NAWRB Co-Hosts InnovateHER with SBA: Winner Announced!

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Burgandy Basulto is a Content Writer at NAWRB. She has a bachelor’s degree in both English and Philosophy, and a master’s degree in Philosophy. When she’s not reading or writing, she loves running, kickboxing, watching films, trying new restaurants she finds via Yelp, and experiencing other cultures during her travels.

Congratulations to Jennifer Stewart-Tai, President and Founder of City Girl Prepper, for winning the InnovateHER Challenge co-hosted by NAWRB and the Small Business Administration (SBA)!

This morning, NAWRB co-sponsored the InnovateHER Innovating for Women Challenge 2017 at the Lutron Electronics Training Center in Irvine, CA. This competition is inspired by the need for innovative products and services to assist working women and their families.

How it Works

The InnovateHER Challenge takes the form of local competitions hosted by SBA-approved organizations like universities and accelerators. Following the completion of local competitions, host organizations identify one winner to advance to the semi-final round.

Three Challenge Criteria

● Has measurable impact on the lives of women and families (30%);
● Has the potential for commercialization (40%); and
● Fills a need in the marketplace (30%)

We had four worthy competitors present their products and services to judges affiliated with NAWRB and the SBA in an intimate setting.

Silvana Arzeno Toledo, Founder and CEO of Collab & Play, presented a co-working space that offers on-site childcare in the Los Angeles area, with plans of international expansion, which allows working women to return to their jobs or start their own businesses after having children. This service helps women and men work near their children and encourages women’s personal and professional self-development.

Yuri Blanco introduced Dishposables, waterproof sponges with disposable cover sleeves, an innovative and handy product that extends the lifespan of this ubiquitous household commodity by delaying the growth of micro bacteria and contamination.

Eric Carver, of Medical Electronic Systems, presented YoⓇ Home Sperm Test, a kit designed to test a man’s motile (moving) sperm count with a smartphone, in the comfort of one’s home. This product addresses unresolved fertility issues faced by 15 percent heterosexual couples. Infertility when trying to conceive a child is an issue shared by both the man and woman, and this product provides a noninvasive, fast, and easy to use method for checking the potential of a male factor, which comprises 30 percent of fertility issues.

Finally, our winner, Jennifer Stewart-Tai of City Girl Prepper, gave a presentation of her product line of emergency supplies and preparedness backpacks geared towards women and their families. FEMA reports that 80 percent of women and families are unprepared for an emergency situation, and since women drive 70 to 80 percent of consumer purchasing, City Girl Prepper gives women options for products they can use to help them be prepared in case of an emergency, which are also useful in their everyday lives.

We wish the best of luck to Jennifer as she enters the semi-final round of the competition.
The SBA will review semi-finalist nomination packages and select up to 10 finalists. The finalists will be given the opportunity to make a live marketing pitch to a private sector panel of expert judges and compete for up to $70,000 in cash prizes, donated by the Sara Blakely Foundation.

We want to thank all of our competitors for participating and the SBA for letting us co-sponsor InnovateHER for a second time.

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