CapeAble Sensory Products Wins InnovateHER Competition in Northeast Indiana

Tammy Y. Allen, The NIIC, Fort Wayne, Ind
Marna Pacheco and Susan Hickok, Co-Owners, CapeAble Sensory Products and winners of 2017 InnovateHER Competition, Northeast Indiana; Steve Rinehart, SCORE Mentor; Sandra Wharton, Women’s Economic Opportunity Center (WEOC)

CapeAble Sensory Products won the InnovateHER Competition recently hosted by Fort Wayne SCORE Chapter and held at The NIIC. The purpose of the competition as defined by the U.S. Small Business Administration (U.S. SBA) is to amplify products or services that fill a need in the marketplace and have the potential for commercialization. CapeAble Sensory Products will advance to the next level, which includes consideration of the Office of Women’s Business Ownership for one of ten potential spots in the national, final competition in Washington, D.C. on July 27, 2017.

“We are thrilled to have been selected from such a high caliber of entrepreneurial women to represent Northeast Indiana in the SBA InnovateHER Small Business Challenge. The national platform of this contest provides us an opportunity to promote our business and to showcase the talent and innovation of Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana,” stated Marna Pacheco, Co-owner, CapeAble Sensory Products. “We are hopeful to advance as a finalist and travel to Washington, DC to compete among the very best of entrepreneurial women, stated,” Susan Hickok, Co-Owner, CapeAble Sensory Products.

Fort Wayne SCORE Chapter, The NIIC, BrightPoint, Community Development Corporation of Fort Wayne, Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center and Women’s Economic Opportunity Center (WEOC) collaborated to bring this event to Northeast Indiana. The group looks forward to next year’s competition with a vision to build out the number of competitors and potential investors attending the event.

“It was a tough job for our judging panel to select a winner for this year’s competition. The competitors strongly pitched their businesses, provided good business plans and excelled in the five criteria used to rate the contestants. Our judging panel determined CapeAble Sensory Products was most deserving to win the competition, earning the highest ratings across the board. They most impressed the panel with their company’s potential to fill a market need,” said Steve Rinehart SCORE Mentor and InnovateHER Committee Chair.

“The five companies who participated in the InnovateHer Business challenge did an amazing job. Fort Wayne is fortunate to have woman entrepreneurs who are passionate about developing products and services to improve the lives of those in their community,” said Sandra Wharton, WEOC Director.


About The NIIC

The NIIC is a non-profit, community-based entrepreneurial community. We assist business builders and entrepreneurs to launch, expand, or re-invent successful businesses and ventures in Northeast Indiana. Formed in 1999 by a consortium of community and government leaders and organizations in 2013, The NIIC was recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the top four under-the-radar incubators in the country. This basically means Entrepreneur magazine, with the help of International Business Incubation Association, picked four U.S. incubators to highlight, and we were one of them. In their words, we “stand out in a state not always perceived as small business friendly.” The NIIC is the country’s only ISO9001: 2008 registered business incubation and acceleration program. For more information visit: www.TheNIIC.org.


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