reSET Announces 2014 Social Enterprise Award Winners

Social Enterprise Awards Honors Six Connecticut Companies with Over $50,000 in Cash and Professional Services.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | October 29, 2014

HARTFORD Conn.— reSET, the Social Enterprise Trust, proudly presents the 2014 Social Enterprise Challenge award winners. These six outstanding social enterprises received cash prizes and professional advisory services with a total value of more than $40,000 at the 4th annual Social Enterprise Awards. The theme of the 2014 event, which was held on October 28th, 2014 at the Society Room in Hartford, was “Superheroes of Social Enterprise.”

The awardees were recognized not only as innovators but also for their business viability and potential for creating social impact. Winners were selected by a panel of expert judges from among 73 Connecticut social entrepreneurs who applied to reSET’s 2014 Social Enterprise Challenge.

“These entrepreneurs are driving change and using the power of business to tackle a range of social and environmental issues. Creating purpose and generating profits is not easy, which is what makes these entrepreneurs so extraordinary” said Kate Emery, CEO reSET’ the Social Enterprise Trust “Our growing community has made these awards possible and we are full of gratitude for their unwavering support.”

Behavioral health, pollution, economic development, and poverty are just some of the social and environmental problems the award recipients are addressing through business. From jewelry that incents good health through walking and contributions to nonprofit organizations, to coffee roasters using their net profits to help farming communities end the cycle of poverty, the Social Enterprise Awards recognizes entrepreneurs who are paving the way for Connecticut businesses to create change.

“Boehringer Ingelheim is proud to support the More Health Through Innovation Award,” said Lilly Ackley, Executive Director, Corporate Communications, Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corporation. “This award recognizes Step Stones as a business idea that has significant social value. Through the use of their smart jewelry, consumers can stay active and make donations to causes that are important to them.  The social enterprise will result in healthier individuals and stronger communities.”

Winners receive prizes of unrestricted capital to advance their business to the next level, and expert business advisory services provided by prominent local businesses. This year’s top cash prize is $15,000, awarded by reSET, and the total prize pool, including advisory services, exceeded $40,000.

During the awards ceremony, Will Haughey, co-founder of Tegu Corp., accepted reSET’s Social Innovation Award on behalf of Tegu Corp. for himself and his brother and co-founder, Chris Haughey. Will Haughey will also serve as Keynote speaker. In addition, reSET presented the Social Enterprise Champion Award to State Representative Gregg Haddad (D- Mansfield, Chaplin), for his commitment to social enterprise and dedication to the passage of benefit corporation legislation in Connecticut. Haddad’s support of reSET has proven to be an invaluable asset to the organization, and to the growth of social enterprise as a sector.

The Winners: 

TOP PRIZE: The reSET Connecticut Social Enterprise Award: Tuckerman & Co., Amanda Rinderle and Jonas Clark, New Haven, CT.         

Tuckerman & Co. is a mission-driven company that makes quality clothing while also making a difference in the world. As an industry, textiles and apparel is one of the most polluting sectors of business after oil and natural gas, with a long history of questionable supply chain practices. Tuckerman & Co. is starting a KickStarter campaign to launch their first product, a high quality dress shirt made from 100% organic cotton and responsibly manufactured in New England.


The Walker Group Community Impact Award: CivicLift, Evan Dobos, Torrington, CT.

CivicLift is a social enterprise that has created a tool for stimulating community-driven economic development. This web-based software provides solutions for municipalities and community groups to encourage civic engagement and neighborhood connectivity. The platform is self-sustaining, while generating profits for the community for which it was developed.


The Boehringer Ingelheim More Health through Innovation Award: Step Stones Jewelry, Marianne Pantalon, New Haven, CT.

Step Stones Jewelry connects people through walking. Each stunning piece of jewelry holds an activity monitor that converts steps into charitable donations. Step Stones Jewelry is generating powerful motivation to improve health and is driving more financial resources to non-profit organizations.


People’s Choice Award: AdapTac Games, Candace Hughes, Darien, Conn.


AdapTac Games creates behavioral health mobile and online games for kids to help them train for success in ways that are fun, safe, and convenient. Their first game, made for the iPad, helps kids with ADHD improve their attention and planning skills.


Honorable Distinction: A Happy Life, Vishal Patel and Onyeka Obiocha, Wallingford, CT.

Happy Life is a specialty grade coffee roasting company that invests 100% of net profits into coffee farming communities to help stop the cycle of poverty.


Honorable Distinction: The Verge Awards, Linda Neaton, Shelton,CT.

The Verge Awards provides an online stage for nationwide public high school talent contests. These contests award college scholarships to teens focused in the creative arts and are bridging the gap in public funding for arts educations by awarding $20 million dollars per year to schools for arts and enrichment education.


About reSET

Social Enterprise Trust, commonly known as reSET, is a Hartford-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote, preserve and protect social enterprise as a viable concept and a business reality.

reSET offers advice and mentoring through an Entrepreneur-in-Residence and a Business Advisor Network, the Lean LaunchPad for Impact program for entrepreneurs to test their business concepts, workshops, Design Labs, and resources. Additionally, reSET offers coworking space at 99 Pratt Street in Hartford.

Since January 2013, reSET has worked with 114 entrepreneurs, of whom 14 businesses are fully operational and associated with 11 jobs.


Contact Information:

Meryl Willett | Phone: 860-560-9120 ext. 204