SBA Launches InnovateHER Business Challenge; Teams up with Rutgers Food Innovation Center in NJ

The US Small Business Administration has launched a nationwide competition for entrepreneurs who are developing products and services that will enhance the lives of women and their families.

InnovateHER: 2015 Innovating for Women Business Challenge kicked off earlier this month with local competitions hosted by universities, accelerators, clusters, scale-up communities, SBA’s resource partners and other local organizations.  The SBA is seeking entrepreneurs who have created a product or service that will have a measurable impact on women and their families, fills a need in the marketplace, and has the potential for commercialization. In New Jersey, the SBA has teamed up with the Rutgers Food Innovation Center in Bridgeton.

“The landscape of the US economy has evolved drastically during the last 50 years, and women have played a significant role in that change,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “We are harnessing the power of America’s entrepreneurs to develop products, services and technologies that support women as they deal with the challenges of work and home.  This innovation challenge will both help strengthen the economy and empower women to succeed.”

“Addressing the needs of women entrepreneurs and the role they play in America’s economy is of the utmost importance to the SBA in this region,” said SBA Regional Administrator Kellie LeDet who oversees the agency’s programs and services in New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

According to LeDet, those entrepreneurs selected by local judges will make it to the semi-final round.  An executive committee comprised of SBA officials will review the semi-final nomination packages and select no more than 10 finalists.  The finalists will compete for a total of $30,000 in prize money provided by Microsoft.

The 10 finalists will travel to the District of Columbia on May 8th where they’ll pitch their products and ideas to a panel of expert judges during SBA’s National Small Business Week.

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