Jump to Main Content
USA flagAn Official Website of the United States Government

Office of Women's Business Ownership

InnovateHER: 2015 Innovating for Women Business Challenge

InnovateHER is a cross-cutting women's business challenge to unearth innovative products and services that help impact and empower the lives of women and families.

Did you know...?  57% of working age women participate in the labor force.  74% of employed women work full-time.  70% of working women have children under 18 years old. -2013 US Dept of Labor StatisticsWe know that our workforce looks very different from 50 years ago. Women now make up nearly half of the labor force and play a critical role in our nation’s economic prosperity. Most children live in households where all parents work. And as our population ages, families are increasingly caring for aging parents while balancing the needs of work and home. As demands on women and families grow, the need for products and services that address unique challenges increases. This Challenge will provide that platform.

Congratulations to the 2015 InnovateHER Winners!

Administrator Contreras-Sweet and the SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership are pleased to announce the Top Three Winners of the 2015 InnovateHER: Innovating for Women Business Challenge. An executive committee of SBA officials reviewed nearly 75 semi-finalists’ nomination packages and selected 15 finalists whose products and services best met the competition criteria and presented the greatest potential for success.  Those 15 finalists were invited to travel to Washington, D.C. for a live pitch competition on May 8, 2015 before a panel of expert judges, where they competed for the Top Three spots and prize money totaling $30,000 provided by Microsoft. 

1st place Bethany Edwards, Pregnancy Test, Philadelphia, Pa.

LIA Diagnostics has designed a pregnancy test to provide a better experience for women at a stressful moment in their lives.  The LIA test is discreet, easy to use and is environmentally friendly.  Unlike current tests, LIA is flushable, ergonomically designed for women to hold and use, and displays a result that is easy to understand.

2nd place – Lisa Crites, The Shower Shirt, Cocoa Beach, Fla.

The SHOWER SHIRT™ is a post-surgical, patented, water-resistant garment designed to prevent post-surgical mastectomy drain sites from coming into contact with water while showering.  With the creation of The SHOWER SHIRT, women now have the option to shower safely, while also reducing their risk of post-surgical infections.

3rd place Sophia Berman, Trusst Lingerie, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Trusst Lingerie has developed effective and attractive products aimed at eliminating the pain and discomforts experienced by the underserved U.S. market of larger busted woman with cup size DDD+.  Current bra technology supports larger breasts from the shoulder straps.  Trusst’s cantilevered system places the majority of the support from underneath the bust, encompassing up to 80 percent of breast weight.

Challenge Criteria

  Website listing approved childcare providers in your zip code.  Fresh, healthy ingredients mailed to your door.InnovateHER provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase products or 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%).

Participants must be at least 18 years of age, U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and meet other requirements as defined in the Competition Rules

2015 InnovateHER Local Competitions

View a map of InnovateHER host organizations 
Download the list of locations and contacts as a spreadhseet 

More Questions?


Cosponsorship authorization No. 15-6050-91.  SBA’s participation in this cosponsored activity is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products, or services of any cosponsor or other person or entity. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable arrangements for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance.  Contact: Jessica Wager, SBA, womenBusiness@sba.gov