State News

$10,000 winner-takes-all business pitch event

Event aimed to empower and promote women entrepreneurs

On Monday, Oct. 12, the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET) and Hotel Vermont announced the InnovateHER VT Challenge, a new business pitch event in Burlington, Vt. InnovateHER VT is a part of a national pitch competition that celebrates and promotes women entrepreneurs and ventures that impact and empower the lives of women and families.

The competition will be held at Hotel Vermont on Oct. 19, 2015. Vermont EPSCoR and VCET have underwritten a $10,000 cash prize to the event winner as well as a nomination to participate in the national SBA event (which has $70,000 in prizes) in spring 2016. Organizers intend this competition to increase access to capital and feedback for local entrepreneurs, to highlight the importance of women-led companies, and ventures that are specifically designed to improve the lives of women and families.

Last year, 36.8 percent of businesses in the US were started by women (according to research from the Kauffman Foundation).

The judging panel consists of local entrepreneurs and investors which includes Kelly Scannell from Reading Plus, co-founder of Rick Gibbs and others.

The event beings at 5:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Applications to pitch are due by noon on Oct. 15. For more information visit

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