This week’s list of contests and competitions for entrepreneurs has several entry deadlines this month, including an extension on the Winning Workplaces award. Don’t underestimate the value of the visibility your small business can get just by entering – even if you don’t take home the top prize.
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Catalyst Competition – Awarding Leading Women-led Startups
Enter by January 14, 2010
Startups at any stage of maturity (pre-exit) with female leadership are eligible to apply. Submissions are in the form of a Vator company profile, and a popular vote on Vator.com will determine the top 10 finalists. After the final 10 are selected, a panel of Venture Capitalists and Industry Insiders will rank the runners-up. All 10 will receive passes to the Catalyst Conference and the top five will present onstage at the Catalyst Conference on Jan. 26, 2010 in San Francisco.
Make Mine a Million $ Business Competition
Enter by: January 15, 2010
The “Make Mine a Million $ Business” competition is for businesses organized and doing business in the United States that are at least 50% owned by a woman, who want to grow the business to $1 Million or more in revenue in the next 12 to 18 months.
All applicants who are selected as Finalists must attend the Make Mine a Million event at their own expense and be willing to participate in the coaching program, related public relations events, and promotions for the Make Mine a Million $ Business program and its sponsors and other partners.
Applications for the Make Mine a Million $ Business program are screened by Count Me In staff and a team of banking and financial professionals selected by Count Me In. Applicants with the highest ratings will be selected as Finalists.
At the event, each Finalist will make a three-minute presentation of their business, their qualifications, and how they would benefit from the Program. This elevator pitch is given in front of a live audience and a panel of qualified judges selected by Count Me In. The judges, with input from the audience vote, will select which of the Finalists should be named as award recipients.
Apply for the Make Mine a Million award here.
Keiretsu Forum Angel Competition
Enter by January 18, 2010
Keiretsu Forum, the world’s largest angel investment community, is seeking 10 startups to present at its Bay Area Angel Capital Expo in January. Companies should be in their A or B rounds, usually with $500,000 to $1.5 million friends and family investments. Forum members invest in high-quality, diverse investment opportunities in technology, life sciences, consumer products, real estate, clean tech, social ventures and other segments with high-growth potential. Download application here.
Entry deadline extended to January 22, 2010
Winning Workplaces and Inc. Magazine are seeking compelling examples of organizations with outstanding cultures for the 2010 Top Small Company Workplaces competition. The winners will be featured in the June 2010 issue of Inc. Magazine. To be eligible, the organization must be:
- North American based; For Profit; Privately Held
- Independent, not part of a larger corporation
- Have no more than $500 million in annual revenue
- Employ no more than 750 people (full-time equivalents, exempt and non-exempt)
- Have been in business at least three years by January 11, 2010
- Not a past Winning Workplaces award winner
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.
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.
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 we’re looking for the best clean technology ideas from around the world. Just for telling us 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 our newsletter to get updates.
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.)
To find other small business awards, contests, competitions and grants, visit our Small Business Events Calendar.
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.
Laura Leites, Managing Editor, Smallbiztechnology.com