Women-focused pitch program at Hofstra

A regional presenter in this year's InnovateHer competition.

Hofstra’s Center for Entrepreneurship has been selected as the local host of the national InnovateHER Competition, a business plan pitch-off inviting entrepreneurs to showcase products and services with “a measurable impact on women and families,” real commercialization potential and a definable marketplace need.

The virtual competition – there’s no actual event date – will be judged by three members of the Hofstra faculty: Elizabeth Venuti, senior associate dean of the Frank G. Zarb School of Business, and Anne Hamby and Veronika Ilyuk, both assistant professors of marketing and international business.

One winning presentation will be forwarded to the U.S. Small Business Administration, which will select semifinalists from a national collection of local winners. Those semifinalists will be invited to compete in person at the Women’s Summit National Finals, scheduled for March 16 and 17 in Washington, with prizes of $10,000, $20,000 and $40,000 up for grabs.

The Hofstra competition is open to entrepreneurs from Long Island and the New York metropolitan region, according to the university. The product or service being pitched can be in the idea stage or somewhere further along, but the SBA contest is focused exclusively on innovations that can improve the lives of women and their families.

Applications for the regional competition are due by Nov. 30.

Applications should include a cover letter explaining the product/service and the person(s) making the pitch, as well as relevant contact information, along with a business plan – not to exceed 20 pages – that must include a detailed product description, background information on key team members, a market-potential breakdown and a sales/growth strategy, among other information. A PowerPoint or similarly formatted presentation summarizing the business plan, not to exceed 10 slides, is optional, according to the university.

More information on the contest, including official submission guidelines, can be found at www.hofstra.edu/InnovateHer.

The Center for Entrepreneurship, Hofstra University’s latest center of excellence, opened this fall, bringing a multidisciplinary focus to entrepreneurship support and education by leveraging research at Hofstra’s 10 schools with regional business activities. The center is led by Mark Lesko, the former executive director of regional business booster Accelerate Long Island, among other government and economic-development positions.