Lioness Accepted Into reSET’s 2018 Impact Accelerator In Hartford

Posted on January 3, 2018 by Lioness Staff

Lioness CEO Dawn Leaks and Publisher Natasha Zena will start reSET’s accelerator on Jan. 16.

HARTFORD — Digital media startup Lioness, founded in Springfield, Mass., is one of 22 companies that has been accepted into the 2018 reSET Impact Accelerator in Hartford, Conn.

Our mission is to elevate, educate and support female entrepreneurs. We’re excited about this opportunity because reSET specializes in social enterprise and that creates a rich learning environment and stepping stone for our startup,” Lioness CEO Dawn Leaks said.

Tailored for impact driven businesses but available to early-stage ventures across all industries, the Impact Accelerator was a winner of the U.S. Small Business Administration Growth Accelerator Competition, and was the only Connecticut accelerator to receive the award in 2015. This year reSET saw their most competitive applicant pool yet, consisting of more than 110 submissions from all over the world.

“The caliber of our latest accelerator cohort is a direct result of alumni referrals and our intentionally recruiting in all of the major startup hubs — Boston, New York City, Silicon Valley, etc.,” said Ojala Naeem, reSET’s managing director. “We also brought on a new program manager who is an entrepreneur himself.”


reSET’s program has graduated 80 businesses to date and recent participants have experienced much success, including competitor acquisition, venture capital investment, and nationwide sales and recognition. reSET graduates have generated more than $4.4 million in revenue and raised more than $5.5 million in investment.


Naeem and her colleagues have been reviewing applications on a rolling basis since October. Of the 22 startups they selected:

  • 54 percent are high tech
  • 27 percent are general, retail and consumer goods
  • 14 percent are health and wellness
  • 5 percent are other

The companies include:

  • Bare Life (Hartford, Conn.)
  • Clean’n Brew (Glastonbury, Conn.)
  • CNG Fitness (New York, NY)
  • Epidemic Solutions (Boston, Mass.)
  • FieldOwler (New London, Conn.)
  • Fire Rescue VR (Stratford, Conn.)
  • Florapothecarie (Middletown, Conn.)
  • Friendly Agent (South Windsor, Conn.)
  • Koalasale (New York, NY)
  • Larkr (Silicon Valley, Calif.)
  • Lioness Magazine (Springfield, Mass.)
  • Loki (Woodbridge, Conn.)
  • My Springboard (Avon, Conn.)
  • Noteworthy Chocolates (Bethel, Conn.)
  • Ray (Tel Aviv, Israel)
  • RecordME (Torrington, Conn.)
  • Regift the Wrap (South Glastonbury, Conn.)
  • Rumble Hemlmet (Stratford, Conn.)
  • SkywireMe (East Hartford, Conn.)
  • Tatjack (New York, NY)
  • TripBuddy (Boston, Mass.)
  • Two Happy Homes (Woodstock, Conn.)

Running from January through May, the five-year old program will provide entrepreneurs with access to the knowledge and resources they need to grow their businesses and impact. Over the course of four weekend summits, accelerator participants will be connected to customers and industry-specific mentors. They will also have access to:

  • 15+ optional workshops covering a range of topics in business and social enterprise;
  • Numerous structured and unstructured opportunities to engage with investors and advisors;
  • 1-year reSET membership (includes access to coworking, programming and the on-site mentors, entrepreneurs in residence and business advisors);
  • Exclusive discounts on business software packages and other resources.

reSET is also partially responsible for helping bring Benefit Corporation legislation to Connecticut in 2014. reSET worked in partnership with B–Lab and the Connecticut Bar Association to draft the language of the bill, making Connecticut the 26th state to enact the corporate structure. The language of Connecticut’s bill is considered the most comprehensive in the United States in that it permits a “legacy preservation” option.

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