Around The Space-19.jpg

1871 And SBA To Host Innovative Competition To Empower Women Through Use Of Technology

InnovateHER 2016: Innovating for Women Business Challenge and Summit Seeks Innovative Products and Services That Impact and Empower Women’s Lives; Applications Available Through October 26, 2015

CHICAGO (October 19, 2015) – 1871 today joined the U.S. Small Business Administration to announce that 1871 will host a regional competition for InnovateHER 2016: Innovating for Women Business Challenge and Summit. The event is part of a nationwide prize competition that seeks to promote innovative products and services that create measurable positive impact on the lives of women and their families. This is the latest effort by 1871 to foster opportunities for women entrepreneurs and to promote businesses that improve women’s lives.

“At 1871, we support companies that are not only focused on succeeding financially, but that are also focused on making a difference,” said 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. “The InnovateHer 2016 Challenge supports innovation that serves real needs for women and their families, and we are thrilled to host the competition as a part of our ongoing efforts to foster a more inclusive technology environment. 1871 is deeply committed to fostering opportunities for women in technology, as entrepreneurs and consumers alike.”

The InnovateHER Challenge is a national prize competition aimed at unearthing products and services that impact and empower the lives of women and families through local business competitions that culminate in a live pitch Final Round. Eligible products and services must have a measureable impact on the lives of women and families, have the potential for commercialization, and fill a need in the marketplace. Following the application process, 1871 will host a pitch day on November 23.

Applications to present at the 1871 Pitch Day will be open through October 26, 2015. To learn more and apply, visit

The winning submission from the 1871 Pitch Day will go on to present in the competition’s final round, which will be held in the Washington, D.C. metro area during Women’s History Month on March 17, 2016.  National finalists will have the opportunity to present a live pitch to a panel of expert judges. Cash prizes totaling $70,000 provided by Microsoft will be awarded to the three highest-rated contestants in the final round of the competition. Learn more about the InnovateHER finals and prizes here.

1871 facilitates a number of resources for women entrepreneurs, including WiSTEM, a first of its kind program focused on providing opportunities around capital, community, and technology for women entrepreneurs. WiSTEM is part of Google for Entrepreneurs’ #40Forward initiative, and is also supported by the Lefkofsky Family Foundation, Motorola Mobility Foundation, and AT&T.

“Products that have a direct impact on women and their families create wide-ranging positive outcomes across communities,” said WiSTEM member and mRelief founder Rose Afriyie. “This is a great opportunity to showcase technologies that are making meaningful change in Chicago and around the world.”

1871 has extensive ties with the U.S. Small Business Administration. 1871 officials have worked directly with the Chicago District Office of SBA as well as the Region V office. 1871 CEO Howard Tullman speaks regularly for the SBA at events and conferences. Impact Engine and the Good Food Business Accelerator, two accelerators located within 1871, have both received grants from SBA in support of their efforts to support entrepreneurship. Additionally, 1871 COO Tom Alexander served the SBA as a Senior Disaster Analyst in the Administration’s Washington DC headquarters in 2007 and 2008.

Topics: News, Events

Read the 1871 Blog for news about the Chicago technology and entrepreneurship community, as well as helpful tips, guides, and insights into the startup and investment world.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts

1871 On Instagram