From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 1, the public is invited to watch 10 local businesses vie for $1,000 and a chance at much more at The University of Toledo’s Scott Park Auditorium.
UT is hosting a local round of the InnovateHER Challenge, a national competition created by the U.S. Small Business Administration aimed at unearthing products and services that impact and empower the lives of women and families.
The 10 local businesses competing will pitch their ideas to a panel of judges, much like the TV show “Shark Tank.” Judges will evaluate each pitch based on whether the product or service has a measurable impact on the lives of women and families, whether it has the potential for commercialization, whether it fills a need in the marketplace, the overall quality of the pitch, and the overall quality of the company’s business plan.
The judges for the regional event are Scott Weiss, CEO of Ocean Accelerator; Dr. Gary Insch, dean of the UT College of Business and Innovation; Amy Hall, president and CEO of Ebony Construction; Linda Parra, president at Nuestra Gente Community Projects Inc.; and Chris Hill, vice president of business banking at Huntington Bank. The local round is sponsored by Fifth Third Bank.
The winner of this round, announced the same day as the competition, will be eligible to compete with up to nine other businesses in the national competition for a chance at one of three prizes totaling $70,000 provided by Microsoft.