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InnovateHER, And The Art Of The Pitch

What do you get when you put six judges and seven entrepreneurs in a room together? A Small Business Administration pitch contest. It was all happening at the University of North Carolina – Wilmington’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

They say it’s all about the pitch. For someone looking to launch a company, and seeking investment, the pitch is critical.

That’s why the SBA launched a national program called InnovateHER. Because it’s all about … the pitch.

“InnovateHER, what it does, is it works with the Small Business Administration to focus on female entrepreneurs, to help them get investment capital.”

Sarah Ritter is the Student Entrepreneur in Residence, at the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

“The format of this competition is a two minute of pitch, followed by two minutes of Q and A, and the score and feedback they get today goes into writing their business plan.”

It helped Jennifer McCall, CEO of SeaTox Research, a biotech R & D company.

“I’m a scientist by training so pitching isn’t really natural to me. So going through this experience and having to do two-minutes pitches is a good experience and training to get used to doing that.”

The SBA will review the business plans from regional winners, and decide who the national finalists will be in Washington, for the $40,000 prize.

“….  That said congratulations to Phyllis with Very Veggie….” (applause, fade under)

The Wilmington winner is Phyllis Charnoff. Her Very-Veggie pitch, is to launch a vegan-only fast food chain of restaurants. Now she’ll work with CIE staff on her business plan, and she hopes to be chosen for the national finals this summer. Where she’ll pitch again. 

Learn more about the InnovateHER Challenge