The University of Hartford’s Women’s Business Center at the Entrepreneurial Center and the Microsoft Store at Westfarms hosted local InnovateHER challenges aimed at discovering innovative products and services that positively impact the lives of women and families.
Gloria Kolb of Elidah, LLC in Monroe, CT won the Women’s Business Center challenge with a plan to develop and market a device that offers a discreet, comfortable and convenient treatment for stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Elidah’s non-surgical, wearable therapeutic device will improve the quality of life and reduce the need for surgery for many women.
Ashley Stone of Beauty Entourage in Farmington, CT won the challenge at the Microsoft store with an app that will soon be available through her mobile hair and makeup business. Stone, who is a client of the Women’s Business Center, plans to open additional locations in Boston and New York.
“We were excited to bring the InnovateHER challenge to Connecticut and be a local host, and amazed at the quality of the ideas and the vision and dedication of the participants,” said Milena Erwin, Program Manager of the Women’s Business Center. “The challenge is a great opportunity to promote innovative ideas and products and to showcase Connecticut entrepreneurs locally and nationally,” she added.
The Women’s Business Center hosted the InnovateHER challenge as part of a larger national competition run by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in collaboration with Microsoft. The goal of the competition is to identify products and services nationwide that have a measurable impact on the lives of women and families, have the potential for commercialization and fill a need in the marketplace. Kolb and Stone will now advance to the semi-final round, which is hosted by the SBA, where 10 national finalists will be chosen to compete in Washington, DC in March 2016 for $70,000 in prizes.
Finalists in the local WBC InnovateHER competition include:
- BIOARRAY Therapeutics, Inc., New Haven, CT
Developing RNA-based predictive tests for breast cancer
- Harvest Development Group, LLC, Middletown, CT
Created Blossom, an affordable virtual leadership skills incubator for non-profit executives
- MOM-EEZ, LLC, Newtown, CT
Rolling out Garbage-Eez, an innovative household product that saves time and space by storing and dispensing garbage bags from the bottom of the pail
- Untapped Potential, Inc., Canton, CT
Providing a community outlet to empower professional women to re-engage in the workplace after stepping out to raise their families
- W2 Designs, LLC, South Glastonbury, CT
The company’s Willow Workout is a versatile freeform exercise device that offers unlimited low-impact strength and flexibility workouts with targeted results
For more information, visit the Women’s Business Center.