710 Studios sponsored a great event where 13 startups, classified as social enterprises, were awarded $75,000 in prize money, plus professional services for their impact on the community. I encourage you to support these local businesses on their journey to make a global impact on the lives of many people.
(Hartford, Conn., Oct. 30, 2015) – reSET, the Social Enterprise Trust, (www.SocialEnterpriseTrust.org), whose mission is advancing the social enterprise sector, revealed the winners of its annual Impact Challenge last night at The Society Room of Hartford to a record, sellout crowd of 300.
Now in its fifth year, the reSET Impact Challenge recognizes the most innovative and impactful early stage ventures and start-ups from all industries throughout New England. An esteemed group of judges, including Sherrell Dorsey of Uber andTriple Pundit, Adam Dotson of Ironwood Capital, Claire Leonardi, Anthony Price of LootScout and Paul Witinski of Ironwood Capital, narrowed down the over 100 applicants to 12 honorees. The ultimate winners of the competition’s Diamond, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Investor’s Choice awards are listed below. The People’s Choice winner was selected via more than 1,865 online votes (also see below).
Diamond Level – $20,000 + Professional Services Package (1 Winner)
Gold Level – $10,000 + Professional Services Package (2 Winners)
Silver – $5,000 + Professional Services Package (2 Winners)
People’s Choice – $1,500 + Professional Services Package (1 Winner)
Investor’s Choice – $1,500 (1 Winner)
Bronze – $500 (7 Winners)
To mark reSET’s fifth anniversary, the theme of this year’s Impact Challenge was “Welcome to the Future,” signaling that social enterprise has not only been established as a viable business concept, but is rapidly developing as the future of business.
The contest’s $75,000 prize purse was made possible by a large community of supporters, including 710 Studios; AARP; Aeton Law Partners; Bank of America; Bear’s Smokehouse Barbecue; BNY Mellon Wealth Management; Cantor Colburn; Carter Realty; Central Connecticut State University; Clark Insurance; Comcast Business; Community Investment Corporation; Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development; Connecticut Innovations; Day Pitney; Farrell & Farrell Consulting Services; Fiondella, Milone & LaSaracina; Hartford Flavor Co.; Health Educated, Inc.; HealthyCT; HEDCO Inc.; Minuteman Press; Murtha Cullina; NoRA Cupcake Company; Powerstation Events; Pullman & Comley; Qualidigm; Quinnipiac University; Remarkable Technologies; SnapSeat Photo Booths; Tariq Farid Foundation; The City of Hartford; The Hartford; The Kitchen at Billings Forge; The Walker Group; The Travelers Companies; The Walker Group (reSET’s Founding Partner); Trinity College; and Updike, Kelly & Spellacy.
reSET also receives generous support from its Strategic Partners: Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Innovations, MetroHartford Alliance, and The Walker Group.
In addition to yesterday’s awards ceremony, Connecticut Public Radio host John Dankosky moderated a panel, “The Future of Social Enterprise,” about how social innovation is transforming industries. The panel featured disruptive innovators Jean Hammond, co-founder and partner of LearnLaunch; Makaela Kingsley, director of Wesleyan University’s Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship; and Kirc Savage, co-founder of start-up Send Help Back Home.
A separate Impact Venture Showcase took place immediately before the event, in which seven early stage, impact-driven businesses pitched their business to an audience of investors, advisors, and guests seeking both social and financial returns.
Since its inception, reSET’s Impact Challenge has awarded more than $180,000 to scaling entrepreneurs. At the awards event, reSET CEO Kate Emery announced that the 2016 prize purse will be $100,000.
reSET is a nonprofit organization whose mission is advancing the social enterprise sector. Its strategic goals are threefold: to be the “go-to” place for impact entrepreneurs, to make Hartford known as Impact City, and Connecticut the Social Enterprise state. reSET serves all entrepreneurs, but specializes in social enterprise ― impact-driven business with a double or triple bottom line. In addition to providing co-working space, accelerator and mentoring programs, reSET aims to inspire innovation and community collaboration, and to support entrepreneurs in creating market-based solutions to community challenges. reSET’s goal is to meet entrepreneurs wherever they are in their trajectory and to help them take their businesses to the next level.
reSET’s Impact Accelerator recently was a winner of the U.S. Small Business Administration Growth Accelerator Competition, the only Connecticut growth accelerator to receive the award this year. www.SocialEnterpriseTrust.org