Eight women business owners. Seven months. Real innovation.
The Capital One CATAPULT Program concluded on September 28, 2018 after sending eight women entrepreneurs on a seven-month transformational journey, harnessing their creativity, and building competencies in digital innovation and disruption.
After months of in-person educational sessions with and direct mentorship from many Capital One Associates, program participants finally pitched their innovative digital solution to a panel of judges at Capital One’s campus in McLean, Virginia. Patricia Rodriguez-Christian, CEO of Texas Standard Commercial Construction, earned first place in the pitch competition with her solution to digitize a paper-based change order process in her commercial paint contracting company, thereby increasing productivity, job cost accountability, and her profit margin.
“The Capital One Catapult program helped our business take an idea from thought, through concept development,” she says. “With their generous support, it will become a reality in our business.”
The CATAPULT program is part of Capital One’s broader diversity and inclusion initiative, as they continue to support and develop diverse suppliers.
“We feel a real responsibility to close the digital divide and help diverse businesses where possible,” says Jim Gorzalski, Chief Procurement Officer at Capital One. “Through this program, we are leveraging Capital One's expertise to provide in depth training in our facilities to assist these diverse business leaders in learning the skills that will help broaden their competencies and allow them to develop innovative solutions to solve real business problems."
In partnership with WBENC, eight women-owned businesses were selected among many companies to participate in the program after submitting applications at the beginning of the year. From medical billing to market research, these businesses represented diverse industries and presented innovative, digital solutions to real challenges in their business and industry. Each month from March through September, participants met at the Capital One campus in Plano, Texas to learn about design thinking, product development, managing technology teams, and more.
“This type of executive education and mentorship is critical in helping women-owned businesses grow and succeed,” says Pamela Prince-Eason, WBENC President and CEO. “Capital One is leading the way in not only providing business opportunities for women-owned businesses, but in developing them as suppliers through education and business coaching.”
Capital One, a 2018 Top Corporation for Women’s Business Enterprises, has a strong history of commitment in supporting women-owned businesses through programs like CATAPULT. WBENC and Capital One look forward to partnering in the future to provide more opportunities to develop and advance women-owned businesses.
WBENC is the largest third-party certifier of businesses owned, controlled, and operated by women in the United States. WBENC partners with 14 Regional Partner Organizations (RPOs) to provide its world-class standard of certification to women-owned businesses throughout the country. WBENC is also the nation's leading advocate of women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs. Throughout the year, WBENC provides business development opportunities for member corporations, government agencies and more than 14,000 certified women-owned businesses at events and other forums.
About Capital One
At Capital One, we’re building a leading information-based technology company. Still founder-led, Capital One is on a mission to help our customers succeed by bringing ingenuity, simplicity, and humanity to banking. We measure our efforts by the success our customers enjoy and the advocacy they exhibit. We are succeeding because they are succeeding. Guided by our shared values, we thrive in an environment where collaboration and openness are valued. We believe that innovation is powered by perspective and that teamwork and respect for each other lead to superior results. We elevate each other and obsess about doing the right thing. Our associates serve with humility and a deep respect for their responsibility in helping our customers achieve their goals and realize their dreams. www.capitalone.com/inclusion