CBBIC Announces First-Round Winners of the Local InnovateHER Challenge

Published: May 30, 2017

CBBIC Announces First-Round Winners of the Local InnovateHER Challenge

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center (CBBIC) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi has announced the contestants who will proceed on to the pitching round of the 2017 InnovateHER Challenge competition. Contestants will pitch their innovative ideas to a panel of judges selected by the CBBIC on Friday, June 2 from 5 – 7 p.m. at the CBBIC. This local competition was the first phase of the national challenge hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

“We are excited to host our first InnovateHER competition in conjunction with the SBA.  This continues our great collaboration with our SBA partners and helps to showcase the talented individuals that have incredible ideas that focus on empowering women and families,” said Russell Franques, Associate Director of Client Relations at the Business Innovation Center.

During the second phase, contestants will go on to pitch their innovative products or services to a panel of judges established by CBBIC. The winner of the pitch contest will not only receive a one-year affiliate membership to the CBBIC but will also move on to the semi-final round where they will be judged by the SBA for the chance to advance to the national competition.

The first-round winners are:

  • TalentLab: An on-demand project management company providing micro-work projects for self-employed women on a flexible schedule.
  • Tax Time Services: A virtual platform for self-employed women to develop a business where they can flourish beyond their geographical boundaries through innovative technology, a community of like-minded peers, and training to become independent tax professional.
  • GROW Local South Texas: Offers fresh, local grown produce and all natural gardening and home food preparation techniques for families in the Coastal Bend.

The aim of the competition is to amplify products or services that will have a measurable impact on the lives of women and families, have the potential for commercialization, and fill a need in the marketplace. Contestants entered into the first round of the competition by submitting an application to the CBBIC with a complete business plan for their product or service.

The InnovateHER Challenge was created by the SBA in 2015 as a way to increase the number of women entrepreneurs in the U.S. According to the SBA, the number of women venture capital partners dropped to six percent in 2014, which is down from ten percent in 1999. They believe this to be directly related to women’s access to capital, as well as access to funding.

“An important part of having a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region is to have women entrepreneurs participating and our sponsorship of InnovateHER helps to drive this outcome. said Russell Franques, Associate Director of Client Relations at the Business Innovation Center.

This challenge is part of a collaboration between Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and the SBA. For more information visit http://cbbic.tamucc.edu/innovateHER2017/.