SBA Names 2017 InnovateHER Business Challenge Finalists!


The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced the finalists of the 2017 InnovateHER Business Challenge; a competition giving entrepreneurs across the country the opportunity to showcase their products and services while competing for up to $70,000 in prize money.

The inspiration behind the challenge is the need for inventive products and services that help working women and their families. The 10 finalists were chosen through a thorough nationwide competition that included local events held by universities, accelerators and SBA Resource Partners.

“It is my great pleasure to announce the finalists of the SBA’s 2017 InnovateHER Business Challenge—entrepreneurs who demonstrate extraordinary innovation and talent,” SBA Administrator Linda McMahon said.  “Small businesses are the engines of our economy and the SBA is proud to advocate on their behalf and ensure they have the tools they need to start, grow and succeed.”

The finalists are invited to deliver a marketing pitch before a team of expert judges at the National Pitch Competition on October 26, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

10 Finalists

  • Afreen Allam with SiNON Therapeutics, Raleigh, N.C. – SiNON Therapeutics is dedicated to improving the lives of women and families who suffer from neurological diseases by refining drug-localization of medicine to the brain.
  • Alexa Jones with TheraB Medical, East Lansing, Mich. – TheraB Medical is a startup working to launch its first product, SnugLit a wearable, portable solution to infant jaundice that promotes maternal-infant bonding and breastfeeding while covering nearly twice the surface area of traditional methods.
  • Crystal Harris with Brauxiliary, LLC, Charlotte, N.C. – The Brauxiliary Hands-Free Pumping Band is a bra attachment that turns any bra into a hands free pumping bra.
  • Marna Pacheco and Susan Hickok with CapeAble Sensory Products, Fort Wayne, Ind. – CapeAble Sensory Products, LLC manufactures and sells weighted blankets, weighted wearables, and sensory enrichment tools.
  • Bianca Cerqueira and Lauren Cornell with Novo Thelium, San Antonio, Texas – NovoThelium enables women to regenerate a nipple made from their own cells after a mastectomy.
  • Zayira Jordan with GuardDV, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico – GuardDV seeks to help enforce court-issued restraining orders in favor of domestic violence survivors. The system integrates RFID and GPS technologies to track the aggressor and warn the potential victim and the corresponding law enforcement organizations about the physical proximity of the aggressor.
  • Jenna Ryan with Uqora, LLC, San Diego, Calif. – Uqora™ gives women the defense they need against bacteria that causes urinary tract infections (UTIs), keeping them out of the doctor’s office and off antibiotics.
  • Jamelah Tucker with EasyPeasie, LLC, Jacksonville, Fla. – Easy Peasie, LLC is committed to providing families simple, natural, convenient, and fun ways to improve every meal with added vegetable nutrition.
  • Jessica Dehn with Dino Drop In, Bozeman, Mont. – Dino Drop-In is childcare built to fit the lifestyle of busy families and ever-changing work schedules.
  • Jamie Clark with The Willie Wags, Bangor, Maine – The Willie Wags is a quirky and fun subscription service that supports female entrepreneurs and women-owned small businesses.

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