Archive for the ‘ Grant Recipients’ Category

aLoo is our March Qualification Grant Recipient!

Monday, April 17th, 2017

Last week announced our March finalists and now we’re happy to finally introduce you to our March Qualification Grant winner, Aarti Mehta , Founder of aLoo.

Read our interview with Aarti below to learn more about her and how she came up with the idea for aLoo

aloo
Aarti Mehta MD
aLoo
Website

WN: For those who don’t know what aLoo is, would you mind telling us a bit about your business?
AM: aLoo is a patent pending device that prevents backwash from re-entering the infant bottle during feeding. The product is a one-way valve and reservoir that can be placed in the cap of the baby bottle when preparing for feeding. As I started bottle feeding, I realized that my daughter’s saliva would flow back into the bottle and felt guilty saving the remaining liquid to reuse knowing that the milk may contain bacteria from her backwash. This was quite a dilemma for me because it was challenging to produce ample breast milk AND I was scheduled to return to work soon. I was determined to use every drop of this liquid gold and it was this realization made me want to find a solution.

WN: Can the nipple & Cap be used with any bottle?
AM: I quickly learned that there are so many innovative bottles on the market and parents/babies have their favorite brand. Knowing that there are challenges transition from breast to bottle, we did not want to exclude anyone merely because of bottle brand loyalty. Our initial goal is to make the device compatible across multiple bottle brands. Currently, our device is compatible with Philips Avent and we are planning to create more sizes that will work well with other brands (Dr. Brown’s, Medela, Tommee Tippee and Playtex) soon.

WN: I see your aLoo is in the testing phase. Do you an expected time-frame of when you hope to release your product to the public?
AM: Yes, we have a working prototype! We produced a prototype that fits Philips Avent and have had a microbiological lab test the device to see if it works. I am happy to say that they confirmed our device prevents over 99% of the bacteria from flowing back into the bottle! We have been sharing the device with consumers for initial feedback and are launching a Kickstarter campaign soon to raise funds to manufacture aLoo on a larger scale. If our campaign is successful, we should be able to start selling aLoo this summer!

WN: Do you plan to sell your product exclusively online or do you hope to sell to other retail stores?
AM: The ultimate goal will be to offer our product in retail stores (BuyBuy Baby, Babies R Us, Target) and be included in expecting parents’ baby registries. However, initially we will focus on solely offering aLoo online through our website: http://www.myaloo.com/ and possibly through Amazon.

WN: Do you have any advice for other aspiring mompreneurs?
AM: This is the advice my business partner gave me (this is exactly why he is my business partner!) “Make sure that the product or service you are offering is something you believe in.” It takes a lot of determination and hard work to develop an idea into reality. Do not be afraid to share your idea with others and ask for help. I was amazed by how many people were willing to provide their guidance and help me navigate through the challenges of starting a business. For me, it was helpful to network and talk to other entrepreneurs to share struggles and learn from each other. I was overwhelmed at how helpful the community has been and realized there are many resources that make launching a business more efficient than it was many years ago!

If you’d like to vote for Aarti to win the $1,000 Amber Grant, you can vote for her here.

And thanks for reading! Remember that we award a grant every month – if interested, please apply today.

Gabby Bows is our February Qualification Grant Recipient!

Friday, March 17th, 2017

Last week announced our February finalists and now we’re happy to finally introduce you to our February Qualification Grant winner, Gabby & Rozalynn Goodwin, Founders of Gabby Bows.

Read our interview with them below to learn more about how Gabby Bows and Gabby’s Double-Face Double-Snap Barrette.


Gabby & Rozalynn Goodwin
Gabby Bows
Website

WN: For those who don’t know what GaBBY Bows is, could you tell us a little bit about it and how it got started?
MS: Gabrielle “GaBBY” and I solved the age-old problem of disappearing girls’ hair barrettes by inventing The Double-Face Double-Snap Barrette by GaBBY. GaBBY Bows won’t slip out of the hair, so they secure girls’ hairstyles… And moms’ peace of mind.

NO MORE LOST BOWS!

GaBBY Bows are engineered to prevent hair slippage and work for all hair types.

It all began with a Twitter rant about how GaBBY could not keep barrettes in her hair and a reply from our pastor suggesting we solve the problem–a suggestion I initially dismissed. GaBBY was just five when she started daily insisting we make a barrette that works. That broken record in pigtails, and her dream to see them in stores pushed me into entrepreneurship when I didn’t think I had the skills or the time. We started the business when she was seven years old.

WN: How much has GaBBY Bows grown since starting the business?
MS: GaBBY began selling her invention at gabbybows.com. We have NEVER lost a GaBBY Bow and have saved families in all 50 states and eight countries time, money and frustration-reducing barrette bills by 75%. GaBBY has doubled her sales each year and sold more than 17,000 packs of GaBBY Bows in just three years of business.Her story has been featured on The Real, The Tom Joyner Morning Show and The Today Show, and in Kiplinger Magazine, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Free Enterprise Magazine, JET, Essence and Madamnoire.

Gabrielle was named a 2015 South Carolina Young Entrepreneur of the Year, the youngest to ever receive this award. GaBBY Bows was also named the 2016 Outstanding Diverse Business of the Year by the SCORE Foundation, one of 15 national finalists for the 2015 U.S. Small Business Administration InnovateHER Competition, and a 2016 SCORE and Sam’s Club American Small Business Champion.

WN: Do you plan to keep selling exclusively online? Or do you have future plans to sell to retailer stores?
MS: GaBBY dreams of having her barrettes in stores around the world and in January she received purchase orders from 50 Once Upon a Child stores across the US. This grant is so timely!

WN: What’s the next step for GaBBY Bows?
MS: GaBBY recently raised $28,000 on Kickstarter to fund her new designs and colors which will come to market in June of this year. We also hope to bring on more Once Upon a Child stores this year. GaBBY’s story will also be shared through a children’s book this summer. She was chosen as one of four kidpreneurs across the country Entrepreneur Kid will feature in the book series.

WN: Does Gabby have any advice for other young entrepreneurs?
MS: “Persevere and NEVER give up! Obstacles will be in your way, but you have to never give up to go through them.” – Gabby

If you’d like to vote for Gabby & Rozalynn to win the $1,000 Amber Grant, you can vote for them here.

And thanks for reading! Remember that we award a grant every month – if interested, please apply today.

Levity Products is our January Qualification Grant Recipient!

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

A little bit ago we announced our January finalists and now we’re happy to finally introduce you to our January Qualification Grant winner, Sarah Olson, Founder of Levity Products.

Read our interview with Sarah to learn more about how Levity Products is making the lives of teachers, students, and agencies much easier.


Sarah Olson
Levity Products
Website

WN: Do you mind sharing the story behind Levity Products and your LECS(Levi External Catheter Stabilizer) Solution?
MS: My son Levi who is 4 years old now was born with Spina Bifida. It was unexpected and not something we were at all prepared for. We didn’t know what it would mean for the rest of his life. Over the last 4 years, Levi has had 15 surgeries. 9 of which were just in the year 2016! It was a very trying, difficult year. I watched my little boy suffer from so much pain while he lost so much weight. It seemed like the life was being sucked out of him. As a mother, I felt so helpless and broken. One of the biggest reasons he suffered so much was because the type of device he needed didn’t exist. The device that DID exist caused him an excruciating amount of pain in the form of bladder spasms. For those that don’t know what bladder spasms are or feel like, the kind Levi was getting were equated to the type and intensity of pain that a woman in labor experiences. It was horrifying to watch him go through this, all because of a device that had to be used as he healed from surgeries. After 6 surgeries, I couldn’t take it anymore. Levi was a walking zombie. He was in so much pain. It felt inhumane. I remember sitting in the doctors office talking to Levi’s urologist and I begged him for another solution because a 7th surgery had to happen. I couldn’t bare putting him through the that intense pain again. His urologist looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “Sarah, there is nothing else.” And in a joking way as he left the room he said, “Sarah, if we need something different, you have to invent it.” So momma did. I had to. I had to think of something to save my child. Any momma would have done it. I’m convinced there is no more powerful force on the planet than a momma protecting her babies. I did what it took and I invented a device. I spent hours getting dimensions of my idea on paper and learned all about CAD designs on YouTube. I had a prototype of my device 3D printed and I took it to Levi’s urologist to see what he thought. When he saw it, he looked at me in disbelief because it worked. He told me to get a patent immediately so we could use the device for Levi for his next surgery which happened to be 35 days away from what I showed him. I found a patent developer and we worked day and night to finish a patent. We filed for the patent 2 days prior to the surgery and were able to use the device. What took Levi 2 1/2 weeks to heal from in January, took Levi one observation night in the hospital with my device.

WN: For our readers who have never come face-to-face with Spina Bifida. Can you tell us what it is and how it affects children?
MS: Spina bifida is a birth defect that happens when a baby’s backbone (spine) does not form normally. As a result, the spinal cord and the nerves that branch out of it may be damaged. The term spina bifida comes from Latin and literally means “split” or “open” spine. This defect happens at the end of the first month of pregnancy, when a baby’s spine and spinal cord (a bundle of nerves that runs down the center of the spine) are developing. Depending on the severity of the defect and where it is on the spine, symptoms vary from child to child. Mild defects may cause few or no problems, while more moderate to severe defects can cause serious problems, including weakness and sensation issues, bladder and/or bowel control issues, paralysis, or hydrocephalus. It’s a defect that causes enough pain on it’s own. To have to deal with pain from devices that are suppose to help them doesn’t seem fair.

WN: What sets your External Catheter Stabilizer apart from others?
MS: As of now, there is only one other predicate to my device. The device that exists, in our experience, has caused infection and bladder spasms beyond what Levi already experienced on his own because of his defect. The goal and purpose of my LECS is to eliminate those issues and help aid the recovery process in a children that need multiple surgeries.

WN: What’s the next step for Levity Products?
MS: I’m so excited about what’s to come! On February 20th, clinical trials begin at one of the largest research hospitals in the world. We are determined to make the device safe and effective for children all over the world. The purpose of my device was intended for a urology solution, but after seeing my invention, the head of Oncology was brought into conversations for clinical trials. There might be ways my invention could also make life easier for children who suffer from cancer. My entire mission and purpose of inventing my device was to help my son. Now my goal is completely different. I have a massive passion to help as many kids all over the world that suffer unnecessarily. The need for my device is even more so in 3rd world countries or emerging countries. They don’t have access to doctors and medical devices like we do. My device does not need to be placed by a doctor, so children who suffer from Spina Bifida in those countries will have something that will bring them relief where they might not otherwise have relief. That brings me so much joy!

WN: How is Levi doing?!
MS: Levi is doing great! 🙂 He will have more surgeries and will always live with challenges that most children don’t, but we believe that attitude is everything. We focus on being champions and showing the world the difference between facing adversity with humility and strength instead of letting it defeat us. Levi is the most inspirational human I know. What an honor it is to be his momma. He is a fighter and brings so much joy wherever he goes. The child has the most contagious smile and laugh. 🙂 I’m praying that Levi’s generation of children with Spina Bifida will be the last that suffer in the way he has.

If you’d like to vote for Sarah to win the $1,000 Amber Grant, you can vote for her here.

And thanks for reading! Remember that we award a grant every month – if interested, please apply today.

We’ve announced our $1,500 Amber Grant winner!

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Last year we came up with a new way to give back grants to the WomensNet community. This allowed us to continue awarding monthly Grants of $500, as selected by our WomensNet judges. But it also gave us the opportunity to award an additional $1,000 grant to one of our 12 monthly winners, called The Amber Grant.

Not too long ago we narrowed down our Amber Grant finalists to three great companies; NAJMTEK, GloveStix, and Yellow Scope. Choosing between these three women and their companies was extremely tough but after much debate we have finally chosen our second annual Amber Grant Winner.

Congrats Krista Woods, founder of GloveStix!

Krista Woods

Watch Krista’s video to learn more about GloveStix & how her product helps clear up the smelly situation most people have in their mud rooms.

 

As always, thank you for reading! Remember we award a grant every month – if interested, here’s the link to apply!

Stay tuned: We will be announcing January’s Qualification Grant finalists very soon!

ScriptoPro is our December Qualification Grant Recipient!

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

Last week announced our December finalists and now we’re happy to finally introduce you to our December Qualification Grant winner, Meena Singhal, Founder of ScriptoPro.

Read our interview with Meena to learn more about how ScriptoPro is making the lives of teachers, students, and agencies much easier.

Meena Singhal
Meena Singhal
ScriptoPro
Website

WN: For those who don’t know what ScriptoPro is, could you tell us a little bit about your business?
MS: ScriptoPro is an online assessment tool and learning management system that allows educators and trainers to develop and deliver quizzes, courses and training online, as well as track and report the progress of their learners through an engaging and intuitive interface. Instructors and trainers obtain their own individual account to use with their learners which means not having to solely depend on an institution’s prescribed system allowing for greater flexibility, customization, and creativity. It also means they can access their account anywhere, anytime.

With just a few simple steps, instructors and trainers can create courses and online quizzes in a variety of formats and publish them on the web. Customization options allow users to have immediate access to their quiz scores as well as explanations to responses. Results can be stored, collected, reviewed, exported, and printed after a test has been taken. User-friendly data reports also now include individual question comparison facilitating student learning outcomes assessment.

ScriptoPro also includes additional tools such as a survey maker, poll generator, flashcard maker, course calendar, course schedule, gradebook, class roster, and certificate generator. By taking away the complexities of development, server infrastructure, and the burden of setup costs, we allow educators and trainers to focus on what they do best – teach and train learners.

WN: How did you come up with the idea for ScriptoPro?
MS: I have been in the field of education for over twenty years as both an instructor and administrator. I realized that many instructors were not using the tools and systems that their schools provided because they were often too cumbersome to use. From an administrator perspective, I realized that all too often we depended on funding for tool enhancements and an IT staff who could keep up with teacher demands. When this was not possible, it meant outdated technology. Training on using tools was also a challenge because training sessions were often scheduled when instructors were teaching or there simply weren’t enough of them. In my conversations with part-time instructors I often sensed their frustrations when they had to re-learn new technology platforms at each institution they were teaching at and each time it meant recreating their materials.

Our children are growing up with technology and students and instructors are using it for just about everything so the idea was to come up with something that was easy to use, web-based so there was no setup involved, and something that is free for users and of minimal costs to instructors. No materials have to be recreated because one can access their learning management system from anywhere. Training is provided through free webinars and training materials are posted online for anytime access. We also wanted to create something that was fun to use and something that could be customized with one’s own themes, colors, photos, and templates.

WN: Can anybody use this service or do you have to be an educator/student?
MS: Initially the tool was created for educators and students but soon it became apparent that government agencies, businesses, healthcare organizations, and non-profits were using the tool. Several enhancements were made including a more comprehensive survey maker and training course builder so it could be used for employee training. ScriptoPro can be used for online quizzes in all subject areas, language tests, placement tests, academic assessments, e-learning, needs assessments, course evaluations, product training, professional development, web-based training onboarding, compliance tracking, and much more now. It is suitable for employees in all areas and learners in K-12 and higher education settings.

WN: Will students eventually be able to use this service to prepare for exams like the ACT and SAT?
MS: The tool can be used for all exam preps including the ACT and SAT. Practice questions and tests can be created and students can use the tool for practice. Currently we have several tutors using the tool with their students for this purpose. Students get meaningful and immediate feedback, and the reporting tools and question analysis reports give instructors and tutors an idea of the areas students might be having some challenges in.

WN: What’s the next step for ScriptoPro?
MS: While ScriptoPro is user-friendly, the focus now is to make the tool even more intuitive to use. We’ve added a search function for learners and modified the instructor dashboard with even more reporting tools. We minimized the number of steps it takes to set up an online class and create quizzes and surveys. We now have to modernize the appearance of the website to make sure we are up-to-date with the current look of streamlined modern websites. We will also update the training course builder module allowing for competency-based feedback for employees. Technology is forever evolving so in a sense the work is never done but it keeps getting better and better and the feedback that we receive from users helps us to continually enhance the assessment tools within ScriptoPro. I’m proud of what we’ve created so far. Being an entrepreneur is hard work but I’m fortunate to have a wonderful team including Walid Sabbagh, Star Hillman, and our programmers.

Learn more about Meena and ScriptoPro in her video here:

 

If you’d like to vote for Meena to win the $1,000 Amber Grant, you can vote for her here.

And thanks for reading! Remember that we award a grant every month – if interested, please apply today.

Mom Made Peeks Is Our November Qualification Grant Recipient!

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

A little bit ago we announced our November finalists and now we’re excited to finally announce that Emily Blomberg Founder of Mom Made Peeks is our November Qualification Grant winner!

Read on to learn more about Mom Made Peeks and Emily’s Caboosee onsie.

caboosee
Emily Blomberg
Founder of Mom Made Peeks
Website

WN: For those that don’t know anything about Mom Made Peeks, would you mind telling us a bit about your business?
EB: Mom Made Peeks is a brand made by a mom for moms ( or anyone that is taking care of children ). My onesie technology is the only onesie on the market that makes it possible to easily check your little one’s diaper without removing any clothing.This design is protected by a US utility patent. In 2017 Mom Made Peeks will be selling; onesies, fashion rompers and footie pjs all with the patented Caboosee back.

WN: What was the last straw that finally lead you design a onesie with a back that would allow you to peek into the diaper?
EB: My invention started on New Year’s Eve of 2011. My family and I were at a friend’s house for a New Year’s Eve party. This party was crawling with those little monsters we like to call our children. One little darling needed her diaper checked and I watched as her mom picked her up and did the common move we moms are great at “the sniff and leg peek” If the sniff doesn’t confirm your suspicion then the peek through the leg of the diaper is needed. As I watched this I voiced my frustration of how annoying onesies can be, because you can’t see into the diaper. This little cutie and her mom’s finger were in the clear (we moms know the leg peek can be a dangerous tactic). Admit it, we’ve all done it with it leaving us running to the sink to get the “suspicion” off our finger.

This whole experience led me to use my Christmas break designing a onesie that would allow easier access to peeking into the top of a diaper. And the Caboosee was born! One can peek into the diaper while the child is still fully dressed! No more removing shoes, pants or unsnapping the onesie.

WN: Do you do have any partners in this venture?
EB: Technically I am the sole owner, but I wouldn’t have gotten this far without the help of my family and friends! Being an entrepreneur has many ups and downs, sometimes more downs than up! But when things haven’t gone how I planned or another door was shut, I could also count on my close friends and family to give me an encouraging word to keep moving forward.

WN: Do you plan to sell your Caboosee onesies at any retail stores?
EB: I will start by selling E-commerence on my website www.caboosee.com but I do plan on contacting boutiques and certain retail stores about carrying my product.

WN: What’s the next step for Mom Made Peeks, LLC?
EB:I am currently working on finding the perfect USA manufacturer. I want to keep my product made in the USA if possible. I plan to launch my new line of Caboosee products in the Spring of 2017 at the ENK trade show.

WN: Any advice for other women entrepreneurs?
EB: Talk to as many people about your product as you can and listen to people’s feed back. Constructive criticism is needed with new products. Not everyone is going to love your product, but as an entrepreneur you need to have thick skin, because criticism helps you improve your product.

Learn more about Emily and Mom Made Peeks in her video here:

 

If you’d like to vote for Emily to win the $1,000 Amber Grant, you can vote for her here.

And thanks for reading! Remember that we award a grant every month – if interested, please apply today.