Office of Women's Business Ownership | Resources


SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership is excited to announce ten 2017 InnovateHER Challenge finalists. Additional details on the 2017 InnovateHER Challenge can be found on the online competition platform

2017 InnovateHER Challenge

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, have the potential for commercialization, and fill a need in the marketplace.

Over the course of the 2017 InnovateHER Challenge, there were 120 local competitions held in which winning business plans were submitted to SBA for evaluation.. The InnovateHER Challenge included a local pitch competition component where universities, accelerators, SBA Resource Partners, and other organizations hosted local competitions. Each host submitted one local winner to the SBA. The SBA evaluated these finalists and chose 10 businesses to attend the live pitch competition in Washington, DC on October 26th, 2017 to compete for cash prizes ( 1st place - $40,000 ; 2nd place - $20,000 ; 3rd place $10,000 ).

2017 InnovateHER Finalists 

To view the list of finalists, visit this page:

Previous Winners

The six 2016 and 2015 InnovateHER Challenge winners displayed amazing talent and potential for commercialization:

    2016 InnovateHER Challenge Winners

    • First place ($40,000) was awarded to Elizabeth Caven, creator of UpCraft ClubUpCraft Club is a website for digital sewing patterns. Caven is based in Des Moines, Iowa.
    • Second place ($20,000) was awarded to Dawn Dickson, who has created Flat Out of Heels - durable roll-out ballet flat-type shoes that provide an option for heel-wearing ladies on the go. Dickson is based in Miami Beach, FL.
    • Third place ($10,000) went to Dr. Agnes Scoville for her product Pacidose, a device which makes it easier to give medicine to infants and young children. Dr. Scoville is located in St. Louis, MO.

    2015 InnovateHER Challenge Winners

    • First place ($15,000) was awarded to Bethany Edwards of LIA Diagnostics, who designed an eco-friendly, discreet pregnancy test that is easy to use and understand. Edwards and her team are based in Philadelphia, PA.
    • Second place ($10,000) was awarded to Lisa Crites, creator of The Shower Shirt. The Shower Shirt is a post-surgical, water-resistant garment designed to prevent post-surgical mastectomy and other chest surgery drain sites from coming into contact with water while showering. Crites is based in Cocoa Beach, FL.
    • Third place ($5,000) was awarded to Sophia Berman of Trusst Lingerie, who developed effective and attractive products aimed at eliminating the pain and discomforts experienced by the underserved U.S. market of larger busted women. Berman is based in Pittsburgh, PA.

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