Westport business accelerator helps women transform companies

The Refinery was co-founded last year by Janis Collins and Jennifer Gabler. Their goal is to help women turn startups into billion-dollar companies.

The Refinery was co-founded last year by Janis Collins and Jennifer Gabler. Their goal is to help women turn startups into billion-dollar companies.

The Refinery was co-founded last year by Janis Collins and Jennifer Gabler. Their goal is to help women turn startups into billion-dollar companies. (7/7/15)

WESTPORT - A Westport business accelerator is reaching out to what they call an underserved group.

The Refinery was co-founded last year by Janis Collins and Jennifer Gabler. Their goal is to help women turn startups into billion-dollar companies.

Working on grants from CT Next and the Small Business Administration, Collins and Gabler have been putting their backgrounds in investment banking, information technology and corporate finance to take women-owned businesses through the perilous process of going from Point B to Point C.

Gabler and Collins are working on getting out the word about their upcoming fall session.

Level Up Village, a Greenwich-based educational enrichment business that connects American students with children overseas, went through the 12-week program last year.

"It took us from a lifestyle business of two moms who were working out of our living rooms to, one month after the program, we have 10 employees and we have an office in our town," said Amy McCooe, Level Up Village's co-founder.

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