leadership role, scale and grow.

“We Won’t let you Fail.” 

Read More from our Entrepreneurs

Our Results


Our difference

  • highly individualized program, generating a personalized plan with milestones and timeframes.
  • pre-revenue and those who have launched or need a reboot can benefit.    
  • value added mentors with industry specific and relevant experience matched to each participant's needs.
  • supports the ability to “rise above the fray” and get mindshare of 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 focus on women?

  • underserved market
  • fastest growing startup segment
  • greater capital efficiency - women led businesses use less capital to exit
  • companies with women in leadership roles have proven greater results

Our programs

  • Accelerator
    • three months
    • twelve interactive content sessions
    • Panels, discussion, breakouts and action items
    • mentor meetings throughout the program
    • end results include go forward plan for growth and funding
  • Phase II
    • social media collaborative
    • building teams
    • infrastructure
  • Pathway to Funding
    • strategy and connections

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 the 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