reSET will celebrate 11 Impact Accelerator graduating companies at the Venture Showcase 2022: Scaling Human-Centered Businesses, which takes place Thursday, June 23 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford. The event is open to the public.
The Venture Showcase features a pitch competition from the companies that will deliver their perfected pitches for $15,000 in prize money and includes an audience favorite prize category to support the future growth of their exciting emerging businesses.
The event will be catered by past reSET Foodie Incubator participants. Judging for the pitch competition includes Rache Brand, Partner at Star Strong Capital, Kim Hawkins, President and CEO of HEDCO, and Onyeka Obiocha, Executive Director of CTNext, which is a funding partner of reSET.
The 2022 Impact Accelerator cohort has worked together intensively over four months, along with facilitator Christine Sullivan, reSET’s Impact Accelerator seven-member Advisory Board, and other reSET volunteer mentors, to refine their business plans and financial modeling skills, dive deeply into customer discovery and target markets, and learn how to scale their businesses while keeping their social mission as a priority.
“This 2022 cohort of companies is impressive,” said reSET Executive Director Sarah Bodley. “We’re seeing great consumer products and a real focus on wellness and sustainability from this year’s businesses. They all came in with a solid base and some revenue, and in the past four months it’s been exciting to see them continue to prove their business concepts and think about scale. reSET is pleased to be able to support their future growth through technical support, mentoring and cash prizes sourced from our donors,” she added.
“The entrepreneurial ecosystem emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic is poised to be stronger and more networked than ever before,” said CTNext Executive Director Onyeka Obiocha. “CTNext is pleased to support organizations such as reSET and the entrepreneurs they work with, to grow businesses and strengthen the Connecticut economy with new, community-built firms that make our cities and towns more vibrant and diverse.”
Upon graduation from the Impact Accelerator at the June 23rd event, the 11 companies will join a reSET Accelerator alumni group of more than 140 companies that have participated since 2013. Collectively, these companies have generated more than $25 million in revenue, received more than $17 million in investment and supported more than 350 jobs.
This year’s Impact Accelerator cohort can be characterized in several different ways: 10 are women-owned companies, eight are companies are founded by people identifying as Black, Indigenous and/or People of Color (BIPOC), two are focused on sustainable sourcing and buying, three are focused on self-care, two work on cultural resources, and two work on business capacity building and elevating diverse communities through skill building.
The companies selected for this year’s Impact Accelerator are:
- Breakfast Belle* – has been making authentic Southern-style cuisine since 2015, specializing in breakfast and brunch, and offers two products for retail sale: Bamma Fish Fry Seasoned Seafood Cornmeal and Breakfast Belle Hot Sauce
- Eco Evolution – a low-waste marketplace and ethical retail store that sells consumer products for the home, bath, body, kitchen, laundry as well as vintage and upcycled products
- The Greener Gift* – an earth-conscious business with two main focuses: consciously produced textile goods that are designed to support a greener lifestyle and shame-free eco-education and empowerment
- History Chip* — provides a platform for everyone in the world—including women, people of color, and other marginalized groups—to add their true stories to our fully searchable online archive
- HR Zoom – a brand featuring trendy merchandise promoting diversity, social equity, empowerment, and all things related to workplace culture
- Ital Creations* – a natural body care company specializing in educating the community on effective self/skincare and products that are safe for the skin
- Jodi Cup of Health– all-natural handmade products “made with love to enhance your Divine Beauty”
- Lauren Simone Publishing* – a Hartford-based publishing service that empowers youth and connects aspiring diverse authors with diverse illustrators to create diverse and inclusive children’s books for all to enjoy
- Momentum Life Mastery Coaching – supports individuals and groups using a holistic approach to facilitate customized coaching programs, workshops, and 1:1 personal development services
- More Than A Coloring Book* – a therapy tool inspired by people of color around the world that provides coloring pages, inspirational quotes, and journaling space
- SoChill –a CBD lifestyle brand promoting self-care culture via ethically sourced hemp products
*Read an IDH feature interview.
The 2022 Venture Showcase is sponsored by Gold Level sponsors PeoplesBank, Webster Bank, and The Walker Group; Silver Level sponsors Pratt & Whitney and Connecticut Science Center; and Bronze Level sponsor Stanley Black & Decker. Additional program support is provided by Travelers, CTNext, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and many more.