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V-WISE Innovation Cup 2017

innvoation cup banner

Have a great product, service, crazy innovation or business idea?

The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University and Smart & Sexy invite you to join the V-WISE Innovation Cup competition.  It’s your chance to win $15,000!

If you are a female veteran or military spouse, hone your idea pitch and present in 90 seconds or less at our V-WISE Conference in Louisville, August 11-13, 2017.

The Innovation Cup is sponsored by Smart & Sexy, whose brand mission supports women’s charities and organizations with the sale of their high-quality garments. Learn more below.

Click here to enter the competition, you must submit an executive summary and a video of yourself pitching your concept by 11:59 p.m., June 30, 2017.

Apply Now
Win Cash Prizes!
1st Place: $15,000

2nd Place: $10,000

3rd Place: $5,000

Key Dates
DEADLINE TO APPLY: June 30, 2017 11:59 p.m. PST

Top 10 Finalists Announced: July 10, 2017 via email and social media

Pitch Finale at Louisville Marriott Downtown: August 13, 2017 (all competitors are encouraged to attend full weekend of events August 11 – 13, 2017)

Winners Executive Coaching: August 14 – September 30, 2017

Requirements for Submission
Apply no later than June 30, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. PST at vwise2017.startupcompete.co.  Application should include entrant certificate form, executive summary, and video pitch.
Executive Summary Submission Guidelines
• Every competitor must submit a two-page executive summary no later than June 30, 2017 11:59 p.m. PST. The executive summary must be double spaced, 12-point font with one-inch margin Submit via the StartUp Compete platform as follows in PDF format.
• File name for the executive summary: LastnameFirstname_executivesummary
Executive Summary Guide 
Video Submission Guidelines
• Video submissions will be no longer than 90 seconds total. This includes any introductions made or time before speaking.
• No visual aids, props, notes or handouts allowed during the video submission.
• No cuts, edits, or transitions are to be made.
• Video quality will not be taken into consideration; however, it is recommended to record the video in a quiet space with a simple background.
• File name for the video file: LastNameFirstName_Pitch
• Submission Requirements:
– Upload your video to YouTube (can be marked as ‘Unlisted’ to prohibit others from viewing it) and follow instructions via Start Up Compete platform to post link. For further instructions, please visit https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/57407
Overall Rules and Guidelines
• In order to enter, the participant must fall into one of the following categories:
– Honorably discharged women veterans of any military branch and service era, including National Guard and Reserve components
– Active duty women service members of any military branch, including National Guard and Reserve components
– Women spouses/same-sex life partners of above (including widowed spouses/partners)
• Only one submission per applicant is permitted. There is no fee for entry. The entire pitch must be given by one person only and it must be same person who presents at the finale. All submissions must be received by June 30, 2017 11:59 p.m. PST. Entries must be the original work of entrants.
• Judging of executive summaries and video entries will be performed by an outside panel of independent judges, consisting of professionals involved in entrepreneurship. Judges may be successful entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, or professional service providers working with the venture community. Entries are subject to minimum criteria in terms of market potential, viability, and other factors, as determined by the judging panel’s experience. If entries do not meet the minimum criteria, prizes might not be awarded. Throughout any and all phases of the competition, all decisions of the judges are final.
• The business will use any winning prize money strictly for use by the business (e.g. working capital, inventory, equipment, etc.). Teams and their resultant business entities are responsible for any tax consequences of the prize. To receive their prize money, award winners are required to submit the following in pdf format, no later than June 30, 2017 11:59 p.m. PST:
– Budget which will show how the prize money will be spent
– Signed W-9 form for the business
• The IVMF reserves the right to disqualify, in its sole and absolute discretion, any participant from the competition at any time (before or after a judging round or the award of any prize) for any reason. Reasons for disqualification may include, pornographic, drug related businesses, plagiarism and any other form of dishonesty, misappropriation or infringement of the intellectual property of others, and any failure to comply with these rules and regulations. Disqualified participant(s) shall forfeit any and all prizes awarded to them. 6. The prizes are as follows: First prize is $15,000; the second prize is $10,000; the third prize is $5,000. If you have any questions please contact the IVMF at vwise@syr.edu.
Confidentiality and Intellectual Property Issues
The V-WISE Innovation Cup will be publicized in local and regional media and on the IVMF website. All reasonable efforts will be made to respect participants’ concerns regarding confidentiality and entrants are strongly encouraged to seek outside advice on these issues prior to the competition.
Judging Criteria

• How well was the problem/need explained?
• How creative/innovative was the idea?
• Did they effectively use the elements of a pitch (i.e. a hook, solution, secret sauce, call to action)?
• How effective were their presentation skills?
• Diction (I.e. tone, annunciation, was he/she poised? did he/she effectively use pauses, emphasize certain words, etc.?)
• Does the pitch have a logical flow?
• Do they have a viable business model?
• Did they identify a focused market?
• Validation (i.e. have they done primary research like talked to customers or do they have a prototype)?
About Smart & Sexy
Sexy Styles, Smart Prices
Smart & Sexy offers chic solutions for every aspect of your life. Gorgeous and comfortable bras and panties for everyday wear to feel your most confident; luxurious sleepwear; supportive and flattering swimwear for the beach; and comfortable shapewear to solve any of those problem-areas.

All of our products go through a fit process to ensure you are receiving the best fit so you can look and feel your best. Take a look at our fit guide to guarantee you’re in the right size! Learn more at smartandsexy.com.

For Women By Women
We are a company by women for women. Everyone that works for Smart & Sexy comes from different backgrounds and have different lives, but each bring our experiences to strive to bring you the best and most reliable product possible! That’s not all… we also support women in more ways than one. For every Smart & Sexy garment sold, we make a donation to an organization that empowers and supports women.

Our History
Ariela & Associates was founded nearly 25 years ago with the idea that women should be able to have fashionably sexy lingerie that provides figure solutions at great prices. Today, we are one of the largest privately held lingerie companies in the U.S., selling over 60 million garments a year under numerous national brands. Smart & Sexy is our in-house brand created for the fashion savvy woman. Smart fit, sexy and flattering looks, quality, comfort and amazing value are the brand’s guiding principles.

Our CEO
Ariela Balk is CEO and President of Ariela and Associates – a privately-held global manufacturer of intimate apparel, sleepwear and swimwear. She started the company with only $15,000. Ariela got her start working as an assistant at an underwear company at 19 years old. Six weeks later she moved into sales, making her goal excellence in customer service. In her next job, she insisted on designing everything she sold to ensure her customers got exactly what they needed. “I could never sell anything I didn’t believe in,” she says.

Ariela started working on her first business plan at 21 and started Ariela and Associates at 27, right after the birth of her third child. She has made it a mission for the brand to support women’s charities and organizations with the sale of our garments. “Giving back is the most gratifying part of my work,” says Ariela. As a successful businesswoman with a husband and eight children, she is uniquely positioned to share her experiences and help other women realize their potential.