When HAYVN first opened, founder and Chief Collaborator Felicia Rubinstein had a dream to create a woman-centric co-working space and support female entrepreneurs. Through a robust calendar of community events, programs and amenities, HAYVN enables female entrepreneurs the opportunity to connect, create and get stuff done. 

HAYVN LAUNCH is one of HAYVN’s premier programs that is an accelerator program designed to help prepare female entrepreneurs to raise capital and scale their technology businesses. HAYVN LAUNCH was founded to address the specific challenges that women face in raising capital to support their business and provides a curriculum designed by a team of women with expertise in technology, entrepreneurship and investment banking with a goal of supporting these teams in creating the specific investor deliverables needed to raise equity capital (pitch deck, business plan, financial model, spoken presentation).

What makes the LAUNCH program so special is the participation of a variety of guest speakers focused on building confidence and teaching the participants about the inner workings of equity capital raises, which is a strongly male dominated industry. In our first cohort in the summer of 2021, the guest speakers included female seed investors, presentation coaches, Clubhouse influencers and Ann Lamont, Venture Capitalist and CT’s First Lady. Throughout the eight week period, the HAYVN LAUNCH cohort work collaboratively to hone their pitches, share their experiences and networks to create a focused support group in raising equity capital and scaling their businesses. Learn more about this winter’s program.

The grant that makes it all happen

In the fall of 2021, HAYVN LAUNCH co-founders Felicia Rubinstein and Christine Sullivan applied for a grant through the 2021 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition and won! 

With the grant, HAYVN was able to fund a new cohort of the LAUNCH program this winter and ramp up the guest speakers, coaching and training as well as continual support and advisory services to HAYVN LAUNCH entrepreneurs for six months following the program. 

Hear from Christine about how the grant is helping to fund new initiatives starting with our current winter 2022 cohort.

Meet the Women of our 2022 HAYVN LAUNCH Program

Our Winter 2022 cohort kicked off in early January with a group of amazing female entrepreneurs. Meet the program members and learn more about the businesses they are looking to grow!  

Elle Littlefield, CareerWell

Why did you apply to be a part of the LAUNCH program? 

“I’ve been coming to HAYVN events since the beginning, and I am just LAUNCHing my business now. I know that LAUNCHing with the support of this program will make my product better and my business stronger.”

What are you hoping to gain from being a part of the program?

“I want to fine-tune my customer acquisition strategy, validate the scope of my content and total addressable market, and get my product LAUNCHed!” 

How has working with other female entrepreneurs helped to (inspire/motivate/progress) you in your business?

“I’ve found fellow female entrepreneurs to be deeply generous with their insight and guidance, and highly collaborative. This community has helped me with building virtually every aspect of my business and inspires me to make HAYVN proud.”

Joan Jia (left), RENTRY

  • RENTRY is created by real estate professionals for the benefit of buyers, sellers and brokers, specializing in multifamily properties from 2-100 units. The platform combines the expertise of real estate professionals with data, analytics and artificial intelligence, such as mobility and artificial intelligence to power and deliver the right property at the right time with the right return. 
  • Follow Rentry on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and connect with them on LinkedIn

Why did you apply to be a part of the LAUNCH program?

“RENTRY needs help on go-to market strategy and execution. I was selected into Element 46 in 2020. I had a great experience with local programs, and I love the opportunity to network with people locally. This program is simply at the right time and at the right place.”

What are you hoping to gain from being a part of the program?

“I’m hoping that I can learn fundraising techniques and channels, maybe an opportunity to network with potential investors. Marketing and sales is another area that I need to improve. More importantly, I would like to expand my network and meet other entrepreneurs to exchange ideas. I may even find another co-founder to join our team.

How has working with other female entrepreneurs helped to (inspire/motivate/progress) you in your business?

“RENTRY is a new female-owned central information destination and online real estate marketplace. We have a similar mindset and love collaborating with each other. We love to have the opportunity to compete in the male dominated data/analytics and commercial real estate spaces. In addition, I’ve been a mentor to WEDC entrepreneurs in the past two years and it’s quite rewarding to share my knowledge and experience to help other women to advance, learn from others, and make friends at the same time.”

Allison (left) and Courtney Toombs (right), Doctionary

  • Doctionary is a healthcare communications brand founded by doctors and tech experts. Doctionary’s suite of patent-pending tools speaks the medical language and works to prevent and identify errors so healthcare professionals can provide safer and more efficient patient care. 
  • Follow Doctionary on Instagram and connect with them on LinkedIn and stay tuned for their LAUNCH this year!

Why did you apply to be a part of the LAUNCH program?

“Doctionary is excited to be part of the LAUNCH program; we applied in order to supercharge our fundraising strategy and connect with other entrepreneurs.”

What are you hoping to gain from being a part of the program?

“We hope to gain exposure for our business and guidance on how to take it to market. Doctionary’s founders have a deep background of supporting other female professionals and we are eager to continue doing so in the LAUNCH program.”

How has working with other female entrepreneurs helped to (inspire/motivate/progress) you in your business?

“So we’re not only co-founders but we’re also sisters which puts a unique spin on female-led entrepreneurship. Also, to build our business we have leveraged our backgrounds in the medical and tech fields as well as the mentorship of women experts in these arenas. Doing so has been immeasurably helpful in continuing to carve out our path in these traditionally male-dominated fields.”

Kelsey Rynkiewicz, Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer 
Eastern Connecticut State University & Graduate Student, PhD in Kinesiology | University of Connecticut

  • Connect with Kelsey on LinkedIn and stay tuned to hear more about where our LAUNCH program takes her! 

Why did you apply to be a part of the LAUNCH program?

“I applied to be a part of the LAUNCH program to gain mentorship on how to take my idea/innovation to the next level. I was interested in the curriculum offered by the course as I feel it is the content I need to be successful. I felt it was important for me to push myself and do something out of my comfort zone and applying for this program was a great way to do exactly that.” 

What are you hoping to gain from being a part of the program?

“From this program, I am hoping to gain the skills and knowledge I need to not only pitch my idea but get my innovation off the ground and ready for market. I am hoping this program will help me develop a greater understanding of the business aspects of entrepreneurship and will allow me to create a plan for moving forward.”

How has working with other female entrepreneurs helped to (inspire/motivate/progress) you in your business?

“I recently completed a Graduate Certificate Program in Healthcare Innovation at the University of Connecticut under the direction of Dr. Tiffany Kelley. As part of the program, I was inspired by the work of Dr. Kelley as well as my classmates (all female entrepreneurs). The support and encouragement of Dr. Kelley and my peers motivated me to pursue an entrepreneurial journey. We need more female entrepreneurs and innovators; I am determined to pursue this path and make a positive impact on the delivery of rehabilitative medicine services.”

Sarah Spear, Empowered Together

  • Empowered Together is a private, online community for parents of children with special needs. Respect and encouragement characterize our interactions. We help parents put priorities in order, crystallize goals, clarify next steps, and feel the benefit of making progress on our parenting journeys. When founder Sarah Spear began this journey of parenting a child with special needs, she was grateful for the services her daughter received but wondered how she could receive the support she needed. Other parents voiced the same desire and so Empowered Together was born in order to connect parents with peers walking down similar paths. We ask our questions, hear from experts, and crowdsource solutions for the most difficult situations we face. We’re a group of encouraging, solution-oriented parents who believe in becoming empowered together. Come, join us. 
  • Follow Sarah and Empowered Together on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and connect with her on LinkedIn.

What are you hoping to gain from being a part of the program?

Being a part of LAUNCH and the community at HAYVN is so exciting to me as a female and solopreneur. I’m brushing up on my financial skills, honing my pitch, and connecting with experts who want me to succeed. Their support is immeasurable.

How has working with other female entrepreneurs helped to (inspire/motivate/progress) you in your business?

I get the opportunity to work alongside female founders at six startups where we’re building, pitching, and growing our businesses side by side. The accountability and encouragement that comes from being in this cohort of women is invaluable. We’re there to cheer each other on when doubts loom large and troubleshoot when we’re facing challenges. Knowing we’re pulling for each other, each in our respective field, makes LAUNCH an important part of my entrepreneurial journey.

Apply for our next HAYVN LAUNCH Program 

So what is next for the HAYVN LAUNCH program? Hear from Christine again about what she is excited for, for the future of the LAUNCH program.

HAYVN Coworking

Founded in 2018, HAYVN is a flexible workspace for enterprising women (and men) to connect, create and grow. Along with a vibrant & engaged coworking community of entrepreneurs and business professionals, HAYVN is a business HUB, offering short- and long-term office space leases, meeting rooms rentals, and events to support local businesses. HAYVN is proud to be a Certified B Corporation™ and a CTNext partner. We believe in using the power of business to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy and have met the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. HAYVN’s workshops and signature programs encourage women of all colors and ages and acts as an incubator for developing skills and pursuing funding. HAYVN Launch incubator is a 2021 winner of the SBA's Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC), and the only 2021 winner in Connecticut. 

Visit our beautiful safe ‘HAYVN’ in Fairfield County, CT  at 320 Boston Post Road, Darien, CT, 06820.  Arrange a private tour today, or to learn more about our health and safety response, read through our detailed guidelines here.

HAYVN events