2015 Innovating for Business Challenge

Application Deadline:  March 29, 2015

Application Deadline

Sunday March 29, 2015 5:00 PM (Central)

Pitch Competition
Tuesday March 31, 2015
11:30am - 1:30pm
Microsoft Store at the Domain
3309 Esperanza Crossing, Suite 104
Austin, TX 78758
(512) 582-6500
Get directions



Event Contact
Claudia Conner
Executive Director
BiGAUSTIN's Women's Business Center


Cash prizes totaling $30,000 are up for grabs in the SBA's national business competition known as InnovateHER. The intent of this competition is to spur greater conversation, collaboration and cooperation at all levels to support women and families. Targeted applicants are entrepreneurs (both women and men) with a product, service or technology that:

  • has a measurable impact on the lives of women and families
  • has the potential for commercialization
  • fills a need in the marketplace

  • The top 5 applicants in Austin will be asked to pitch their product, service or technology at the Microsoft Store in the Domain on March 31, 2015 from 11:30am -1:00pm. The local winner will be announced immediately following the last pitch and their application package will be submitted to the SBA the next day.

    The SBA will then identify 10 finalists of the approximately 100 local winners across the country. These 10 finalists will be invited to pitch their story in front of a panel of expert judges in Washington D.C. during SBA's National Small Business Week, May 4-8, 2015.  

    The top 3 finalists at the national level will receive priceless exposure of their product, service or technology, along with:

  • $15,000 for first place
  • $10,000 for second place
  • $5,000 for third place

     Please note:  Finalists will be responsible for covering their own travel costs to Washington D.C. for the national competition. 

    InnovateHER Timeline

                        Sunday, March 29, 2015:  Deadline for Austin Applications                                               Monday, March 30, 2015:  Notification to Finalists                                           Tuesday, March 31, 2015:  Finalists Make Pitches at Microsoft Store                                  Wednesday, April 1, 2015:  Local Winner Submitted to SBA                          Monday, April 6, 2015:  10 Local Winners Selected for National Contest             Monday, May 4-8, 2015: 10 National Finalists Compete in Washington D.C.


    Application Process

    • Submit electronic application with attached business plan (preferably less than 10 pages, any format is acceptable) as soon as possible but not later than 5pm Sunday, March 29, 2015.
    • The local host committee will immediately review all applications and invite the top 5 finalists to make a 5-10 minute pitch at the Microsoft Store in the Domain on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 from 11:30am - 1:30pm.
    • Local winner will be announced and their package will be submitted for the national competition on April 1, 2015.
    • Top 10 national finalists will be invited to pitch in Washington D.C.

    Frequently Asked Questions


    Competition Rules

    ChallengeHER Rules

    Apply Here

    Hosted By

    Microsoft Logo

    Co-Sponsored By

                    City of Austin Women's Business Center Logo 



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    The Texas State Small Business Development Center is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The support given by the SBA through such funding does not constitute an expressed or implied endorsement of any of the co–sponsors’ or participants’ opinions, findings, conclusions, recommendations, products, or services. A limited number of free and/or reduced price tickets may be available. All SBDC programs are nondiscriminatory and open to the public. Reasonable arrangements for persons with disabilities will be made, if requested at least two weeks in advance. Email:, Phone: 512.610.0996.