Talking over the plans for the 2013 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards are Carol Ashley, Demo2Design, 2012 winner in Real Estate/Construction; Cathy Feldman, Board Chair/CEO, Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation; Mindy Bingham, Academic Innovations, 2012 winner in Rock Star: Life Achievement, and Melissa Moreno, Director of the Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at SBCC.

The gala awards event will honor eight local women who exemplify what it means to be a successful entrepreneur as well as the student winners of a business plan competition, the New Venture Challenge, put on by Santa Barbara City College’s Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. This unique collaboration is designed to celebrate entrepreneurship at all levels in Santa Barbara County. Both the women and student winners will receive their awards at the dinner on May 10.

According to Cathy Feldman, Board Chair/CEO of the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation, the partnership with the Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation is a great opportunity for both organizations. “We know that entrepreneurship are one of the key drivers in the economic recovery and women business owners are one of the fastest growing groups,” Feldman says. “We had over 70 women nominated for our Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards this year, so it was not easy for our independent judges to select winners in the eight categories. At the same time, we believe it is important to support future entrepreneurs, which is why the proceeds from our Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards Dinner go toward prizes for the student winners of the Scheinfeld Center’s New Venture Challenge competition.”

The Scheinfeld Center’s New Venture Challenge competition is a two-tiered business plan competition for SBCC and Antioch University students, as well as area high school students, to promote youth entrepreneurship. Melissa Moreno, Scheinfeld Center Director, points out, “The New Venture Challenge gives our local high school and college students an opportunity to showcase their business concepts to the community. Thanks to our generous donors including Bank of Santa Barbara,, Montecito Bank and Trust and the SOE Foundation, the winning students will be receiving scholarships or start-up cash, totaling $15,000.”

Moreno and Feldman cite some examples of the successes that have been achieved by both the student and women winners. The top collegiate winner in 2012, now 21 years old, has a company that makes self-contained gardens for people confined to wheelchairs that is valued at $1 million thanks to investors who learned about his business through our Awards. Here is YouTube video of his prototype for his Gardens on Wheelz. The winning women entrepreneurs serve as role models for the students and have their own success stories, from developing a unique new breakfast cereal ( to expanding their existing products into the global market ( to taping her own national tv show based on her book (

Information about tickets and sponsorships for the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards dinner are available here or contact Cathy Feldman, Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation Board Chair at 805-682-8775.

For more information about the Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation’s New Venture Challenge, go here or contact Melissa Moreno, Director, Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship at 805-892-3643 or


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