April 17, 2015
Local Startup Heads to National InnovateHER Business Competition
April 17, 2015 (Wiscasset, ME)—Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) congratulates Bitzy Baby® co-founders Whitney and Seabren Reeves of Brunswick, Maine, who were selected this week by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) Office of Women Business Ownership and the InnovateHER team as finalists in the SBA’s 2015 InnovateHER Business Challenge. As finalists, the Bitzy Baby® founders will compete for the top three awards and a total of $30,000 in prize money during a live pitch competition in Washington, D.C. on May 8th as part of SBA’s National Small Business Week.
“We are honored by such incredible support networks that understand of the importance of creating products focused on improving life for all people, from generation to generation, with positive and measurable impact on women and families,” said Whitney and Seabren Reeves, co-founders of Bitzy Baby®. “We are excited to be representing Maine and continuing our goal to make safer infant sleeping environments, because we all begin bitzy.”
The Women’s Business Center at CEI hosted a local InnovateHER Business Challenge as part of Southern Maine Community College’s Launch or Grow Small Business Success Conference in March. Bitzy Baby® was selected by a panel of judges as the winner of that challenge. The company then moved on to become a semi-finalist in the SBA’s national InnovateHER competition.
Bitzy Baby® is a parent company founded by Whitney & Seabren Reeves, who invented and utility patented the successfully commercialized Bitzy Bumper® a JPMA Innovation Award Finalist. In 2014, the company was selected to participate in ScaleUp Portland, part of the SBA’s nation-wide business development pilot program ScaleUp America. The Reeves are thought leaders in the juvenile products industry, and have served on the ASTM International (American Society for Testing and Materials) Infant Bedding Sub-Committee since 2011.
“We are very excited that Bitzy Baby® was chosen as one of 15 national finalists out of a pool of 75 semi-finalist businesses from around the country to compete at the national level as part of the SBA’s National Small Business Week,” said Sarah Guerette of CEI’s Women’s Business Center, organizer of the Maine InnovateHER Business Challenge. “The quality and safety of their products positively impact women and families, one of the major goals of InnovateHER.”
Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI), one of the nation’s premier Community Development Corporations (CDCs) and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), specializes in rural business development and financing. Founded in 1977 in Wiscasset, Maine, CEI creates economically and environmentally healthy communities in which all people, especially those with low incomes, can reach their full potential. CEI provides financing and technical assistance to small and medium-sized businesses, natural resource-based industries including the farm, fish and forest sectors, community facilities, renewable energy, commercial real estate and affordable housing. CEI serves communities in Maine, New England, and rural regions throughout the U.S. Find out more at www.ceimaine.org.
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