Frank G. Zarb School of Business Management and Entrepreneurship Top Stories

Hofstra Hosts InnovateHER Business Plan Contest

Hofstra University has been selected to serve as a local host of the national InnovateHER Competition, a business plan competition for entrepreneurs to showcase products and services that have a measurable impact on the lives of women and families, a potential for commercialization and fill a need in the marketplace.

The local competition is being administered by the Hofstra University Center for Entrepreneurship, which was launched in the fall of 2015. The Center for Entrepreneurship focuses on multi-disciplinary entrepreneurship support and education, leveraging the research and entrepreneurial activities at all the University’s schools, including the Maurice A. Deane School of Law, the Frank G. Zarb School of Business, the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, and the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

The Center for Entrepreneurship also connects Hofstra to Long Island’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. It is led by Executive Dean Mark Lesko.

Applications are due on November 30, 2015 by 12:00 p.m. and must be emailed to For more information, visit Questions may be submitted to until November 27, 2015.

Hofstra University will choose one winner of the local competition to send to the Small Business Administration. The SBA will then choose semi-finalists from the pool of local competition winners and then the semi-finalists will have a chance to win $40,000, $20,000, or $10,000 at the Women’s Summit National Finals in Washington D.C. held on March 16-17, 2016.

The Hofstra University local competition is open to entrepreneurs from Long Island and the New York metropolitan region. The product or service can be in the idea stage. The SBA is looking for new, innovative products and services focused on improving the lives of women and their families. An individual or team or a company may enter the competition (applicants must be over the age of 18).

The Hofstra University submissions will be judged by:

Dr. Elizabeth Venuti, Senior Associate Dean of the Frank G. Zarb School of Business
Dr. Elizabeth K. Venuti joined the faculty of Hofstra University in 1999. She received the Hofstra University Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award in 2006 and 2014, and the Frank G. Zarb School of Business Dean’s Service Award in 2008.  She has served as Chair the Department of Accounting, Taxation and Legal Studies in Business and her research interests include financial reporting and auditing in both the United States and internationally. For more than ten years, she served on the editorial board of The CPA Journal. Dr. Venuti is active in the New York State Society of CPAs and also very active in her community on Long Island. Dr. Venuti received a B.S. in business management and marketing from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in accounting from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. She is a certified public accountant in New York State.

Dr. Anne Hamby, Assistant Professor in Marketing and International Business at Hofstra University

Dr. Anne Hamby’s research interests fall in the areas of consumer psychology and narrative processing, or how consumers understand and are persuaded by narrative messages. Another of her interests is in the domain of consumer welfare. Dr. Hamby has international experience working in several African countries developing adolescent risk-behavior reduction programs, including a year living in South Africa as a research associate on a Kellogg foundation funded project. She has taught marketing courses for several semesters in Lugano, Switzerland and has also worked with international, heath-focused professional associations in Switzerland on multiple marketing-related projects. Dr. Hamby received her Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. from Virginia Polytech Institute & State.

Dr. Veronika Ilyuk, Assistant Professor of Marketing and International Business

Dr. Ilyuk’s research largely explores the effects of contextual-, marketing-, and consumer-related factors (e.g., lay theories) on product inferences and judgments in the health domain—pertaining to product efficacy and food consumption. Her work has appeared in top marketing journals. She holds her Ph.D., M.B.A., M.Phil., and B.B.A. (graduating as Valedictorian) from Baruch College, City University of New York.

 Application Requirements for the Competition

A cover page with the following information:

  • Name of CEO/entrepreneur/team
  • Company name (if applicable)
  • Product/service name
  • Company Address, City, and State
  • Place of Incorporation
  • Product/Service website (if applicable)
  • Telephone number
  • Email address
  • A concise, concise, two-sentence description of the product or service


A business plan, not to exceed 20 pages (including attachments), which must include the following:

  • A description of the product/service with a focus on how it will have a measurable impact on the lives of women and families and has the potential for commercialization.
  • Key team members and background.
  • Target market and market advantage, with an emphasis on how the product fills a need in the market place.
  • Competitive landscape.
  • Sales/growth strategies.
  • Intellectual property strategy (if applicable).
  • Financial projections.

Optional Submission:

  • A PowerPoint or similar formatted presentation summarizing the business plan, not exceeding ten slides.

More information about official SBA InnovateHER rules, FAQ or the SBA’s Business Plan Guide is available online.





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