Small Business Contests and Competitions

It may be a holiday weekend in the U.S., but there’s still time to get into the running for these great competitions. Note the upcoming deadlines and don’t miss your chance to win some nice services, cash prizes, and of course – recognition!

This list of contests, 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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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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2010 Miller Heiman Sales Team Makeover
Enter by May 31, 2010

One lucky organization will win more than $100,000 worth of sales performance services.

The 2010 Miller Heiman Sales Best Practices Study revealed that in the past year, many sales organizations lost focus on the activities that produce results, and instead pursued activities with little return like cold calling and discounting. Could your organization use help getting back on track? Do you meet these eligibility criteria?

* At least $10 million in annual revenue
* Sales team of 10-20 people, including sales support, salespeople and sales management
* More than one year of operations
* Selling primarily in a business-to-business environment
* Complex customer buying process involving three or more decision makers.

Tell and sell them on why you are the team for this Makeover.

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Small Business Super Heroes
Enter by June 1, 2010

BatchBlue is seeking nominations for its third annual Small Business Super Heroes award, honoring innovative small businesses who are seeking to better the lives of folks everywhere. The competition is open to small businesses worldwide, and submissions are easy via an online form.

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Green Your Small Business Challenge
Enter by June 4, 2010

Going Green at the office has never been easier. Staples has teamed up with Entrepreneur to invite small business owners to enter the Small Business Go Green Challenge to let us know how and why they would like to make their office more sustainable.

Entrepreneur.com will select the three top submissions, awarding the grand-prize winner with a $10,000 green office makeover (through a Staples gift pack) and a spotlight in an online feature themed “How to Take Your Business Green” in August. The second-place winner will receive a $2,000 Staples gift pack and the third-place winner will receive a $1,000 Staples gift pack.

Submissions should be no more than 100 words and include details on what steps they would take and why they would like to make their office greener. Entrepreneur and Staples will select the top-three submissions, and Staples will award eco-friendly products to the winning submissions.

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The Beat Waste Startup Challenge
Enter by June 6, 2010

The Beat Waste Startup Challenge is a competition offering $25,000 in cash prizes for businesses and social enterprises that reduce or eliminate waste. The challenge is for early stage ventures seeking funding to grow. To enter, you need an elevator pitch and a 200 word description. Crowd voting helps determine the winning entries.

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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 Business Plan Competition 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 New York Enterprise Report Small Business Awards
NOTE: Deadline extended to June 11, 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 New York area. A panel of experts in related fields will judge all awards. 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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MassChallenge
Enter by June 11, 2010

Think you have the next big idea? Need a little help getting started? Want to join the world’s strongest startup community? Join MassChallenge and compete for access to workshops, mentors, executives, other team members, free resources such as office space and sources of funding. Anyone can enter MassChallenge, with any idea, from anywhere in the world.
Our goal is to support high-potential seed and early stage startups
- Less than $500K of aggregate investment to date (grants not included, except for non-profit entrants)
- Less than $1M in revenue over last 12 months

Check website for details and entry requirements.

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BigCommerce $35,000 E-commerce Makeover Contest

Enter by June 15, 2010

Small business owners can enter the contest by posting a 60-second video to YouTube with the tags “ecommerce contest” and “bigcommerce” – videos should articulate why the contestant should be chosen to win and other relevant information about their business.

The grand prize includes:
* Professional store redesign and migration of the store to BigCommerce
* BigCommerce diamond store, with two-year free subscription
* Two-year MailChimp email marketing subscription
* One-year Fan Appz Pro license for social media marketing
* Google AdWords audit from ROI Revolution
* Online sales and marketing program consulting from Sales Rescue Team
* Significant promotion for the winner’s business and other opportunities.

Four runners-up will receive a two-year BigCommerce gold license and other promotional opportunities

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Entrepreneurial Winning Women
Enter by June 30, 2010

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Winning Women program is seeking a select group of women entrepreneurs to join an elite network of the country’s best entrepreneurs and high-growth companies and participate in a customized program designed to:

* Identify potential partners, strategic alliances, customers and suppliers as well as prospective sources of private capital among selected venture capital and private equity firms
* Expand their knowledge with the latest information, research and executive dialogues on business strategies and practices tailored to high-growth companies
* Provide informal, one-to-one guidance and support
* Strengthen their executive leadership and business skills and identify opportunities to grow and scale their companies through meetings with senior advisors and seasoned entrepreneurs who can serve as role models, coaches and mentors
* Increase national and regional visibility for themselves and their companies among corporate executives, investors and the media

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National Small Business “Comeback” Contest
Enter by June 30, 2010

It’s no secret that it’s been tough out there for American small business owners lately. But this isn’t the first time we’ve hit a rough patch – as a group, we’ve had it bad before, and we’ve always bounced back stronger than ever!

To help, Cortera’s giving away over $10,000 in total prizes for the best small business story! Enter to win the Grand Prize of $3,500 and a year-long Cortera Power membership.

* Submit an entry about a small business you work for, own, or nominate a small business you love.
* Best video entry wins a side-pot prize of $1000!
* Win $500 and a year-long Cortera Expert membership if you’re selected as a runner up.
* Get a free trial membership with Cortera

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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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Supreme Studio Makeover Contest
Enter by June 30, 2010

Targeted towards professionals in creative fields, the Supreme Studio Makeover Contest features a prize for larger studios with 11 or more employees valued up to $17,000 and a prize for studios with 1-10 employees valued up to $8,300. Entry information can be found here.

The products featured in the contest include: Maya 2011, Adobe CS5, HP Designjet large format printers, NEC 24″ widescreen monitors, and Apple Time Capsule storage units. The Maya 2011 and Adobe CS5 software products only recently became available for ordering.

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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 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 Kindle.
* Recognition at the 2010 Conference dinner.

Award categories and online applications can be found here.

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2010 Leading Moms in Business
Enter by August 31, 2010

The 2010 StartupNation Leading Moms in Business competition will rank the top 200 mom-run businesses across America as determined by popular vote.

Over the next few months, it’ll be your daily votes that will tell us who deserves to be named a winner. The list of the 200 winners will be published in May and will be ranked according to votes accumulated.

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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.

6 Comments ▼

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.

6 Reactions

  1. Excellent list of resources. Winning one of these contests would not only benefit a small business owner through the prizes won, but also the resulting publicity.

  2. Thanks for sharing this! It’s a great opportunity for many small businesses!

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