InnovateHER 2016 Business Plan Competition


New Ventures Maine logo with InnovateHer 2016 Business Plan Competition written underneath it.


New Ventures Maine (NVME) is looking for Entrepreneurs and Innovators who have an existing business or an idea for a product or service that will improve and empower the lives of women and girls. Submit your business plan and tell us how your idea will benefit women and girls. NVME will submit the best business plan for a chance to win $70,000 in prizes at a national competition in Washington in March, 2016.


A distinguished panel will judge plans based on the following criteria:

  • Has a measurable impact on the lives of women and families (30%)
  • Has the potential for commercialization (40%)
  • Fills a need in the marketplace (30%)


To apply:  Submit a one page letter outlining how the business meets the criteria and addresses the competition’s goal of improving the lives of women and girls along with  a business plan of no more than 20 pages to: InnovateHER,  New Ventures Maine, 46 University Drive, Augusta, ME 04330-9410, ATTN: Eloise Vitelli. Electronic submissions are welcome: evitelli@maine.edu.


Deadline for submitting an application is end of business day November 9, 2015.


The winner of the local competition will be announced at a Press Conference on November 17, time and place TBA.



“Today’s workforce looks very different from that of 50 years ago.  Women are almost half (49%) of  Maine’s workforce and 61% of women are working; most children live in homes where one or both parents work; and as the oldest state in the nation, caregivers and seniors alike are facing new challenges in meeting the demands of work and family life.  The InnovateHER challenge is an opportunity for Maine’s entrepreneurs – men and women, to contribute to addressing these unique challenges in positive, creative ways. We are pleased to be hosting this event in partnership with the SBA.”


Contest rules: Participants must be at least 18 years of age, U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and meet the other requirements as spelled out in Competition Rules. For more information about the competition or for assistance in developing a business plan, visit the Small Business Administration website.