Small Business Contests and Awards

Don’t miss more chances to win business services, cash prizes and more in this weeks’ list of contests and awards, which is brought to you every two weeks by Small Business Trends and Smallbiztechnology.com.
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magntize.jpgFree Magntize Website Giveway
Enter by March 21, 2010
Win a Magntize Pro website for your personal brand. Three winners in a random drawing will get a 1-year complimentary pro account at Magntize.
The free pro account at Magntize includes:
* Your own domain (example: http://yourname.com)
* Custom email forwarding from your domain (example: email@yourdomain.com)
* Access to Premium themes as well as the custom-designed Magntize iPhone version of your site
* A personal aggregate RSS feed that combines all your web activity into a single stream
Enter Magntize drawing here.

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mhlogo.gifThe Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge
Enter by March 29, 2010
Have you hatched a great idea for a business? If your business is less than 1 year old or exists only on paper, you can enter our 12th Annual Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge, co-sponsored by Florida International University’s Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center.
This year, we will have three tracks: one open to anyone in South Florida, an FIU track open to students, faculty, staff and alums of the university and a third one for high school students. Winners will be invited to a luncheon in their honor where they will meet with The Miami Herald’s business editors, reporters and judges, as well as a Hall of Fame luncheon hosted by FIU’s College of Business Administration.

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love_a_local_business.pngIntuit’s Love a Local Business Contest
Enter by March 31, 2010
Fans of local small businesses can nominate their favorite hometown business. There will be 5 prizes gives. Grand Prize is a $30,000 Intuit Grow Grant, consisting of products and services including $10,000 worth of Google AdWords advertising and $10,000 cash. Four local small businesses each will receive grant packages of $5,000 cash and services.
Also, every small business that nominates itself will receive $100 in Google AdWords credit. (Yes, you read that right — just nominate your own business to get $100 credit toward a new Google Adwords account.)

March contest details here.

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sbw-trans.gifBirmingham Business Alliance “My Choice” Award
Enter by March 31, 2010
The Birmingham Business Alliance is accepting nominations for a new “My Choice” award that is the latest installment in the 2010 Small Business Week Program.
The award is a people’s choice contest that allows patrons in the chamber’s seven-county region to vote for their favorite small businesses in the area.
The BBA is accepting nominations until March 31. The top five finalists will then be posted and Web site visitors can vote for their favorites through April 15.
The winner will be announced at the Small Business Awards Ceremony on May 6 at B&A Warehouse. The awards ceremony completes Small Business Week 2010: Survivor Birmingham, which starts May 3 and focuses on ways to strengthen the local small business community.

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ribusplan2010-150x45.jpgThe 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.

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Chicago-BizPlan.jpgChicago City Treasurer’s Office 2010 Business Plan Competition
Enter by April 5, 2010 at 5:00 p.m.
The Business Plan competition is sponsored by Harris Bank, with Chicago Community Ventures as the managers of the competition. There will be ten semifinalists selected. Business plan summaries will be accepted from those hoping to start up a small business, and existing small businesses owners hoping to reach their next level. Business summaries must be submitted on the official competition template available here. Cash prizes will include – 1st Place $5,000; 2nd place $3,500; and a $1,500 3rd place prize. A new business mentoring program will assist all the finalists.

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Thumbnail image for inclogo.gifProductivity@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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hd-logo.jpgOffice 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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contest2010_header.pngIt’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 itstimeforbusiness.com/contest 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.GIFCringely’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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inc500_2010.gif2010 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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verizon2.gif
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.

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4hww-78x150.gif
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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cleantech.gifThe 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.

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ingies.gifiNGie 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 Kindle™.
* Recognition at the 2010 Conference dinner.
Award categories and online applications can be found here.

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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

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Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com . Editor and Founder, Smart Hustle Magazine Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook