Business Notes – CapeAble Sensory Products Advances in Business Challenge
Oct09

Business Notes – CapeAble Sensory Products Advances in Business Challenge

From Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center Two Northeast Indiana entrepreneurs have been selected to compete as finalists in the national InnovateHER Business Challenge sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Marna Pacheco of Winona Lake and Susan Hickok of Fort Wayne and their company CapeAble Sensory Products, LLC will compete for $70,000 in prize money at the National Pitch Competition on October 26 in Washington, D.C.  The announcement of the 10 finalists was made last week on October 5. CapeAble Sensory Products, based in Fort Wayne, produces weighted blankets for better sleep, fashionable weighted wearables and sensory-enrichment tools.  “In today’s overscheduled and hectic world, CapeAble’s innovative products provide something that everyone needs: comfort, focus, and hope,” said Pacheco in a prepared statement. “We refer to our exclusive, patent-pending design as ‘the science behind the comfort’.” The InnovateHER announcement comes on the heels of CapeAble being named the Outstanding Innovative Business of 2017 at the national SCORE Awards gala on September 14 in McLean, Va.  In their acceptance speech, Pacheco and Hickok shared their belief that “every person deserves to feel capable.” CapeAble also won a state award on May 3 from the Indiana Small Business Development Center for Economic Development and Growth through Entrepreneurship (EDGE), in recognition of the firm’s initial success as a Hoosier business. For InnovateHER, CapeAble Sensory Products was named the regional winner in April after competing against five other companies in a local competition at the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (NIIC) in Fort Wayne.  The local competition was hosted by the Fort Wayne Chapter of SCORE in partnership with The NIIC, the Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center (Northeast ISBDC), Brightpoint, the Community Development Corporation (CDC) of Northeast Indiana, and the Women’s Economic Opportunity Center (WEOC). After CapeAble and all the 120 regional winners were chosen, an executive committee of SBA officials evaluated the semi-finalist nominations and chose 10 finalists to participate in the National Pitch Competition.  InnovateHER was developed by the SBA to unearth innovative products and services that help impact and empower the lives of women and families.  Judging criteria for the InnovateHER Business Challenge include the product’s potential for commercialization, its impact on the lives of women and families, and its ability to fill a need in the marketplace. CapeAble Products and the other InnovateHER Business Challenge finalists have been invited to conduct a marketing pitch before a team of expert judges at the National Pitch Competition on October 26 in Washington, D.C. They will be competing for the top three awards totaling $70,000 in prize money, provided by the Sara Blakely Foundation, with their trip expenses being paid by...

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