Small Biz Competitions and Contests

While some contests are just luck – and who doesn’t like to be lucky and win something – some small business competitions really give your company an opportunity to shine. Check out some great new ones in this week’s list.

This list of competitions and awards for small businesses is brought to you every other week as a community service by Small Business Trends and Smallbiztechnology.com.

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Sales Kickstart

Enter from April 8 to April 29, 2010

Sponsored by the Sales Rescue Team, the Sales Kickstart contest is part of its new webinar series to help small businesses increase sales. The prize is a PRWeb Media package (value $360) to one random drawing winner from each webinar. When you register and attend any of the webinars, your name is entered into the contest. You can win only once.

Webinar topics include: Email Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Business Planning, Facebook and Twitter for Sales, Generating New Leads, Using Support Services, Improve Your Website Conversions. Starts April 8th.
Details at Sales Rescue Team.
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RingCentral Ultimate Small Business Start-up Giveaway
Various Dates – April 2010

During the month of April, 25 different websites will be running this contest, sponsored by RingCentral. Contest dates vary by site, so check out the list of participating sites and dates here.

The prize that will be given away at each site is a one year of free service with RingCentral Mobile a $300 value. Non US-Based winner will be compensated with a cash payment equal to the value of the prize package. If you are one of the 25 winners you will be entered into a chance to win one of the 5 Grand Prizes.

The grand prize will be the Ultimate Small Business Start-up Packages valued at over $1100. The Ultimate Small Business Start-up Package includes:

* Virtual Phone System by RingCentral ($300)
* Company incorporation services by LegalZoom ($339)
* Logo Design services by Logoworks($339)
* 1000 premium business cards printed by Vistaprint($40)
* One year web hosting with BlueHost. ($84)

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MIT Twitch (Twitter Pitch)

Enter by April 20, 2010

Twitch (or Twitter-Pitch, not to be confused with a nervous gesture after drinking too much coffee) takes the elevator pitch of your idea to the next level. In 140 characters or less, you need to communicate the essence of your idea on Twitter. Now you are not only challenged to be efficient with your words, but also with the characters that comprise those words. The winner of the contest will win a $500 cash prize. May the best “Twitcher” win. Check website for rules and instructions to enter.

The first ever MIT $100K Twitch Contest winner will be announced at our Business Plan Contest finale on May 12, 2010.

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Productivity@Work Contest
Enter by April 21, 2010

Is your old technology slowing down what you accomplish at work? Comcast Business Class and Inc. are awarding four deserving companies with office productivity upgrades – providing the four winning companies with a prize package of tools and resources to take their business to the next level.

Four Grand Prize Winners of the Productivity@Work Contest will each receive a custom technology audit and Comcast Business Class solutions valued at approximately $40,000 including:

* A Two year Comcast Business Class Internet package that will help your company be more efficient, fast and more secure
* Two years of Business Class TV Service
* Equipment Upgrade, including up to five (5) HP personal computers and monitors
* Website consulting to build or upgrade your website
* Custom-designed Windows SharePoint templates
* Microsoft software and training
* Business continuity audit to help ensure you are prepared for any disaster
* Private small business consulting session with a small business consultant

Eligible contestants must complete an entry form, available at www.inc.com/comcast, and submit a short original essay explaining how Comcast technology can help their business. Submissions will be accepted through April 21, 2010, and winners will be determined by a combination of a judging panel of small business experts and public voting. All winners and their productivity upgrades will be profiled in a future edition of Inc. magazine.

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Office Depot Green Makeover Contest
Enter by April 22, 2010

The Greater Miami Chamber has partnered with Office Depot to encourage South Florida businesses in their efforts to go green. The prize package is worth more than $4,000, including furniture, office supplies, technology and a consultation with Yalmaz Siddiqui, director of Environmental Strategy, Office Depot. The contest is open to Greater Miami Chamber Members ONLY. The winner will be announced on May 12.

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It’s Time for Business with Office 2010 Video Contest
Enter by April 22, 2010

Small and startup businesses in Washington state can enter to win $10,000 in the “It’s Time for Business with Office 2010 Video Contest” launched by the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Microsoft Corporation.

To participate, contestants must go to the website and download a free trial version of Office 2010 to use in their business. Any business or organization with seven or fewer full-time employees is eligible, so long as they have a Washington state business license and comply with all contest rules. The winning entry will receive a $10,000 grand prize. Best foreign language video and best video by a woman-owned business will receive $1,000 prizes.

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Cringely’s (NOT in Silicon Valley) Startup Tour
Enter now through Mid-April 2010 (check site for details)

Robert X. Cringely, author of the technology blog “I, Cringely” (www.cringely.com), has launched a plan to restart America called “Cringely’s (NOT in Silicon Valley) Startup Tour.” People are invited to nominate startup companies in six different categories, discuss them, and vote for favorites on a special website created just for the tour.

After about six weeks of collecting nominations and reviewing candidates, Cringely will announce the top 24 companies. He will then take the show on the road this summer, with a camera crew, to visit all 24 companies to learn about the businesses and the entrepreneurs who started them. Ultimately, the stories he collects will become a 12-hour reality TV series to be broadcast on a major cable network.

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Leveraging Business for Social Change
Enter by April 28, 2010

Artemisia and Ashoka’s Changemakers are launching a global search for model initiatives and ideas that help build the emerging field of social business.

Share your solutions for building the field of social business. Submit your social enterprises that demonstrate how social business initiatives can thrive and scale-up their impact on quality of life.

Present your entry by the early entry deadline, April 28, 2010. The 2 winners of the early entry prize will receive a digital camera each one.

Enter before the competition deadline of June 9, 2010 and you may be one of three winners that receive USD $5000 to advance your project.

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2010 Inc. 500/5000
Enter by April 30, 2010

The Inc. 500/5000 list is a distinguished editorial award, a celebration of innovation, a network of entrepreneurial leaders, and an effective public relations showcase. The Inc. 500|5000 ranks companies by overall revenue growth over a three-year period. All 5,000 honoree companies are individually profiled on Inc.com. The top 500 are featured in the September issue of Inc. magazine.

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The Hire EQ “Take a Hat Off” Challenge

Enter by April 30, 2010

Taking on the hiring process on your own can be an extremely frustrating process, never mind expensive and time consuming. We promise you, the last thing you want to do is wear the recruiter hat. We are going to help one lucky company eliminate the cost and frustration of hiring by handling their next hire for them. No time wasted writing job descriptions, reviewing resumes or conducting dozens of interviews. We’ll going to do all of it. Best of all, we will be doing this for FREE.

To enter the Hire EQ “Take a Hat Off” Challenge all you need to do is fill out this form explaining why the position you want us to hire is going to make a difference in your company.  Take a Hat Off  Form here.

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Project Rev
Enter by May 3, 2010

Deluxe’s Project Rev project is a marketing lab to provide small businesses with the tools and expert resources to discover and execute marketing programs that will work for them. With support of SCORE, the program will grant 10 small business owners up to $5,000 each in customized marketing tools and services and one year of mentoring to drive their businesses forward.

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SpiritBank/Tulsa Community College Entrepreneurial Spirit Award
Enter by May 13

The SpiritBank/Tulsa Community College Entpreneurial Spirit Award is a business model compeition designed to stimulate entrepreneurial activity and greater awareness of the resources available to grow entrepreneurs in Tulsa.

The plan must be an original idea for a business in operation from zero up to five years in operation.

Applicants need not be based in Tulsa, but they must agree to establish or expand business operations in the City of Tulsa if they win.

First place, $30,000
Second place, $5,000
Third place, $2,500

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The New York Enterprise Report Small Business Awards
Enter by May 21, 2010

The New York Enterprise Report Small Business Awards is the annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of the 500,000+ small businesses throughout the tri-state area. A panel of experts in the related fields will judge all award packages. Awards will be presented to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages, revenue profits and/or long-term value. The Small Business Awards will recognize 5 small businesses for their best practices and a new category of awards that fall under the “Best of the Year Awards” will recognize 4 small businesses.

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Clean Tech Open Business Competition
Enter by May 22, 2010 (early bird by April 22)

The Cleantech Open Business Competition can accelerate your business launch and growth. Just by entering you’ll immediately start receiving resources and support to grow your company into a successful, sustainable business.
You’ll get a head start on developing your network and learning the skills you’ll need to win.

Regional winners receive a prize package worth $30,000 in cash and services. One national winner receives a $250,000 prize package of investment and additional services.

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verizonThe 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.

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The Washington, DC Economic Partnership Business Plan Competition

Enter by June 10, 2010

On July 28th 2010, the Washington, DC Economic Partnership will honor the spirit and achievement of the District’s entrepreneur and small business community at its third annual Small Business Awards ceremony. This year’s BPC winner will receive investment capital of $100,000 and $10,000 worth of legal consultation from Venable LLP.

If you would like to attend the Small Business Awards you can register here

Three categories of small businesses will be recognized:

- DC’s 100 year old business of the year
- DC’s small business of the year
- DC’s small business initiative of the year

For additional information or to apply please download the 2010 Small Business Awards Application or contact businessawards@wdcep.com

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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.

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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.

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iNGie Award from Cabinet NG
Enter by August 15, 2010

Cabinet NG will recognize our customers who have best used CNG-SAFE software products to improve their bottom line and at the same time operate their businesses in a more environmentally friendly manner. “iNGie” awards will be presented at the 2010 Collaborate Conference in Huntsville (dates and location to be announced soon).

Awards:

* The first 20 companies to apply receive 2 free passes to 2010 Conference in Huntsville (approximately $500 value).
* Winners get a $1,000 credit which can be applied toward annual maintenance or CNG products.
* Winners will also receive an Amazon Kindleâ„¢.
* Recognition at the 2010 Conference dinner.

Award categories and online applications can be found here.

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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 and Contests 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.

1 Comment ▼

Laura Leites


Laura Leites Laura Leites plans and manages events for clients through her company, L2 Event Production. Laura's projects include the Small Business Influencer Awards, The Small Business Summit, and many of SmallBizTechnology's live and virtual events, including the five-city Small Business Technology Tour.

One Reaction

  1. Business competitions are great for small businesses – to get recognition and a bit of free publicity.

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