Category Archives: Contests

Use a Virtual Office? Enter to Win an Essay Contest.

If you enjoy raffles, sweepstakes and contests—and if you telecommute, use a virtual office, or participate in some other type of alternative workplace strategy your company has launched, you can enter to win valuable prizes.

Actually, even if you don’t telecommute, use a virtual office, or participate in some other type of alternative workplace strategy, you can still enter to win. All you have to do is dream a little.

Think about your answer to this question: What would a flexible job mean for you? Put another way, ask yourself this: What would a work/life balance job mean to you? After you’ve given it some thought, write an essay that answers that question and you could win $500 in cash to spend on whatever you want.

FlexJobs, a Web site for finding part-time, telecommuting, freelance and other flexible work, is offering three cash prizes for the best essays that answer the question. First prize takes home $500. Second place gets $250. And third place gets $100.

“Many of the job seekers who come to FlexJobs are passionate about jobs that allow them a better work-life balance or accommodate their lifestyle in other ways,” says Sara Sutton Fell, CEO of FlexJobs. “We are excited to read and share the many stories and different motivations for work flexibility… and hopefully in turn, inspire others as well!”

You don’t need anyone to tell you how important flexible work schedules are. Working from a virtual office lets you spend more time with your family, be there in emergencies or for special events, or even maintain a job as a military spouse who is often transferred with their serving husband or wife.

“We have spoken with thousands of job-seekers over our four years of helping people find flexible jobs,” says Fell. “And what we consistently hear is that people want to find a better balance between their personal lives and their work lives. I don’t think I’ve ever spoken to someone who doesn’t want more balance!”

Read to enter? Essays should be no more than 1,000 words in length. The deadline for submission is November 30th, 2012.

A team of panelists, including FlexJobs staff, will be thoroughly reading and narrowing down the finalists. In addition to the three main winners, four additional outstanding finalists will receive a free year subscription to FlexJobs.

Davinci Virtual Gives Away Another iPad to Virtual Office User

And the winner of the iPad is… Henry Oswoski.

Oswoski won a new Apple iPad in Davinci Virtual’s August iPad sweepstakes. It’s the perfect compliment to his virtual office space—and a perfect holiday gift. Even with all the talk about the the HP TouchPad’s $99 fire sale, the iPad just keeps getting hotter.

Road warriors, mobile workers and others are still snapping up the iPad in droves. No other tablet computer even comes close to the glory of Steve Jobs’ iPad.  If you didn’t win in the earlier rounds of Davinci Virtual’s iPad sweepstakes, don’t worry. Davinci Virtual is giving another lucky person the opportunity to win one of the tablet devices for free in its next iPad sweepstakes.

Davinci Virtual is giving away another iPad and the drawing is Nov. 1, 2011.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, virtual offices and the iPad may have more in common than you think. Both are revolutionary approaches to their sectors. The virtual office is clearly revolutionizing the way many entrepreneurs consume office space. And the iPad is revolutionizing tablet computing. In fact, I am now learning about this first hand as my shiny new iPad 2 just arrived this afternoon. (Yes, I took the plunge.)

In case you haven’t had a proper introduction to the iPad, here you go: iPad’s Multi-Touch interface makes surfing the Web an entirely new experience, dramatically more interactive and intimate than on a computer. You can read and send e-mail on iPad’s large screen and almost full-size “soft” keyboard or import photos from a Mac, PC or digital camera, see them organized as albums, and enjoy and share them using iPad’s elegant slideshows.

iPad makes it easy to watch movies, TV shows and YouTube, all in HD, or flip through the pages of an ebook you downloaded from Apple’s new iBookstore while listening to your music collection. Normally, the iPad costs $499 for the entry-level model. Davinci Virtual is giving you a chance to get your hands on one for free.

There’s no catch. You don’t have to be a virtual office customer to win the iPad, but current virtual office customers are eligible to enter. So click here to enter to win an iPad from Davinci Virtual. Click here to enter the sweepstakes. Check out this review of the iPad. Worth the watch…

Davinci Virtual Offers Final Clue in Treasure Hunt Contest

So if you’ve been on the treasure hunt with us, you’ve been hot on our social media trail for the past couple of weeks. Now, we’re offering you the final clue in the Davinci Virtual Code contest.

If you win, you will get a full year of Davinci Virtual’s suite of services, including virtual office space, live receptionist services, meeting room space and more–for free. Yes, free. That’s quite the prize for an entrepreneur like you.

We launched this contest the first week in August, inviting you to find clues scattered across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. When you find the clues, you can unlock your ticket to potential winnings.

You can find the final clue on Davinci Virtual’s YouTube Channel. I’ve also posted the video below. It’s fun! It’s cool! It’s got the final scavenger item you need to unlock your potential winnings.

In case you missed the earlier clues, here is the schedule:

Week 1: Find the clue on our Facebook page.

Week 2: Find the clue on our Twitter posts.

Week 3: Find the clue on Davinci Virtual’s LinkedIn group, which is called “A Smarter Way to Work.”

To enter, small business owners are invited to find the clues, then visit http://www.davincivirtual.com/contact-social/ to type in their answer.

“Running a small business is an adventure. It’s full of daily obstacles, unsolvable mysteries, surprise roadblocks and–let’s face it–the occasional booby trap. Some days, the code that unlocks your success may seem like an impossible one to crack,” says Bill Grodnik, CEO of Davinci Virtual. “We at Davinci Virtual have some secrets cluing you into smarter business practices. This Code is full of insights and directions to help you surpass the obstacles and reach your business’s highest potential.”

As promised, here is our latest YouTube video:

ChamberofCommerce.com Launches $250,000 Sweepstakes

You know me. I love a good small business sweepstakes when I see them. Hey, anything that can stimulate the small business world is a plus. After all, small businesses are the main driver of the economy.

So when I found out that the ChamberofCommerce.com had hooked up with some of the Web’s most trusted brands to offer small business owners a boost, I didn’t waste any time sharing it with you. Read on…

ChamberofCommerce.com has launched what it is calling the Economic Stimulus Sweepstakes. The organization is offering a whopping $250,000 grand prize to help transform one lucky small business winner from top to bottom.

Just think of what you could do with $250,000!

“Small businesses need help now more than ever,” says David Bayer, CEO of ChamberofCommerce.com. “The economy is unstable and it often feels that nobody’s really looking out for the small firms and entrepreneurs that represent the backbone of this country.”

It’s worth entering even if you don’t win the quarter million dollar enchilada. There are plenty of other attention-getting prizes up for grabs through partnerships with Quill.com and Rocket Lawyer, among others. In fact, there’s more than $30,000 in exclusive runner up prizes available for the winning.

Let’s break it down…Quill.com, best known for its office products inventory, is offering up 10 “break room makeovers” valued at $1,000 each. And Rocket Lawyer is providing 10 professional plan memberships with full access to a variety of legal services for small businesses.

The only thing left to tell you is how to enter. So, without further ado, visit ChamberofCommerce.com/250k and fill out the forms now. It’s a small time risk for a potentially large investment.

Entrepreneur Day Fosters Startup Collaborations

If you are looking for a helping hand to pull yourself up by the bootstraps, you may get lucky on Entrepreneur Day.

Intuit is holding its third annual Entrepreneur Day to collaborate with startups and innovators in the quest to launch the next “big idea” in technology.

That could be mobile apps or cloud computing or data analytics or some other cutting-edge tech. The only catch is that it needs to improve the financial lives of Intuit customers.

“Technology moves fast, and through Entrepreneur Day our Intuit leaders and the entrepreneurs on the front line of emerging technologies will begin to work together to bring something new to market that’s meaningful for our customers,” says Tayloe Stansbury, Chief Technology Officer at Intuit. “As we open up our innovation processes, the entrepreneurs who participate can benefit from us introducing them to our large ecosystem of partners, suppliers and customers.”

If you want to get in on this opportunity, you need to apply. The application process asks you to describe your product or service and a profile of your target audience. The application deadline is Sept. 9. The event, which includes one-on-one time to pitch your ideas and demonstrate your products, will be held at Intuit’s Mountainview, Calif. headquarters on Oct. 9.

Not sure it’s worth it? After attending last year’s event, David Barrett, CEO of Expensify, joined the Intuit Partner Platform and integrated his expense report program within QuickBooks.

“The time I invested in applying for and attending Entrepreneur Day paid off,” says Barrett. “The experience opened a number of doors for me. I met with a lot of great people, from top to bottom, and got in front of the right decision makers to move a relationship with Intuit and their product development teams along quickly.”

Davinci Virtual Launches Treasure Hunt Contest

Here’s a contest that’s near and dear to my heart… That’s because Davinci Virtual is the one launching it–and because I love a good social media scavenger hunt.

Dubbed the Davinci Virtual Code, we’re running a special contest. One lucky winner will receive a full year of Davinci Virtual’s suite of services, including virtual office space, live receptionist services, meeting room space and more–for free.

Beginning this week, Davinci Virtual will release a series of clues and riddles through our social pages. We’ll announce one clue each week for the next four weeks.

To enter, small business owners are invited to find the clues, then visit http://www.davincivirtual.com/contact-social/ to type in their answer. The clues are scattered across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. When you find the clues, you can unlock your ticket to potential winnings. The winner will be chosen at random and announced on Davinci Virtual’s Facebook page.

“Running a small business is an adventure. It’s full of daily obstacles, unsolvable mysteries, surprise roadblocks and–let’s face it–the occasional booby trap. Some days, the code that unlocks your success may seem like an impossible one to crack,” says Bill Grodnik, CEO of Davinci Virtual. “We at Davinci Virtual have some secrets cluing you into smarter business practices. This Code is full of insights and directions to help you surpass the obstacles and reach your business’s highest potential.”

Here is a schedule of clues:

Week 1: Find the clue on our Facebook page.

Week 2: Find the clue on our Twitter posts.

Week 3: Find the clue on Davinci Virtual’s LinkedIn group, which is called “A Smarter Way to Work.”

Week 4: Find the clue on Davinci’s YouTube channel.

Are you ready? If so, don your sleuth cap, your magnifying glass and your social media utility belt. For the next 30 days we will reveal hints to help you crack the Davinci Virtual Code!

Small Business Contest Offers $15,000 in Marketing Services

You know I love a good small business contest. Heck, it’s an opportunity to win money for doing relatively little—money that could help you hire new employees or better market your business.

The latter is the idea behind Deluxe Corporation’s Project REV, a year-long marketing lab that offers small business owners in the U.S. the tools and expert resources they need to grow their businesses. Project REV will award each winning business with $15,000 in Deluxe marketing products and services and a full year’s worth of business and marketing mentorship.

Laura Radewald, vice president of enterprise brand at Deluxe hit the nail on the head when she said today’s entrepreneurs and small business owners are passionate about their businesses and not necessarily about marketing. She says, “Small business owners are often frustrated with marketing and unsure if they are doing it effectively.”

If you win, you can spend the $15,000 on Deluxe products such as:

  • Web site development and hosting
  • Logo design and branding
  • E-mail marketing
  • Traditional direct marketing
  • Web-to-print services
  • Search engine marketing

Can you relate? Then enter to win the Project REV contest. When you do, you’ll be asked to answer a list of 13 questions about your small business. Up to 10 businesses will be selected. The contest runs through Sept. 30, 2011.

Win $50,000 Worth of Marketing for Your Small Business

Looking for a quick way to spread your small business brand far and abroad—for free?  The UPS Store is running a Facebook contest that aims to arm small business owners like you with promotional tools and resources.

Dubbed The Promotion Promotion, the contest starts today and runs through Aug. 31. The grand prize winner will get an integrated marketing campaign worth $50,000. Doner, The UPS Store network’s advertising agency of record, will work with the grand prize winner to examine the business’ needs, develop a marketing plan, produce creative and run it in appropriate media.

It’s worth entering even if you don’t win the grand prize. The UPS Store is giving away up to $3,000 worth of other prizes every week, including an Apple iPad 2 and gift cards from various retailers.

Ready to enter? All you have to do is visit the UPS Store’s corporate Facebook page. Of course, you a have to like the page before you can enter to win. When you do, you’ll be instructed to fill out a form that offers up all your personal particulars, and then answer three questions in 500 words or less.

  1. Tell us something unique about your business.
  2. What inspired you to start your business?
  3. If you could tell someone one thing about your business, what would it be?

A panel of experts will judge the contest for the grand prize. The winner will be chosen based on the contestant’s passion for small business. The weekly prizes are chosen the old fashioned way, well sort of. You contest form goes into a virtual fishbowl.

Beyond all of this, The UPS Store network will also offer Facebook-only coupons for discounts on business-related services at participating The UPS Store franchise locations. Starting the second week, fans choose the next week’s offer by crowdsourcing via Facebook Questions. The Promotion Promotion tab also will stream relevant articles from the business section of msnbc.com.

Entrepreneur Launches a New Model for Angel Investment

Looking to win $50,000? You’ve got a shot at the prize if you are technically inclined.

Starlight Technology Transfer just announced a contest for the most promising new high-tech business idea. So fire up your word processing software and start writing your proposal if you’ve got one. Or get together with your three most tech-savvy friends and start brainstorming.

Maybe you have a new idea in the realm of robotics, artificial intelligence, green technology, web technology, mission-critical smart energy grid technology, mobile applications, cloud computing, business analytics, aerospace, or something else. You’ve got between now and July 29 to come up with a bright idea and submit a proposal.

“We know what it’s like to have a great idea, but lack the resources to get it off the ground. With this prize as a beginning, our company intends to become an incubator for new American businesses,” says Starlight founder and successful entrepreneur, Jack Beavers.

“Over time we hope to gather many good ideas from creative young minds and translate them into jobs for our community. We believe the 2011 Starlight Tech Prize is only a beginning—a first step toward creating a number of new businesses. As a long-term objective, we’d be delighted if we can find ways to create high tech jobs and bring manufacturing jobs back to America.”

The Starlight Tech Prize comes on the heels of President Obama’s call to out-innovate, out-educate, out-build the rest of the world. Starlight’s response is a new form of angel investing. The Starlight approach is to team with young entrepreneurs. The company’s experienced entrepreneurs will facilitate development of new and competitive products, while simultaneously mentoring new and competitive generations of American innovators. Prospective winners of the Tech Prize will be offered not only the $50,000 cash award, but will also be given opportunity to propose the terms of a teaming agreement as well as employment with the company.

A board of advisors recruited from industry, including CEO’s, marketing specialists, and engineers, will review the proposals. Among other selection criteria, contest judges will be looking for an idea that can be grown into a $50 million dollar business within five years. Additional criteria will include the potential for social benefit, and job creation, and environmental responsibility.

Check out this video to learn more about the contest:

Amex Contest Offers Big Break From Facebook

Does your small business need a big break? American Express Open just launched the “Facebook Big Break for Small Business.”

It’s a national contest that aims to help transform the way small businesses use Facebook to connect and engage with customers. What does that transformation look like? More authentic and more personal. Of course, it takes a little practice.

That’s why American Express OPEN is footing the bill for hands-on training at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif. Five small businesses will win a two-day in-depth, one-on-one business makeover. Oh, AMEX is also offering a cool $20,000 in cash to drive your social media strategy forward.

“Small business owners are experts at customer engagement, but the tools and techniques for finding and engaging customers are quickly evolving,” says Julie Fajgenbaum, vice president of Brand and Customer Marketing at American Express OPEN. “It’s critical that business owners understand these new channels and platforms, which is why we are collaborating with Facebook to educate on the benefits of engaging customers through social media and provide real, tangible tips on how to do it effectively.”

What should you expect? If you win, you’ll be tutored on how to maximize the power of Facebook to better market your businesses, products and services to existing and new customers alike. This is practical and personal training on best practices for using Facebook Pages, Ads and Social Plugins.

But don’t worry if you don’t win… Everybody who enters will get to see the training as documented on OPEN’s Facebook Page and the OPEN Forum. You can also tap into a slew of “how to” videos. And even if you don’t win, you could still walk away with $2,500 in Facebook advertising to help you target new customers.

Nearly half of small businesses said they use social networking sites to communicate with customers and market their products, according to the latest results from the semi-annual American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor. This represents a substantial increase from 2009, when only one-in-ten respondents reported actively using social networking sites. Facebook is the most popular social media site for small business owners, according to the 2011 survey.

“Facebook is committed to the success of small businesses,” says Adele Cooper, director of Global Customer Marketing and Communications at Facebook. “Using Facebook, a business can find new customers, let their customers recommend and share information about their business, and create loyalty by hosting an ongoing two-way conversation. This word-of-mouth-marketing is unique to Facebook and allows businesses to create a more personal and engaging relationship with their customers.”

Here’s how to enter: Visit http://www.facebook.com/OPEN and submit answers to a short questionnaire describing how you would use the competition’s winnings to better their business. During the first round of judging, 10 small business finalists will be selected by a panel of judges. Each submission will be judged based on the following criteria:

•    Commitment to their business and growth;
•    Overall social media need where Facebook could improve their business;
•    Energy and enthusiasm for small business.

Finalists will then compete in a final round of judging where OPEN Facebook fans will be asked to vote for their five favorite small businesses to win the trip to Facebook and $20,000 prize.