InnovateHer

Oklahoma InnovateHer Challenge hosted by REI Women’s Business Center timeline:

April 18, 2017 – Local competition launches
May 9, 2017 – Submissions due to WBC via email
May 18, 2017 – Oklahoma Finalists selected and invited to pitch/interview
May 26, 2017 – Pitch/Interview with judging panel
June 6, 2017 – Oklahoma InnovateHer Challenge Winner announced
June 23, 2017 – WBC submits Oklahoma winner to SBA national competition
July 31, 2017 – SBA Announces Top 10 Finalists
September 2017 – TBD – National InnovateHER Finals in Washington DC

 

What is InnovateHer?
InnovateHER 2017: Innovating for Women Business Challenge. The InnovateHER Challenge is a national prize competition aimed at unearthing products and services that impact and empower the lives of women and families through local business competitions that culminate in a live pitch Final Round. During the InnovateHER Finals, up to 10 Finalists will compete for the Top Three cash prizes totaling $70,000. This year, the national InnovateHER Finals will be held in September 2017 in Washington, D.C.

Challenge Criteria:
Women are in the workforce now more than ever, a number that is close to surpassing that of men, and women have made great strides in education, the workforce, and their role in the economy.  But there is still room for many more women to advance in leadership positions.  We recognize that women entrepreneurs have been critical to growing businesses and creating jobs, whether it’s in in cutting-edge fields like precision medicine or cybersecurity or through advances in agriculture or manufacturing.  As demands and successes of women grow, the need for products and services that address unique challenges increases.  This Challenge provides that platform.  The InnovateHER Challenge provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase products and services that:

  • Have the potential for commercialization (40%)
  • Have a measurable impact on the lives of women and families (30%), and
  • Fill a need in the marketplace (30%).

The Oklahoma Challenge:
REI Women’s Business Center is excited to host the Oklahoma InnovateHer Challenge and provide a forum for women pioneering the way in business to gain recognition, broaden their work, and impact even more lives. The process is pretty simple – A panel of judges comprised of small business experts will review all submissions and select Oklahoma Finalists to participate in a brief pitch/interview. The winner will be selected and notified by June 6, 2017. The Oklahoma Winner’s submission is then submitted and reviewed nationally and the top 10 national finalists from across the nation will be selected and invited to Washington DC (at the finalist’s expense). The National Winners will be selected and presented in Washington DC in September 2017.  Cash prizes totaling $70,000 will be awarded to the three highest-rated contestants in the final round of the Challenge in the following amounts:
• 1st Place – $40,000
• 2nd Place – $20,000
• 3rd Place – $10,000

For winning entries submitted by teams of competitors, prize money will be awarded to the self-identified project leader for distribution to the rest of the team at their discretion and independently from SBA.

Oklahoma InnovateHer Challenge Submissions must include:
1. Cover page that includes:
Name of Applicant (in the case of a team, please provide name of the project lead)
Company Name (if applicable)
Contact Information (address, email, and telephone number required)
Product/Service Name
Company Address & Place of Incorporation (if applicable)
Product/Service Website (if applicable)
2. Business plan (maximum length: 20 pages, including attachments)
3. Description that justifies that the business’ product or service meets the following three Challenge criteria (maximum length: 2 pages)
– Has the potential for commercialization (40%)
– Has a measurable impact on the lives of women and families (30%); and
– Fills a need in the marketplace (30%)
4. Applicant Eligibility Agreement (download, sign, and include in email submission)

Pitch/Interview will include:
1. 5 minute pitch of the project/service by the finalist. A/V will be available so finalists may show a website, give a demonstration, etc.
2. 10 minute portion of Q&A by judges.

Note: Judges will evaluate submissions on the three challenge criteria listed above. Judges will likewise evaluate the ‘pitch’ for clear explanation of the product/service, the stated path to grow the idea, and ability to answer questions from the judges.

Please submit applications to wbc@reiok.org. For more questions, contact 800-658-2823.
For more information about the SBA’s 2017 InnovateHer Challenge, please visit https://www.sba.gov/offices/headquarters/wbo/resources/1465581.