The InnovateHER Challenge celebrated its inaugural year in 2015. The InnovateHER Challenge 2016 included a local pitch competition component. From August 2015 through December 2015, universities, accelerators, SBA Resource Partners, Microsoft stores and other organizations hosted local competitions. Each host submitted one local winner to the SBA, who then identified 10 Finalists. These finalists were invited to travel to the Washington D.C. metro area on March 17, 2016 for a live pitch competition and compete for up to $70,000 in prize money.
InnovateHER provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs throughout the U.S. to showcase products and services that have a measurable impact on the lives of women and families (30%), have the potential for commercialization (40%), and fill a need in the marketplace (30%).
Over the course of the 2016 InnovateHER Challenge, over 248 organizations registered to host local competitions. Businesses in 49 of 50 states, plus Puerto Rico and American Samoa were represented. There were 194 local competitions held in which winning business plans were submitted to SBA for evaluation. Over the course of four months, over 3,000 entrepreneurs were engaged in local competitions.
Interested host organizations can find more information at Challenge.gov.