The Mom Entrepreneur Blog Has Moved!

We are now using Wordpress. You should be automatically redirected in 5 seconds. If not, visit and update your bookmarks.

Whirlpool Brand Mother of Invention Grant Program

Sunday, May 18, 2008
Moms have been creating solutions to everyday problems for centuries – from eliminating the monster under the bed to creating the perfect dish that highlights all five food groups to inventions like the disposable diaper. To celebrate moms’ ingenuity, Whirlpool brand is kicking off the fourth annual Mother of Invention Grant competition. From now until July 31, 2008, moms are encouraged to submit their business, service or product ideas at

The grant program was started in 2005 by Audrey Reed-Granger, Whirlpool brand’s director of PR. "My first month on the job someone from Whirlpool brand mentioned a trend of moms with the entrepreneurial spirit and wondered how the brand could capture these women," said Reed-Granger. "I started doing some research online, and read about these amazing women who had solutions for everything - from their children to their home. I saw a connection between those mom inventors and Whirlpool brand. We knew lots of moms have big dreams, and thus this program was born."

The Whirlpool brand Mother of Invention Grant Program provides seed money and expert guidance to moms to turn their invention, business or service ideas into full-fledged businesses.

Contest winners receive:

  • A $20,000 grant for the grand prize winner
  • $24,000 in grant money for the four runners-up
  • Home appliance prizes
  • Invitation to business boot camp where winners will receive guidance from Whirlpool and industry experts

2006 Mother of Invention Grant Competition Grand Prize Winner and CEO of Innovative Crib Designs Mary Anne Amato offers the following tips:

  1. Do your homework. Find out as much as you can about your proposed business; the competition; consumer reactions; etc.
  2. Make a plan and be prepared to change it. No matter how much homework you do, you will learn an enormous amount in the process and that means you need to re-assess the plan, taking into account the new information. I could not have known or anticipated a number of things prior to starting Innovative Crib Designs and once we had some experience under out belts, we adjusted direction.
  3. Financing cannot be under-estimated and should be given a lot of attention. Manufacturing, sales, marketing, etc. all add up to very big dollars so a plan for funding must be made and enough must be raised to give the business an adequate chance of succeeding.
  4. Take risks. It can be scary to take on such a new adventure, but a business can’t succeed if you are not willing to take some risks in order to help it. I put a lot of my own time and money into the company, traveled to China to negotiate deals, became a student of safety regulations, and did a lot of other things I might not have ever dreamed of doing if I didn't start this business.
  5. Believe in yourself and in your product. You really do have to make a good, high quality product that adds value. When you do that, you then have to rely on your own confidence and abilities to make the dream become the reality. There is no guide book that you can follow that will tell you the answers to all the different questions you need to answer or give you advice on every different issue you have. So, you have to be able to rely on yourself and know that the decisions you make are the best ones you can make given the situation and information you have at the time.

To enter the 2008 Whirlpool Brand Mother of Invention Grant Program, visit the company's website for full details. You can also review contest FAQs and meet past winners.