Entrepreneurship & Innovation Challenge.

AWIS Entreprenuerial & Innovation Challenge details & registration CLICK HERE

Board with titles

Allergan Partners Vertical 2The challenge is to encourage women who have embraced or plan to lead entrepreneurial ventures. All New Jersey resident STEM female professionals are eligible to apply. Institutional affiliation is not necessary. Two categories of awards are included. New Jersey school and college and females/ female led groups are eligible to participate in the STEM Innovation Awards. STEM female professionals who have already graduated are eligible to participate in STEM Entrepreneurship Awards. Detailed descriptions are provided under the specific categories.


The top three winners will be eligible to receive:

Cash Awards

1st Place  – $5000

2nd Place – $2000

3rd Place – $1000

AWIS STEM to Market Accelerator

All applicants for the competition will be evaluated for eligibility to participate in The AWIS Accelerator. Strong applicants will be invited to participate in the fall cohort of STEM to Market, anticipated to begin in September 2018. The program spans 5 months of instructional support and additional 5 months of mentorship and technical support. The AWIS Accelerator is a unique program designed to help STEM-trained women transform their research into market-ready products that make customers’ lives better.

NJIT Summer Innovation Accelerator

We have also partnered with NJIT to provide the winners access to NJIT Summer Innovation Acceleration Program, a ten-week long start-up accelerator program in the model of Lean Start Ups utilizing Business Model Canvas.


The top two school teams and top two college teams will be eligible to receive:

Cash Awards

                      College Groups            School Groups

                     1st Place  – $500              1st Place  – $500

                     2nd Place – $250              2nd Place – $250

Johnson & Johnson Consumer R&D Immersion.

The qualified winning teams will be offered an opportunity to tour the R&D facility. During this tour, they will also have an opportunity to meet and interact with key scientific leaders in the consumer R&D division of J&J.

 NJIT Summer Innovation Accelerator Membership (No fees or equity taken)

We have also partnered with NJIT to provide the winners access to NJIT Summer Innovation Acceleration Program, a ten-week long start-up accelerator program in the model of Lean Start Ups utilizing Business Model Canvas.

Complimentary Invite for AWISNJ Events & Meets

In addition to cash prizes described above, the winners will also get complimentary year along invitation to attend our events and meetings, providing them access to our professional network of experienced entrepreneurs, academic leaders, pharmaceutical & biotechnology professionals.


Registration & Executive Summary                                            January 1, 2018

Request for full Business plans from finalists                        January 30, 2018

Full Business Plans from invited finalists                                February 20, 2018

Final Pitching & Awarding                                                            March 8, 2018 

Executive Summary. The Executive Summary should be submitted as a pdf file to awis_cjc@yahoo.com with subject line: Executive Summary. The Executive Summary should be a one to two-page synopsis of your Business Plan. It is highly recommended that your Executive Summary highlight the most interesting and important elements of your plan that would inform an external reviewer or judge as to why your idea will succeed.

Business Plan. The Business Plan limited to 20 pages should clearly explain your Products or Services, Market and Marketing Strategy, Operations, Management and Business Model (how your venture makes money). Key components should include, but not be limited to (Canvas Business Model format suggested, but not binding):

  • Key Partnerships
  • Customer Segments
  • Customer Relationships
  • Customer Relationships
  • Revenue Streams
  • Cost Structure 
  • Value Proposition
  • Key Activities
  • Key Resources


Pitches will be judged on factors such as innovation of product/service, understanding of the market, growth and sustainability planning, the development of competitive advantage, the availability of management and skill sets, the strength of vision, and well-defined goals.

  • A panel of judges will conduct a blind review of executive summaries to select the following finalists

    •  Top 4 teams in the Entrepreneurship category.                                        Top 4 college teams in the Innovation category.                                        Top 4 school teams in the Innovation category

  • Selected teams will be invited to participate in final pitching & awarding event.

  • On March 8, 2018, female leads from invited teams will give a 20 minute presentation of their business plan, including a 90 second Elevator Pitch

  • Judges will evaluate the presentations and winners will be announced.

  • All decisions by the judges will be final.