About the Challenge
InnovateHER: SBA is searching for innovative products and services that help impact and empower the lives of women and families.
Due Date: Jun 23, 2017 @ 11:59pm
First Place $40,000
Second Place $20,000
Third Place $10,000
UPDATE – 3/23/2017 – Please note the following adjustments to key dates (these changes are also reflected in the relevant sections of the notice):
Wednesday 04/19/17 Last day for prospective host organizations to notify SBA of intent to host
Friday 04/28/17 Deadline for SBA to confirm host organizations
Saturday 06/03/17 Last day to host a competition
Friday 06/23/17 Last Day to Submit Semi-finalist Nomination Packages to SBA
InnovateHER is a cross-cutting prize competition to unearth innovative products and services that help impact and empower the lives of women and families. Through the competition, the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) is seeking to amplify products or services that fill a need in the marketplace and have the potential for commercialization.
As the competition unfolds, local competitions will be hosted by universities, accelerators, clusters, scale-up communities, SBA resource partners, and other economic development organizations. Entrepreneurs selected as winners in local competitions will advance to the semi-final round. From the pool of semifinalists, SBA will select up to 10 finalists who will be invited to the National InnovateHER: Innovating for Women Business Challenge to be held in mid-2017. The finalists will pitch their products and ideas to a panel of expert judges and compete for the top three awards and a total of $70,000 in prizes.
Process for Host Organizations to Submit Their Local Winners:
No later than June 23, 2017, host organizations must select and submit one winner from the local competition along with a nomination package to SBA through this website. The nomination package must contain all of the following:
- A single cover page detailing:
- The name of the winning individual (in the case of a winning team, please provide the name of the team’s self-identified project lead); company name (if applicable); product/service name; company address, city, state, and place of incorporation (if applicable); product/service website (if applicable); telephone number of winning individual; and his/her e-mail address;
- The host organization’s official legal name, street address, city, state, designated POC, and his/her best contact number and e-mail address (Note: This information must match the information provided by the organization as part of its request to SBA to host a local competition);
- A concise, two-sentence description of the product or service (Note: this description may also be used in promotional or informational materials in connection with InnovateHER).
- The total number of applicants that participated in the host organization’s InnovateHER competition.
- A business plan from the winning individual/team (maximum length: 20 pages, including attachments.
- A signed statement of support prepared by the host organization that explains why the winner of the local competition best satisfied the Challenge criteria and presented the greatest potential for success (maximum length: 2 pages).
Each host organization is responsible for preparing the complete nomination package, including obtaining a copy of the relevant business plan from the winner and ensuring that the full package is submitted timely to the SBA via the “Submit Solution” tab on the left.
Process for Becoming a Host Organization:
If you’d like to serve as an InnovateHER Host Organization, you must send a written request to the SBA via [email protected] by no later than April 19th, 2017 with the following information needed for the vetting process:
- The organization’s official legal name, street address, city, state;
- Website of the organization (if applicable);
- The name of the organization’s designated Point of Contact (POC) for the local competition; his/her email address, and phone number.
Once SBA approves your request, you can host a local competition anytime through June 3, 2017.
- Potential for commercialization
- Impact on the lives of women and families
- Fills a need in the marketplace
How to Enter
Registration Process for Participants: The Challenge launches on December 29, 2016. The initial round of the Challenge will take the form of local competitions that will be run across the country beginning no earlier than December 29, 2016 and ending no later than June 3, 2017 by host organizations such as universities, accelerators, clusters, scale-up communities, and SBA Resource Partners. For more information regarding these local competitions as it becomes available, please visit sba.gov/InnovateHER. SBA will continue to update the list of local competitions as details are confirmed. While these local competitions will be identified as part of the InnovateHER Challenge and will be conducted in a manner that is consistent with these Challenge Rules, they will be administered solely by the local host organizations and will be judged by individuals selected by each host in their sole discretion. At a minimum, however, each application must contain a business plan covering the contestant’s proposed product or service and must satisfy the Challenge criteria outlined in the Challenge description.
Each host organization is responsible for preparing the complete nomination package, including obtaining a copy of the relevant business plan from the winner and ensuring that the full package is submitted timely to the SBA via the “Submit Solution” tab on the left. (If you’d like to serve as an InnovateHER Host Organization, you must send a written request to the SBA via [email protected] by no later than April 19, 2017 including the information outlined in the Challenge description.)
Following the completion of the local competitions, each host organization will identify one winner that will advance to the semi-final round of the Challenge. For a winning entry that has been submitted by a team of competitors, the host organization must list the team’s self-identified project leader as the winner who will advance to the semi-final round. No later than June 23, 2017, each host organization will submit a nomination package to www.Challenge.gov containing the winning individual/team’s business plan and other required information to SBA, which will administer the semi-final and final rounds of the Challenge. Selection as a semi-finalist following a local competition is the only means of registering for the Challenge. All nominations will be screened by SBA for eligibility. Contestants cannot submit entries directly to SBA.