Cincinnati Mompreneur Named Grand Prize Winner in Cincinnati Innovation Competition
CINCINNATI, OHIO August 17, 2012 — Brooke Griffin had only $500 left in her checking account. After already cashing out her 401K, she was left with no other funding alternatives for her emerging wellness website targeted to mothers, SkinnyMom.com. Griffin was preparing to give her sole remaining employee the news that she had to let her go and possibly close operations when she received a call she was a finalist in the Cincinnati Innovates Regional Innovation Competition.
“I felt this tiny voice inside of me saying God will provide. I decided to not tell my editor about my financial situation and instead went about pitching my company to the Cincinnati Innovates committee on Tuesday, August 7th. I had a good feeling when I left, not knowing how many finalists were there presenting,” Griffin remarked.
On Thursday, August 16 Griffin was announced as the grand prize winner in the competition and presented a check for $25,000 from CincyTech, a technology investment group and founding sponsor of the Cincinnati Innovates Regional Innovation Competition, during a ceremony held at Northern Kentucky University’s Griffin Hall.
“Brooke leveraged a critical personal life experience and identified a need not being met in the market. Here passion and dedication to Skinny Mom and building a community focused on healthy living for mothers is very clear. In addition, she has also built a large community of bloggers and readers with only her funds and hard work.” Rahul Bawa remarked. Rahul Bawa is the Director of Software and Digital Investments and Executive-in-Residence at CincyTech, a public-private venture development organization that invests in startup businesses.
Griffin, a former Fitness Universe Champion and NFL Cheerleader, founded SkinnyMom.Com after the birth of her first child, Easton, in April of 2011. Fitness was always a passion for Griffin and she felt challenged when she struggled to lose the 68 pounds of baby weight that she gained during pregnancy. She looked around the internet to find a community of like-minded women and was disappointed when she came up empty handed. In response, she developed SkinnyMom.com.
Griffin explains, “I started the website with the little money I had left in my savings. It continued to grow at rapid speed and I soon found that the workload was overwhelming. I hired on an editor to help manage the growth. As the website, grew, the cost of hosting, trademarks, and developing soon began adding up and I struggled. With the amazing increase of followers and traffic daily I knew that I had to do whatever it took to keep it going.”
Griffin’s innovation, SkinnyMom.com was chosen over 260 other companies who applied for the $25,000 cash prize. Griffin hopes to raise an additional $250,000 in funding.