Step One, Slingshot and Event Santa Cruz are excited to host the InnovateHER 2016 competition as part of the SBA’s InnovateHER 2016: Innovating for Women Business Challenge and Summit.  The InnovateHER Challenge is a national prize competition aimed at unearthing products and services that impact and empower the lives of women and families through local business competitions that culminate in a live pitch Final Round.

Women are in the workforce now more than ever, a number that is close to surpassing that of men. Gender equality is not simply about getting a woman a spot at the metaphorical table. Women have made great strides in education, the workforce, and their role in the economy, but there are still not enough women in leadership positions.

The local Santa Cruz winner will be a semi-finalist in the national competition. A national selection committee will choose 10 from throughout the nation to give a live pitch in Washington, D.C. on March 17, 2016. and the top three winners will share the $70,000 cash awards given by Microsoft.

To compete

  1. If your business meets the criteria listed on the right (a minimum 20 page business plan is required), fill out the form by clicking the "Register" button.
  2. You will receive an email with your slotted time to present at Next Space (101 Cooper St) on Tuesday, December 1st, between 2 and 4pm.
  3. Entrepreneurs will have 5 minutes to present their business idea (slide deck free) to our panel of judges, followed by a few minutes of questions.
  4. The winner, based on the judging criteria will be selected and announced via a press release on December 2nd.

Cash prizes totaling $70,000 will be awarded to the three highest-rated contestants in the “final national round” of the Challenge in the following amounts: 
1st Place – $40,000 
2nd Place – $20,000 
3rd Place – $10,000

More information about the InnovateHER Challenge can be found here

Any questions about the local event can be emailed to josh at gotostepone dot com