MEDB Seeks Entrepreneurs for SBA’s 2016 InnovateHER Challenge

Oct 19, 2015

InnovateHER 2016:
Innovating for Women Business Challenge

MEDB is currently seeking participants for the 2016 InnovateHER:  Innovating for Women Business Challenge for three successive Thursday evenings in November 2015. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) launched the Challenge with the goal of finding products and services across the U.S. that help impact and empower the lives of women and families. A total of $70,000* will be awarded.
WHERE:  MEDB Malcolm Center 1305 N. Holopono Street in Kihei
2015 SCHEDULE:  The Maui workshop and competitions are this November, 2015

  • November 5 @ 5:30 pm – Bootcamp Workshop (optional) 
  • November 12 @ 5:30 pm– Opening round: one-minute pitch competition  (required)
  • November 19 @ 5:30 pm– Final pitch to judges  (required)

The Bootcamp Workshop will be held on Thursday, November 5th at 5:30 pm to assist those who are interested in participating. The following Thursday, November 12th at 5:30 pm, is the opening round and will consist of a one-minute pitch competition. Then, on November 19th, finalists will have 5 minutes to present their final pitch to a panel of judges who will select one winner who will receive a $500 cash prize.  MEDB will submit the name of the winner along with a Nomination Package containing a business plan and other requirement information to the SBA by December 2nd.
In the semi-final round, the SBA will review the nomination packages submitted by MEDB and other host organizations and then select up to 10 finalists whose products or services, in the SBA’s sole judgment, best satisfy the Challenge criteria and present the greatest potential for success. The finalists will be announced in January 2016 and those selected will have an opportunity to go to the Washington D.C. metro area on March 16 and 17, 2016 as part of a larger Women’s Summit. There, they will make a marketing pitch to a panel of expert judges drawn from the private sector where three winners will be chosen and awarded up to $70,000 in cash prizes. 1st Place will receive $40,000, 2nd Place $20,000 and 3rd Place $10,000.
The SBA is looking for entrepreneurs to create a product or service that meets the following three criteria: have a measurable improvement in the lives of women and families (30%), have the potential for commercialization (40%), and fill a need in the marketplace (30%).
The InnovateHER challenge is open to men and women, as well as corporations, nonprofits, academic classes and other teams. Participants must be at least 18 years of age, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and meet other eligibility requirements are defined in the Challenge rules.
According to the SBA, women now make up nearly half of the labor force and play a critical role in our nation’s economic prosperity. As the demands on women and families grow, the need to address their current challenges increases. The InnovateHER Challenge was established to provide this platform.
“MEDB is proud to be local host for the 2016 InnovateHER Challenge,” said Gerry Smith, MEDB Director of Business Development. “Not only does this competition encourage entrepreneurship, ingenuity, and creativity; but it also has an even broader impact by improving the lives of women and families which ultimately contributes to the economic strength of our nation.”
REGISTER NOW – click here to register for the events!
For information contact: Gerry Smith (808) 270-6803 or email