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Regional winner from West Virginia one of 10 entrepreneurs in National Small Business Week event  

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Trusst Lingerie, winner of the regional held at Fairmont State University, was selected as one of only 15 finalists to compete for the top three awards and a total of $30,000 in prize money during a live pitch competition in Washington, D.C., on May 8 as part of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s National Small Business Week.

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FSU’s School of Business served as the regional host for the SBA’s Office of Women Business Ownership InnovateHER Business Challenge selecting Trusst Lingerie as the finalist. Trusst Lingerie is a start-up company owned and run by women who have utilized their education and training in engineering, industrial design and robotics to reinvent a familiar product to ensure that it will, finally, satisfy the unmet need of a substantial and under-served segment of the women in the U.S. market.  Trusst Lingerie engineers and designs solutions for the 50,000,000 larger-busted women, cup size DDD+, who are ignored in the U.S. market.  Trusst Lingerie is applying advanced engineering and state-of-the-art manufacturing, coupled with gorgeous design, to provide a solution to the back, neck and shoulder pain these millions of women deal with daily.

Friday, the SBA announced the finalists in the InnovateHER Business Challenge, a nationwide competition for entrepreneurs to develop products and services to enhance the lives of women and their families.

“The incredibly innovative entries we received from all across the country are a testament to the genius of America’s entrepreneurs,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “We received so many thoughtful business ideas it was difficult to narrow them down to just fifteen finalists. There’s no shortage of entrepreneurs with insightful, practical solutions, and all of us at the SBA are focused on ensuring that they get the capital and services they need to start and grow the next generation of great American companies.”

An executive committee of SBA officials reviewed the nearly 75 semi-finalist nominations and selected 15 finalists whose products and services best met the competition criteria and presented the greatest potential for success.  The SBA congratulates the following finalists, who will compete for the top three awards and a total of $30,000 in prize money provided by Microsoft:

• Heather Badal, LoEapps Drive Control, Albuquerque, NM
• Sophia Berman, Trusst Lingerie, Pittsburgh, Pa.
• Lisa Crites, The Shower Shirt Company, Cocoa Beach, Fla.
• Wendy Davis, GestVision, Inc., Guilford, Conn.
• Helen Denise, Hilin Life Products, Inc., Newark, N.J.
• Joseph Dorsey, Backseat Baby Alarm2, Fort Mitchell, Ky.
• Bethany Edwards, Lia Diagnostics, Philadelphia, Pa.
• Rozalynn Goodwin, GaBBY, Columbia, SC
• Jonathan Marshall, Baby Booster, Fayetteville, AR
• Cherie Mathews, Heal In Comfort, Austin, Texas
• Adriana Moscatelli, Play Works Studio, Normandy Park, Wash.
• Whitney Reeves & Seabren Reeves, Bitzy Baby, Brunswick, Maine
• CJ Scarlet, Tiger Eye Sensor, Inc., Clayton, NC
• Leiah Scheibel & Alexandra Bradberry, The Sparkle Bar, Glendale, AZ
• Candace Sparks, S.P.A.R.K. LLC, Ocean Springs, Miss.

These finalists will travel to the District of Columbia on May 8 where they will pitch their products and services to a panel of expert judges during SBA’s National Small Business Week.  Finalists will also be invited to a Women in Small Business breakfast hosted by the Washington Post.

InnovateHER: 2015 Innovating for Women Business Challenge kicked off in early March with local competitions throughout the country hosted by universities, accelerators, clusters, scale-up communities, SBA’s resource partners and other local organizations.  The SBA sought entrepreneurs who created a product or service that will have a measurable impact on women and their families, fills a need in the marketplace, and has the potential for commercialization.

For details on the competition and to sign up to attend the Live Pitch Finale event, visit www.sba.gov/innovateHER. A live stream of the event will also be available at that the link on the day of the event.


Release Date:  April 17, 2015
Contact: Cecelia Taylor (202) 401-3059
Release Number: 15-26
Internet Address: www.sba.gov/news
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SBA Names InnovateHER Business Challenge Finalists

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