Contests can be a great way to get recognition for your small business in addition to the big prizes. Check deadlines closely. Our latest list of competitions and awards for entrepreneurs includes an extended deadline and several that are ending in January 2010. This listing is updated every two weeks and brought to you as a community service by Small Business Trends and Smallbiztechnology.com.
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2010 North of Boston Business Plan Competition
Enter by January 28, 2010
This business plan competition is an opportunity for an early-stage or startup company to submit its business plan to a panel of judges – many of whom are investors – and to win a cash prize. More importantly, the competition is a way of showcasing emerging businesses before panels of judges who are themselves investors, thereby offering these businesses immediate access to capital. See website for entry requirements and rules.
Franchise Excellence in Email Awards
Enter by January 29, 2010
This award will recognize outstanding achievements in email marketing by franchisors and franchisees in three categories as judged by Constant Contact’s Franchise team and Joel Libava, president of Franchise Selection Specialists Inc.
Award categories include: Best in Show 2009, Best Overall B2C Email Campaign and Best Overall B2B Email Campaign.
Nokia Calling All Innovators 2010 Contest
Enter by February 1, 2010
Open to all mobile and web application developers worldwide, the Calling All Innovators is a global developer competition that challenges developers to create applications and services that will enhance the use of mobile devices in real-world scenarios in the following four categories: Eco/Being Green, Entertainment, Productivity, Life Improvement.
Nokia will award a $1 million prize to the developer or team who creates something for people in areas with an average daily income of less than $5.
“Become Your Own Boss” Entrepreneur’s Challenge
Enter by February 5, 2010
In celebration of the release of her first book, Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months: A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works, Melinda Emerson is offering one lucky business owner the opportunity to be coached weekly personally by her for one year. Details to enter here.
Intuit’s Love a Local Business Contest
Enter by March 3, 2010
In a nationwide effort to help support the growth of small businesses, Intuit is hosting the “Love a Local Business” sweepstakes. Fans of local small businesses can nominate their favorite hometown haunt, which will make them eligible for a drawing to win a $1,000 Intuit Growth Grant, which includes a $500 Visa gift card and $500 in Intuit business services, such as Intuit Websites and Web Listings. One of those five winning local businesses will receive a grand prize of $5,000!
In addition, each business that is nominated will appear on a custom Google Map displaying favorite businesses from across the country. The more nominations a business has, the more chances they have to win a grant. Intuit has already awarded $55,000 in small business grants. Now it’s time to show support for your favorite neighborhood shop! Go to Love a Local Business for more information.
The Rhode Island Business Plan Competition
Enter by April 5, 2010
The Rhode Island Business Plan Competition, open to everyone, seeks to promote entrepreneurship and development of start-up and early stage companies. Winners and finalists in the 2010 Competition are expected to receive more than $130,000 in prizes.
The Better Way Challenge from Verizon
Enter by May 31, 2010
Sign up for a free 30-Day Trial of the Verizon Collaboration Center and be automatically entered to win a Flip MinoHD video camera; 15 per month will be given away randomly to those who sign up for the trial.
There is also a separate video contest: submit a video describing the challenges you face as a small business getting your whole team on the same page and you’ll receive an additional six months of the Verizon Collaboration Center for free.
If Verizon and Cisco select your video, you could be entered to win an exclusive business consultation to help you take your business to the next level in one of these two prize levels:
Grand Prize: An exclusive two-hour business consultation with entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki plus a $2,000 reward card.
2nd and 3rd Place Prizes: An exclusive one-hour business consultation with the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group – an organization that provides customers with innovative approaches to complex business opportunities – and a $1000 reward card.
Click here for official rules and to enter.
The Shopify Build a Business Contest
Runs January 1 – June 30, 2010
This contest is open to legal residents of the United States who are at least 18 years of age and starting a new business. To enter you must open a new store on Shopify.com. The winner will be selected based on their two best selling months between January 1st, 2010 and June 30th, 2010. The store with the two best selling months will win $100,000. Achieve the same for your store category and win $5,000 as a runner up prize.
The Cleantech Open Ideas Competition
Opens for Entries July 2010
The Cleantech Open runs the world’s largest clean technology business competition and is looking for the best clean technology ideas from around the world. Just for telling your idea, you could win a prize package of services worth $100,000 to help you start a business to grow your idea! Winners of each individual National Competition, get to represent your country as a Global IDEAS finalist at the annual Cleantech Open Awards Gala on November 16, 2010 in San Francisco.
There, your idea will be presented in a five-minute pitch in front of a crowd of 3,000 investors, entrepreneurs, sponsoring companies, corporations, members of academia, press, and others interested in hearing your ideas and getting involved.
The crowd will vote via text message for the “People’s Choice” and you could win $100,000 in marketing support, legal advising, conferencing services and more to help launch your business!
The competition will open in July 2010. Sign up to receive the newsletter to get updates.
To find more small business events, contests and awards, visit our Small Business Events Calendar.
If you are putting on a small business contest, award or competition, and want to get the word out to the community, please submit it through our Small Business Event Form (We do not charge a fee to be included in this listing — it is completely free to list your award or contest.)
Please note: The descriptions provided here are for convenience only and are NOT the official rules. ALWAYS read official rules carefully at the site holding the competition, contest or award.