Archive for the ‘ News’ Category

Our 2016 Amber Grant Finalists

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

After much debate amongst our Advisory board we’ve narrowed down our Amber Grant Finalists to Three. Congrats to NAJMTEK, GloveStix, and Yellow Scope! Please read to learn more about these inspiring women and their businesses.



Applicant: Sophie Ennadi – Visit NAJMTEK’s website here.

When Sophie’s daughter was six years old she was diagnosed with dyslexia. With Sophie’s strong background in engineering alongside 12 years of experience in product development she saw this as an opportunity. She wanted to create an adaptive and innovative learning tool for dyslexic people, to help them learn, read, and work without having dyslexia in the way. This is how the Ubook was created.

The UBook is the first all-in-one multi-touch laptop, an interactive technology that includes the first ever neurological “sign alphabet”, and assistive apps, especially designed for people having dyslexia to help them learn, work, and communicate with others without having dyslexia in the way.

Glove Stix


Applicant: Krista Woods – Visit GloveStix’s website here.

Have you ever caught a whiff of old sports gear? It smells awful. The smell is caused by bacteria that lives in the humid air of your sports gear. And every time you sweat… that odor increases. Most types of gloves and shoes are primarily made of leather making them virtually impossible to clean without compromising the shape or comfort to the athlete. Enter, GloveStix. GloveStix, are a patent pending odor management system for smelly sports gear. When placed into gloves or shoes after practice or games they absorb harmful moisture, eliminate odors and inhibit 99.9% of odor-causing bacteria growth in about 24 hrs.

Yellow Scope


Applicant: Marcie Colledge & Kelly McCollum – Visit Yellow Scope’s website here.

Yellow Scope was founded in 2014 by scientists and moms, Marcie Colledge and Kelly McCollum. Marcie and Kelly met in 2008 at their children’s elementary school as volunteers running the school’s STEM programs, including Family Science Nights and the Science Fair. Their “aha moment” was realizing how well they work together and how passionate they both are about science, girls, and education. Over the years, this grew into an idea to build a company that would help young girls fall in love with science. Thus Yellow Scope was born! At Yellow Scope, they make rigorous, creative (and fun!) science kits for girls. Each kit is lovingly assembled by hand in Portland, Oregon.

We will be announcing our second annual Amber Grant winner very soon – Stay Tuned!

Voting has already begun for our next Amber Grant on our voting page. So please stop by there and read about our newest qualification grant winners.

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

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.

July 2016 Qualification Grant Finalists

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

Sophie Ennadi

Najmtek is currently working on an adaptive and innovative learning tool for dyslexic people, to help them learn, read, and work without having dyslexia in the way. The name of the device is called the Ubook, and it is an all-in-one multi-touch, multi-language fully customizable laptop with a dual screen keyboard. While the Ubook’s incredible features go far beyond this (the Ubook also provides applications with its dual screen component for almost any industry: medicine, education, business, architecture, etc.), Sophie’s personal experience having a daughter with dyslexia is what prompted her to pursue this project.

girls at work
Girls at Work, Inc.
Elaine Hamel

Girls at Work is a not-for-profit that provides girls with a safe and supportive environment to step out of their comfort zones and to build with other girls. Not only do they discover how capable they are, they also discover how exciting it is to work as part of a team toward a common goal.

Nativ Wings Catering
Native Wings of Health
Lila Boone

Lila lives in a rural, low income country town in North Eastern North Carolina. In that area, due to generational traditions, the families eat very unhealthy. (Enormous amount of Pork, Fried Foods, still cooking with Lard & really bad cooking practices). Both adults AND children have an Alarming high rate of Obesity, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, etc.

This is why Lila started the company, Native Wings of Health, to open doors and teach members of the community that healthier options are Affordable and delicious.

ABCD Capital LLC
Aarti Mehta

Uniflo was created by a first-time mom and physician, Aarti. She wanted to feed her child breast milk as it was important to her and her husband. Unfortunately, it was difficult to determine how much her baby would drink during each feeding. After each feeding there was significant unconsumed liquid remaining in the bottle. But because of the baby’s back wash reentering the bottle, they were concerned about reusing the liquid and had to discard the remaining milk.

It’s difficult for many moms to produce excessive quantities of breastmilk and using formula can be very expensive. So after searching for potential solutions Aarti decided to create a device on her own, (called Uniflo) that would prevent backwash from reentering the bottle and as a result keeping the remaining liquid unused. Allowing her to feel more comfortable reusing the liquid, and in the process, saving significant effort and money. At that point her Uniflo Technology was born!

Diaper Diva Designs
Laura Toto

Laura’s journey began when her third child turned one and discovered her new found ability to get naked on her own. She couldn’t have been less interested in potty training and it became quite a “game”. For two months her child thwarted her every effort to keep her clothed and diapered. Nap after nap, bedtime after bedtime, Laura would walk into her room to find her kids diaper in a corner, clothes in another, along with an indescribable mess to clean up. With Laura’s sanity wearing thin she searched online. She found a few suggestions but nothing worked.

After some time Laura got the idea to cut the feet off of old pajamas, put them on her backwards and voila! It worked like a charm. After some tweaking to the outfit the Naked No More onesie was born.

Explorer Chick Adventure Co
Nicki Bruckmann

Explorer Chick Adventure Co is a travel company exclusively for women founded by Nicki Bruckmann. Her travel company plans to take women on epic adventures, in incredible parts of the world so women can live new experiences and discover new strengths while surrounded by a community of equally adventurous women.

Congrats to our July Qualification Grant Finalists and 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 the winner next week!

Six ways to take advantage of National Small Business Week

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014


I’m sure you’ve heard already, but this week is National Small Business Week! For Those who haven’t, it’s a recognition event held nationally to honor the United States top entrepreneurs each year.

In light of this, we’ve decided to come up with a short list of webinars and special offers to help you make the most out of your week.

1. Take advantage of Microsoft event’s and workshops!

This year Microsoft is a co-sponsors of National Small Business Week and to celebrate they’re hosting a week of events and workshops at all stores across the Country. So if you’re in need of a nice tutorial on any of Microsoft’s software or just looking to network be sure to find out if they have a workshop near you!

2. Get your free Basic Inc. or LLC packages

Have you been postponing your Inc. or LLC package because of the cost? Well you’re in luck, May 12th through May 16th CorpNet is giving away free Basic Inc. or LLC packages to incorporate your small business for all phone orders that mention “Small Business Week.”

3. Join Google Business Community

Those who join The Google Business Community during business national small business week will get a promotional code from Google for $20 toward Helpouts in areas like online advertising, branding and web design!

4. Learn How to Follow Through!

This Thursday Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a webinar on small business follow-through with Mark Goulston, M.D, of Heartfelt Leadership from 10am to 11 am EST. Goulston is a successful businessman, trainer, advisor and coach.  [Small webinar fee.]

5. Build a Stronger Online Presence

Having a strong online presence is critical these days and if you’ve been struggling with your web presence this webinar workshop could be for you!  The two-part webinar series, begins Thursday, May 15th at 1pm EST. It’s sponsored by Verisign and presented by Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBiz Media. The webinar is aimed at teaching you how to start, grow and optimize your business’s face through websites, social media, SEO, SEM and more.

6. Participate in Twitter’s #LegalZoomStartup conversation

Friday, from 2- 3pm EST, this months Twitter chat guest, during Small Business Week, is Infusionsoft’s Ramon Ray sharing insights. Follow along  and join in on the discussion of tech tips for small businesses using the hashtag, #LegalZoomStartup on Twitter!

Remember, this is only a short list of the many ways you can benefit from National Small Business Week! Be sure to check out more offers here before it’s too late!

I hope you’re all having a great month so far and remember applications for our May Amber Grant are due on the 31st!


April Amber Grant Finalists

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

April showers bring… new Amber Grant winners? Works for us!

We had another fantastic month with some truly inspiring applicants. You ladies just keep impressing us – and making it harder and harder to narrow things down.

It wasn’t easy, but we did it. Without further ado, here are April’s five finalists.

Check them out and stay tuned! We’ll announce the winner(s) within the next few days.

Amber Grant Finalists – April 2014

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 1.17.08 PM
Whiskey & Whimsy Retreats
Kerrie Blazek

This idea makes us want to jump on a plane and head straight to Louisville. Kerrie Blazek and her team offer women an opportunity to ditch the daily grind for a luxurious, all-inclusive, one-of-a-kind girls getaway…on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

As their website explains, you can “think of it as a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience one of America’s most interesting cities, while re-igniting your innate creative fire, indulging in some delicious eats + fine whiskey, as you cozy up to like-minded sisters and hot guest speakers for some reciprocal sharing and learning – all in one gorgeous place.”

How could that not be the best weekend ever? We seriously might need to make a WomensNet trip for the next one.

CuteNCrafty Wedding Socks
Kendra Barnes

When Kendra Barnes got married last April, she made a label for her now husband’s wedding socks that read: “Just to make sure you don’t get Cold Feet, with love, from your bride” and had her Maid of Honor deliver them. It made for a great photo opportunity, put a smile on his face, and most importantly ensured that he didn’t wear a pair of his holey socks to their wedding.

When they received their wedding photos and video, she saw how the “Cold Feet” socks brought a smile to her husband’s face, and thought…”I wonder if other brides would want to buy this”. So, Kendra set up shop on Etsy and within days she was getting sales.

Since then she has sold over 2500 pairs of socks online and in three stores that carry her product across D.C. and Pennsylvania.

How great is that?

ArtInFact Magazine NYC
ArtInFact Magazine
Semhar Woldeyesus

ArtInFact Magazine is the brainchild of four full-time media professionals, all graduates of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, class of 2011. They’ve come together to create a content platform for entrepreneurs, creative thinkers, and independent brands in New York City.

After realizing that mainstream media outlets typically only cover tech-centric ventures, Silicon Valley, or entrepreneurs who’ve received major investment backing, they decided to fill the gap and highlight startups and entrepreneurs that capture the independent spirit of New York City.

In case it’s not totally obvious, we’re big fans of supporting startups and entrepreneurs – so this idea really spoke to us.

Hazel Lane San Francisco Bo
Hazel Lane
Ashley DeKellis

Ashley DeKellis found a way to share her love of discovering amazing products from cities around the world with others – and she gets to do it as a stay at home mom, creating a sense of accomplishment that she, her husband and their son can be proud of.

Hazel Lane is a monthly subscription box service that helps others to explore the world, despite financial barriers and travel restrictions. Every month they send their members a carefully curated box of surprise goodies from a particular city, focusing on items that capture that destination’s spirit and signature flavors.

The boxes include healthy, sustainable and organic products from local business and arrive in 100% recycled packaging. Even better? They’re filing as a B Corp and already give 10% back to local charities in their featured cities.

Tuck Me In Bedding Retainment System
Tuck Me In – Good Night Bedding Securement System
Donna Liimatainen-Peterson

Like many of us, Donna Liimatainen-Peterson is a restless sleeper and a self-proclaimed sheet stealer. Her husband of 23 years would take extra measures to methodically tuck their sheets and blankets into his side of the bed, only to wake completely robbed of all of the bedding.

After spending 21 years as an architect (and even more years as an apologetic wife), she decided to design a solution for her unintentional sheet-stealing problem.

The Tuck Me In Good Night Bedding Retainment System utilizes an innovative lightweight cylindrical rod that easily attaches to the bottom edge of your bedsheets and blankets using coordinating fabric snap clamps, then gets inserted below the bottom edge of the mattress. If a good night sleep, fully covered, isn’t worth the $20 retail price – we’re not sure what is. Donna also sells extra long sheets and blankets to make sure you’ll never be “short sheeted” again.

March Amber Grant Madness! Meet the 10 Finalists

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

March was a landmark month for us here at WomensNet! Not only did we receive a record number of Amber Grant applications, the quality of your business ideas absolutely blew us away.

In fact, we were so impressed we just couldn’t wait until the end of the month to get involved! We awarded a special mid-month grant to Rule of Pie Bakeshop owner Miranda Stapel and also funded the DBA and other various licensing costs for high school junior Sierra Elmore’s graphic design business 13 Elm Streets.

This week our WomensNet Board of Advisors is tasked with selecting the recipient of our $500 March grant.

We’ve narrowed it down to 10 finalists (which was no easy task) and we love all of these entrepreneurial ideas so much, we really wanted to share them.

Meet Our Finalists:

Game Worlds Camp
Alicia Andrew

Our camps are a place for kids ages 10-18 to learn to make their own video games and software in a fun environment. They will learn what goes into a game, how it gets made, and have the opportunity to work on their own game and software. We teach skills including programming, art, design, audio design, and business development.

Students work together in teams to bring their game idea to life. Focused on teamwork, problem solving new situations, and creative thinking, our goal is to introduce the world of software development to kids.

Shelly Bean The Sports Queen
Shelly Boyum Breen

A one of a kind children’s book series about a tough and lovable little girl who loves to play sports.
Shelly Bean the Sports Queen is a product of a new generation where being a “jock” is acceptable for girls as well as encouraged. Follow Shelly Bean and her friends as they play new sports together in each book. Parents can utilize the instructional and safety tips at the back of each book as well.

The Brooklyn Reader
Clara Zawadi Morris

Launched on December 16, 2013, The Brooklyn Reader is an online daily community news site for the fast-growing neighborhoods of Central Brooklyn, including the neighborhoods of Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights, Fort Greene and Clinton Hill (soon-to-be launching in East New York, East Flatbush and Prospect Heights). The Brooklyn Reader posts 5-8 stories daily on all topics concerning Central Brooklyn, including crime incidents, fire emergencies, DOT alerts, politics, education, real estate development, new business development, arts and culture, entertainment and more!

Pig of the Month BBQ
Lea Richards

Pig of the Month BBQ sources natural ingredients from sustainable farming, and combines them with the best family BBQ recipes.

With determination to bring exceptionally delicious, high quality, home-cooked food to the entire world, Pig of the Month ships everything from succulent baby back ribs and melt-in-your-mouth smoked turkey to everybody’s favorite: thick-cut bacon.

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 11.59.10 AM
Nager By Nic Hyl

Nager By Nic Hyl creates women’s swimsuits and cover-ups (for now). These swimsuits and cover-ups are unique, feminine, and sophisticated. They allow the woman to feel sexy in her skin without being too overt. Each of the pieces in the collection are lined, supportive, created with thought and made in the USA.

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 12.06.41 PM
Leah Marche is a freemium social expression website for the “everyday people” who want to experience not-your-average inspirational messages. It puts a twist on celebrating special occasions, unlike Hallmark or American Greetings, by connecting loved ones through the art of performance poetry.

Animal Candle
Nina Kathleen Farley

Animal Candle aims to offer high-end soy candles with a chic, minimalist theme. Each candle fragrance represents a different at-risk species, and a portion of the profit for every candle sold will go towards wildlife conservation or animal rescue projects/organizations for the animal chosen by the consumer. The inaugural candle is a sea-breeze fragrance representing the endangered Right Whale, and a portion of proceeds will go to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation. Other Animal Candles include a Koala (eucalyptus peppermint) to fund a GIS-mapping project to protect habitats overlapping private land, and a Pig (fresh grass) to fund care for rescued farm animals at Farm Sanctuary.

Even better, the candle recipe has been perfected using 100% all natural, non-GMO soy wax grown in the USA without the use of herbicides, pesticides, or toxins.

Know My World
Genevieve Murphy

Know My World is a Global Education Resource organization that offers digital cross cultural exchange, collaborative projects, customized curriculum, and an innovative educational philosophy called TRACE Education. Our mission is to offer a multitude of platforms and projects for exchange and growth between various countries and cultures. These projects and exchanges provide shared teaching and learning opportunities between participants. The pivotal focus of Know My World is to promote enriching opportunities within and beyond the standard curriculum to transform the educative experience.

Knee runner injury
Smart Bionics Biosensing Ankle Brace
Emily Seyfort

Designed by undergraduate students for a class project, this wearable strain measuring ankle brace was initially created for athletes (basketball players, soccer players, etc…) so that coaches can monitor the stress levels on the ATFL ligament through a phone app, in order to prevent ankle injuries.

After receiving positive feedback, they now hope to expand the functionality and use this ankle brace for rehabilitation purposes after injuries, in order to test whether a person is fit to start walking without the brace.

Tech urSelf
Belinda Liu

Modern lifestyles risk separating us from the simple practices that have made us happy and healthy since ancient times. Positive practices are losing favor to the distractions of being constantly connected in the digital age.

Tech urSelf helps people see their lives in a new light – transforming everyday struggles into an opportunity for growth. We use technology purposefully to support people to make positive changes and build new life practices in order to cultivate their core values, personal wellness and the well-being of their community.

The first tool we created is urWell, an iPhone app that encourages individuals to stop, notice, and live with greater intention. Our next step is to apply what we have learned from piloting urWell and work with our partners (a team of psychologists, social scientists, and leadership coaches) to create a series of values-based, team building challenges hosted on a centralized web platform aimed at cultivating more compassionate and mission-driven workplaces.