reSET To Award Connecticut’s Social Entrepreneurs on October 28th


Each year, reSET celebrates Connecticut’s top social entrepreneurs with cash prizes and public recognition for their business viability and potential for creating social impact.

The 4th Annual “Social Enterprise Awards: Superheroes of Social Enterprise,” is a celebration of Connecticut social entrepreneurs with the most viable, sustainable, market-based solutions for some of our state’s most pressing social problems. Winners of the 2014 Social Enterprise Awards will receive prizes of unrestricted capital to advance their business to the next level, public recognition, and valuable business advisory services provided on a pro bono basis by prominent local businesses. This year’s top prize is $15,000, and the total pool exceeds $30,000.

Readers of The Whiteboard can receive $25 off the ticket cost. Buy tickets HERE, and use the code “CoworkCT” to receive the discount.

reSET organizers of the event hope that the Social Enterprise Awards and the entrepreneurs honored at the awards will inspire others to join the social enterprise movement, as entrepreneurs, supporters, and advisors to businesses that combine both purpose and profit.

This year, reSET received a record-breaking 73 applications for the Social Enterprise Challenge competition. Of these, 60 advanced to a second round in the competition to make up this year’s field of contenders. Of those 60, the ten finalists proved that their business can improve community, create jobs, and effectively generate both purpose and profit. They are now in the process of being reviewed by an expert panel of judges. The four award winners will be announced at the awards event on October 28th.

The 2014 Social Enterprise Challenge top ten finalists are:

  • Evan Dobos, Civic Lift: An online platform promoting civic engagement.
  • Amanda Rinderle and Jonas Clark, A&J Public Benefit Corp: Organic Cotton and fairly sourced shirts.
  • David Rubin, ElectroSpinU: A Fitness company with a passion for electronic dance.
  • Linda Neaton, The Verge Awards: An online high school talent competition that funds art education.
  • Candice Huges, AdaptTac Games LLC: Mobile Games that help children with behavioral health issues.
  • Vishal Patel, A Happy Life: Fair trade coffee roasting company; 100% of profits go back to farmers.
  • Spencer Curry, Fresh Farm Aquaponics: Food justice-oriented aquaponics farm.
  • Arati Sureddi, LOTUS Alliance: An online travel agency that helps to fund job training opportunities for victims of human trafficking.
  • Marianne Pantalon, Step Stones Jewelry: Stylish activity monitors that reward users with contributions to charity.
  • Joseph DeRisi, Urban Miners, LLC: Salvage and resale of architectural and building materials.

From now until September 30th, votes from the general public are being collected to nominate a “People’s Choice Award,” which will be announced at the event. You can vote on the reSET website or on Facebook.

Along with celebrating the award winners, Will Haughey, co-founder of Tegu Corp., will accept reSET’s “Social Innovator Award” on behalf of himself and his brother, co-founder Chris Haughey. Will Haughey will also provide keynote remarks.

Tegu is a social enterprise that produces a toy — magnetic wooden blocks — that supports their philosophy in fostering children’s creativity through open-ended play. They use the for-profit business to support their social mission of educating underserved children in Honduras. They are also known for their eco-friendly and sustainable practices, and have been critically acclaimed by the likes of Oprah, Real Simple, and many more for their products.


About Suzi Craig

Suzi Craig
Suzi Craig is Director of Community Development for Independent Software ( and is leading the 2014 Startup Roadshow effort for The Whiteboard. She brings Connecticut entrepreneurs closer to each other and available startup resources, and to the compelling reasons for starting and growing a business in the state.

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