Necessity may be "The Mother of Invention" but being a productive, resourceful and entrepreneurial mom takes a little more than that these days. Recognizing this, Whirlpool brand announced the winners of its third annual Mother of Invention Grant, awarding over $40,000 to help momtrepreneurs make their inventions a reality.
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The Whirlpool Brand developed the Mother of Invention Grant to help moms realize their potential by providing necessary business resources to launch their invention. Words often used to describe these momtrepreneurs are innovative, productive, inventive and protective. This year's grand prize winner, Beth House, from Diamond Bar, Calif., encapsulates all of those with her Water Bottle Nipple Top and Pacifier innovation.
"I have truly learned that anything is possible by winning this grant," said House, who will receive a $20,000 business grant to help her execute plans for her invention. "With the Water Bottle Nipple Top and Pacifier, I hope to make life a little easier for moms each day, and ultimately show them they should always believe in their ideas."
The Water Bottle Nipple Top and Pacifier converts most juice and water bottles into nippled baby bottles, and doubles as a pacifier. The idea came to House out of necessity during a family camping trip with her husband and their foster children. When they ran out of baby bottles, House came up with the concept of a nipple that would screw on to the opening of a water bottle. Rather than waiting for the idea to come to market, House created the product and is now getting it off the ground.
In addition to the grant, House will receive a Whirlpool® Duet® washer and dryer pair, a Whirlpool® Fabric Freshener and a $3,000 stipend for a new home office. House and four additional winners will have the opportunity to attend a Whirlpool business boot camp with House. The camp, held at Whirlpool headquarters, will be hosted by Whirlpool brand experts and 2007 judges, will include roundtable discussions on topics critical to starting a business.
In 2007, Whirlpool brand called on established entrepreneurial moms Julie Aigner-Clark and Stephanie Allen to serve as the guest judges for the program. Aigner-Clark, creator of Baby Einstein and co-founder of the Safe Side, and Allen, co-founder of the Dream Dinners meal assembly franchise, will both participate in the October boot camp.
"Each year, I'm very impressed with the quality and scope of the entries -- this year was no exception," said Aigner-Clark. "There are brilliant moms with unique ideas everywhere, and I truly hope that all the entrants will continue to develop their concepts and strive to reach their goals."
Additional awards and winners include:
First Prize - $7,000 grant, a Whirlpool Gold® PowerScour™ dishwasher, a Whirlpool® Duet Sport® washer and dryer pair.
-- Julie Savage, Simpsonville, S.C.: Created Tidy Toys, a mobile toy- cleaning service. The business disinfects toys, books and more at doctor's offices, daycares, churches, etc. -- Stacey Hoskins Beeler, Liberty, Ky.: Designed a product which monitors sick children.
Second Prize - $5,000 grant and a Whirlpool® Duet Sport® washer and dryer pair.
-- Andria Sgro, Del Mar, Calif.: Developed a bandeau wrap worn around the bustline of pregnant and breastfeeding mothers while showering to soothe, protect and support tender breast area. -- Kristi Pierce, Vergas, Minn.: Invented the Under Cover Plunger, a plunger with a handle which pivots to fold flat, and stores conveniently under the toilet tank lid.
Information about the 2007 Whirlpool Brand Mother of Invention Grant recipients will be available at www.whirlpool.com/moms . Video highlights from the boot camp will be available to view later this year.
About Whirlpool Brand
Whirlpool Corporation is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of approximately $18 billion, more than 73,000 employees. Recognizing that consumers are dedicated to caring for their families but lead busy, active lives, Whirlpool brand provides forward- thinking appliances to help consumers save time, manage space and produce results with less effort. In addition to providing appliance solutions that are designed based on consumer insight, Whirlpool brand is dedicated to creating ENERGY STAR® qualified appliances like the Duet HT® washer, which uses 73% less water and 77% less energy than conventional washers (compared to a conventional washer manufactured before 2004, using the normal cycle). Whirlpool is one of Habitat for Humanity's largest corporate partners, donating a refrigerator and range to every new Habitat for Humanity home built in North America. Additional information about the company can be found at http://www.whirlpoolcorp.com/.
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