DailyCandy Contest Gives Entrepreneurs Chance at Big Boost

DailyCandy, the lifestyle newsletter/product recommendation service that has been responsible for giving a boost to many up-and-coming small businesses, has launched its third annual "Start Small, Go Big" campaign, aimed at helping small companies become "the next big thing."

Small business owners can enter in one of five company categories: fashion, home, food & drink, health & beauty, and digital & tech. The winners will get the chance to work with mentors from a variety of well-known companies who will help them improve their products and guide them on how to grow their businesses.

On Oct. 9 and 10 in New York City, six winners will meet with big-wig mentors at the DailyCandy Academy for one-on-one sessions to gain guidance and insights important to every small business owner. The winners will also receive free advertising and promotion from DailyCandy, reaching millions of consumers across DailyCandy’s email platform, website and extensive social media network. They will also be guests of honor at an exclusive celebration with the brightest and boldest movers and shakers from New York's "top industries," according to Daily Candy.

To enter, small business owners should visit the DailyCandy contest page. In addition to filling out key business information, those entering the contest will be asked to finish the following statements: 1) The world needs my business because… 2) My big idea moment was… 3) My greatest challenge so far has been… 4) The most creative business solution I've used so far is… and the outcome was... and 5) As a small business owner, I've had to think outside the box and here's one way I've done it....

DailyCandy editors will unveil the top 18 finalists (three from each category) on Aug. 8 and invite America to vote for its favorites. After the votes are tallied on Sept. 4, the six winners will be announced. In 2011, 3,050 contestants entered; 102,000 votes were cast.

This year's entrepreneur mentors are:

  • Jonathan Adler — A potter since his teenage years, Adler got his start after showing his pots to Barneys. Today, Adler has healthy brand with 18 store locations nationwide.
  • Lauren Moffatt — This accomplished vintage chic fashion designer from Philadelphia  sewed pieces from her collection by hand on her 31-foot sailboat docked on the NYC’s Hudson River. Today, her full line of ready-to-wear, swimwear and outerwear is sold in high-end boutiques worldwide.
  • Rebecca Minkoff  – Following her start selling "I heart NYC" T-shirts off her bicycle, Minkoff catapulted to success following the introduction of her "Morning After Bag." Today, she sells full fashion lines for women and men.
  • Founders of Fresh, Lev Glazman & Alina Roytberg — With the hope of creating products as effective as they are indulgent, Glazman & Rotyberg pioneered the use of natural ingredients like soy, milk, sugar and rice in their products. Today, they have 14 stores in the U.S. and one in London.
  • Founder and Creative Director of DwellStudio, Christiane Lemieux — Launched in 1999, DwellStudio fuses bright modern designs with luxurious details. Lemieux authored her first book, "Undecorate," in 2011. DwellStudio's flagship store is in SoHo, N.Y.; the company sells to boutique retailers nationwide.
  • Founders of One Kings Lane, Alison Pincus and Susan Feldman — Pincus and Feldman launched the company in 2009, a mere five months after their first meeting. Today, One Kings Lane is the leading online curated home décor flash sale company in the world.

"The importance of that first-hand advice from those who’ve come before cannot be overstated," said Ashley Parrish, editor-in-chief of DailyCandy. "Our contest winners from the last two years continually refer to the insights and counsel they heard from their mentors at the DailyCandy Academy and after for those who kept in touch. Combine that with the chance to align their company with the strong and healthy DailyCandy brand halo — there's nowhere to go but up."

The contest is sponsored by Ink from Chase, the small business credit card.