My Favorites

Winning Entrepreneurs Split Over $10,000 in Cash Prizes at the Conclusion of reSET’s Impact Accelerator

Hartford, CT (Tuesday, July 2, 2024)–reSET, the Hartford-based entrepreneur support organization committed to nurturing businesses with a social mission, celebrated nine Impact Accelerator graduating companies at its Venture Showcase on Thursday, June 27, at the Connecticut Science Center. During the pitch competition, three judges and the audience awarded four companies over $10,000 in cash prizes.

The LAZ Impact Award first prize and $5,000 was awarded to Mimi Gonzalez, founder of griefsense. The creative duo behind Poem RENOVATION, Kelly de la Rocha and John Melillo, claimed second place and the $3,000 prize. Third prize and $2,000 went to NutriLab, comprised of team members Paula Perez, Ivan Riquelme, Nick Germano, and Jeremy Battye. The audience voted Pia Ainara McGrath, founder of AINARA, the winner of the Audience Choice award and over $1000 in crowd-funded prize money

“This is the 13th class of businesses to graduate from reSET’s Impact Accelerator, and these entrepreneurs have demonstrated remarkable growth throughout the program,” said Sarah Bodley, reSET’s Executive Director. “Social enterprise means many things – this cohort is tackling social and health challenges; bringing innovative consumer products and services to market, and across the board, are committed to an ethos of sustainability, inclusion, and impact. Keep an eye out for these founders; we expect them to continue to do great things.”

reSET’s Impact Accelerator is the only Connecticut business accelerator program that prioritizes identifying and measuring social impact alongside profit. Upon their graduation, these entrepreneurs will join a reSET Accelerator alumni community of over 150 companies who have participated since 2013. Collectively, reSET alumni companies have generated over $30 million in revenue, received over $18.7 million in investment and supported over 430 jobs.

Over the past four months the 12 entrepreneurs working on nine businesses have accelerated their individual business growth through peer feedback, mentorship, and one-on-one guidance from reSET. Jeannette Punsoni Dardenne, owner of the public relations and marketing company INGroup Creative, served as Facilitator of the program. An eight-member advisory board helped select the participating entrepreneurs and served as mentors, advisors and guest speakers during the program.

The 2024 reSET Venture Showcase was made possible with the support of our amazing sponsors: Platinum Sponsor LAZ Parking; Gold Sponsors PeoplesBank and MetroHartford Alliance; Silver Sponsor Connecticut Science Center; and Bronze Sponsors Berkins Family Fund and Liberty Bank. Snapseat was the photo booth sponsor for the evening.

Companies and entrepreneurs in the 2024 Impact Accelerator cohort are:

  • Ainara Designs LLC, is an innovative online jewelry brand revolutionizing the experience of motherhood. Their flagship product is a patent-pending, functional and customizable necklace that holds up a mother’s shirt while breastfeeding or pumping so that she doesn’t have to. AINARA’s mission is to design a better life for new moms, one where function meets style. Because every mother deserves to feel confident in her new skin.
  • CT3D is democratizing consumer products by creating an open, consumer-facing platform for designers and product development firms to post their products. These products can be either entirely 3D printed or an assembly requiring additional components. CT3D handles all manufacturing and fulfillment, allowing designers to do what they do best: design cool products.
  • Eatz on Demand LLC, is a centralized delivery service that caters to working professionals who have limited break time and access to food options!
  • Fresh Start Pallet Products is focused on removing barriers to employment with education in the carpentry and construction industry. With our woodshop in Hartford, we teach and create quality wood products for customers in the community.
  • griefsense Join griefsense in supporting young adults navigating grief through our dynamic media and impactful events. Explore our approach by tuning into the griefsense podcast, which sets the stage for ‘The Grief Sala’, our Hartford-based conference designed to nurture young grievers through creativity, learning, and dialogue.
  • Hardy Enterprise is your one-stop solution for all your home needs. With our two divisions, Amos Home Inspection ensures peace of mind through thorough home inspections, and Hardy Home Solutions offers expert HVAC and appliance repair services. We will ensure that you are not buying a money pit when purchasing a home and that your home runs smoothly and efficiently when services are needed. Trust Hardy Enterprise for quality and reliability in every aspect of home care. Make it Hardy.
  • Nutrisoft LLC has developed NutriLab, a SaaS tool designed to assist food companies in determining the nutrient composition of their products. By entering the ingredients, it effortlessly calculates nutritional information, meaning the details found on the nutrition facts label of any packaged food. NutriLab serves as a pivotal SaaS resource that helps food companies of all sizes accurately determine nutrient compositions and create FDA-compliant Nutrition Facts Labels.
  • poemRENOVATION is a web-based word challenge used in schools to promote literacy, creativity and social-emotional learning. Students are presented daily with a scrambled snippet of literature. They select words that resonate with them,  then move them around on a digital canvas to create something new.
  • Reframe: A Dry Spot is striving to create a safe and sober space to build community, in the heart of downtown Willimantic. With craft ready-to-drink non-alcoholic cocktails and a chic atmosphere, we’re creating the space we want to see in the world!


About reSET
reSET is a nonprofit organization in Hartford, CT, whose mission is advancing the social enterprise sector. reSET specializes in social enterprise ― impact-driven business with a double or triple bottom line. In addition to providing coworking 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. Visit reSET | Where Great Companies Grow (