We are proud to be the local winner of the SBA (Small Business Administration) 2017 InnovateHER Business Challenge for innovations that empower women’s lives. As the winner of the local competition, PORTA STEPPER is one of the candidates for the top 10 national finalists for the final pitch in Washington, DC. The SBA judges will make a decision on finalists soon. We are praying to be in the top 10, so we can spread the word out about the benefits of our product and help more people.

InnovateHER Business Challenge is a “nationwide competition highlighting innovative products, services or technology developed by entrepreneurs that have a measurable impact on the lives of women and families, and in the marketplace.” There are three steps involved in this process: competing for the local winner, selecting 10 finalists and pitching to a panel of expert judges for the top three awards.

We did not think about joining the 2017 InnovateHER Business Challenge when we heard about it. We are just a micro-sized startup company without a business plan. It is hard to imagine how we can compete with those developed companies. Our business advisers and friends encouraged us to give it a try. It definitely provides a platform for spreading the word and a great opportunity for media exposure.

After finishing the draft of our business plan, we asked around for advice and suggestions to improve our business plan. Our friends kept giving us suggestions even after we submitted our business plan. Some of the suggestions are so good and we are working on them right now. One suggestion is connecting Fitbit with our device, so people can count their steps and calculate how many calories they burned when they use Porta Stepper exerciser. Another suggestion is to find a reputable hospital or university to do a study for active sitting while using our product.

We are glad we join the InnovateHer challenge. We have a lot of disadvantages compared to those developed companies, but at least we tried and we learned something new during this journey. And we still have a chance…