Do you have a product or service that benefits women and families? Or even a really good idea for one? You — man or woman — may enter a Kansas City competition that could lead to a national cash prize.
The Central Exchange and the Women’s Empowerment program established by Mayor Sly James of Kansas City are sponsoring the local “pitch” event tied to InnovateHER, a competition established by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Central Exchange president Cici Rojas said she expects the contest to reveal businesses or ideas that are “flying below the radar.” The main criterion is to present a “potential or existing commercial product or service that fills a marketplace need related to challenges facing women and families.”
Kansas City semifinalists will be chosen based on their applications and notified by March 27. They will be invited to present their business plans to a panel of business startup and financing experts between 2 and 4 p.m. March 30, and one winner will be selected to advance to the national competition.
In Washington during National Small Business Week, May 4-8, an SBA executive committee will choose 10 semifinalists, and a panel of private-sector judges will award prize money to three finalists: $15,000 for first place, $10,000 for second and $5,000 for third.
The SBA selections will be based 30 percent on “measurable impact on the lives of women and families,” 40 percent on the potential for commercialization and 30 percent on filling a marketplace need.