Contests & Awards: Big Breaks, Influencers and Opportunities to Pitch Your Biz – July 2, 2012

Welcome to a fresh list of awards, contests and competitions for growing companies and entrepreneurs.

There are some great contests and awards in this week’s roundup.

If you’ve entered and won a contest or award listed here, let me know so we can share your news.

This list is brought to you every other week by Small Business Trends and


Win Expert Advice for your Small Business

DYMO Endicia has partnered with ecommerce and business experts Marsha Collier and John Lawson to bring small business owners the chance of a lifetime:

Two lucky business owners will win a 1-hour phone consultation with either Marsha or John. Ask your burning business questions, get expert advice, and discuss your management strategies with online sales and marketing gurus.

Dell $100M Innovators Credit Fund

Dell has launched a $100 million Innovators Credit Fund, with the purpose of helping entrepreneurs “maximize potential for innovation, speed to market and job creation.” The credit fund will offer both funding and technology resources with IT support, depending on what each start-up needs.

To be eligible, you must have already received some angel funding or venture capital before you can apply. Start-ups can get up to 10% of its current funding or up to $150,000 with limited credit terms. See website for details and application.

Big Break for Small Business
Enter by July 13, 2012

Five small business owners will receive house calls from American Express OPEN and Facebook branding experts who conduct in-depth marketing makeovers. Winners will also receive $25,000 in cash to implement the social strategies they learn from the makeovers.

The local communities of the winning businesses will also benefit. Winning businesses can invite other local entrepreneurs to meet a panel of social media and marketing experts to teach them how to use social channels for their business. See website for details and to enter.

Crain’s 2012 Best Places to Work in NYC
Enter by July 13, 2012

This survey and recognition program is dedicated to identifying and recognizing New York City’s best employers. Publicly or privately held businesses with at least 25 full or part time employees are eligible to enter.

SMB Influencer Awards 2012
Enter by July 15, 2012

The 2012 Small Business Influencer Awards are now open for nominations! The Influencer Awards honor companies, organizations, apps and people who have made a meaningful and lasting impact on the North American small business market. Impact may mean (i) providing products widely used by significant numbers of small businesses, or (ii) influencing significant numbers of small businesses by being a thought leader, or (iii) providing information or services of note to significant numbers of small businesses. Nominate here.

Rock Your Biz Blogging Contest
Enter by July 30, 2012

Join for the Rock Your Biz Blogging Competition June 28 through July 30, 2012, to learn some great tips on how to take your business to the next level with online networking, blogging, or social media. Gain exposure for your company and a chance to win some cool prizes including an iPad3 and more.

To enter, simply write and publish a blog post on your blog, sharing tips or advice on how to use online networking, blogging, or social media in a small business.

DailyCandy Start Small, Go Big Contest
Enter by August 3, 2012

The 2012 “Start Small, Go Big” contest, sponsored for the third year in a row by Ink(SM) from Chase, includes mentors from some of the biggest names in fashion, home, beauty and food including Rebecca Minkoff, Jonathan Adler, Lauren Moffatt, Christiane Lemieux of DwellStudio, Lev Glazman & Alina Roytberg of Fresh, Alison Pincus and Susan Feldman of One Kings Lane, and more. Categories for entry include Fashion, Home, Food & Drink, Health & Beauty, and Digital & Tech. See website for entry details.

Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition
Enter by August 8, 2012

The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition is an annual international business plan competition in Michigan. The event is the world’s largest business plan competition with more than $1 million in prizes. The goals of the competition are to promote Michigan as a venue for innovation and opportunity and stimulate job creation.

The New York Times Make Your Pitch Contest
Enter by August 29, 2012

Submit your pitch on video, telling about your product or service, your marketing plans, your customer base. Tell what makes your business different — why it is one to watch? Do you need capital? If so, how much and what for? Most important, how are you going to make money?

All video pitches that meet the submission guidelines will be featured on The New York Times small-business Facebook page and selected pitches will be featured on the New York Times You’re the Boss Blog.

Enter by August 31, 2012

After hosting the successful 5th Annual PITCH 2012 in the Silicon Valley, Women 2.0 is excited to launch the inaugural PITCH NYC Conference & Competition 2012 (PITCH NYC 2012).

Open to early-stage high-growth ventures around the world, PITCH NYC 2012 invites companies with at least one female in the founding team to apply. Applying companies must be in beta stage and have received less than a million in funding. They are looking for the most disruptive web/mobile ventures, connected device companies, double and triple bottom line ventures, etc. Prizes include $25k cash, services and more.

See website for entry rules (you have to send in your business plan on a napkin!)

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 Events & Contests Submission Form. (We do not charge a fee to be included in this listing.) Only events of interest to small business people, freelancers and entrepreneurs will be considered and included.

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.

[photo credit: Shorts and Longs Flickr]


About Laura Leites

Laura plans and manages Smallbiztechnology's live and virtual events, including the five-city Small Business Technology Tour, now in its third year. She also produces events for clients through her event planning company, L2 Event Production. Her popular roundups of events and competitions for small businesses is published weekly on and Small Business Trends.

  • Brenda Horton

    Great info! Thanks Laura!