The Votes Are In, And the Winners Are...
SORRY - you'll have to wait until December to find out! The winners will be revealed online in December and honored at the annual Growth Conference presented by The UPS Store on January 22, 2014 at the New Orleans Convention Center.
Be sure to check back for the winners and register to attend the FREE full-day conference that offers hard-hitting ideas on how to get your business booming.
Sales In 2012: $2.7 Million
There are over a million videos being uploaded to YouTube every day and 95% of them get less than 1,000 views. No matter how funny, appealing or viral your video is, it's not going to go viral unless enough people discover that video and begin sharing it.
That's where Virool comes in.
Virool helps anyone with a video get noticed.
Virool is a self-serve platform that distributes videos over 30 seconds long across its network of Facebook apps, mobile games and blogs.
We are changing the way advertising is done on the Internet and growing really fast at doing it. Virool has grown from signing up 500 advertisers in May 2012 to signing up over 30,000 advertisers in May 2013. The company currently works with over 115,000 advertisers and helps them promote their videos to their target demographic through our network. Currently, we reach 1 million viewers per day.
We released our own viral video that has gotten over 5 million views on YouTube and set a new standard for acquiring customers on the web: http://youtu.be/dFBzoMPiyI8.
Every month, Virool donates 500k views to clients whose videos we believe bring a positive message and help society.
We got 300,000 people to watch Zach Sobiech's Clouds video and helped him cross 1 million and then 2 million views on YouTube. His song was about staying positive in tough times (in his case he was battling cancer). He became a viral sensation, got a ton of press coverage and was signed by EMI. You can see his video here: http://youtu.be/sDC97j6lfyc.
We got 150,000 people to watch a video "Meals Per Hour". It's a video sponsored by Toyota that for every view donated one meal to the food bank in New York City. For 150,000 views, Virool sponsored 150,000 meals for people of New York. Here is the video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EedMmMedj3M
Sales In 2012: $1 million
Founded based on the belief that empowering scientists will spur an open science revolution that will dramatically improve innovation and expedite drug discovery for the world's rarest diseases, Assay Depot is often referred to as the Amazon.com for Medical Research.
This first-of-its-kind, cloud-based drug research website assaydepot.com allows any private or professional scientist to access research services and experts quickly, efficiently and at no cost. Assay Depot is changing the way medical research is done.
By making available all of the tools of modern medicine to anyone who wants to make use of them, Assay Depot has taken medical discovery out of the hands of a few massive corporations and placed it squarely in the hands of anyone with a good idea-from an academic scientist to a concerned parent of a sick child, to a forward-thinking high school student. Assay Depot's free public website has users in 126 different countries and it contributes to thousands of science projects every year. Because of Assay Depot, citizen scientists, patient advocates and patients themselves can now seriously consider researching their own disease.
Assay Depot has also created an enterprise version of its software that's been adopted by the National Cancer Institute and by four of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer and AstraZeneca. This industry version of the platform dramatically improves the effectiveness of professional drug research, resulting in lower costs, shorter drug cycle times and improved clinical success. Profits from the industry side of the business are used to keep Assay Depot's public website free for all researchers.
Kevin believes there's an enormous amount of latent scientific talent all around us and that we must tap into this collective intelligence to solve the challenging problems facing our world. To empower local scientists, he co-founded Bio, Tech and Beyond, a community garage laboratory in Carlsbad, California (biotechnbeyond.com).
With a highly successful grand opening on July 12, 2013 (350+ people in attendance), the 6,000 square-foot community lab empowers citizen researchers by giving them access to scientific equipment traditionally restricted to researchers in professional laboratories. The lab serves as both a community science center and startup incubator, allowing anyone to translate ideas into experiments, and experimental results into new companies.
In 2012, Assay Depot partnered with the community hackerlabs BioCurious (Sunnyvale) and GenSpace (Brooklyn) to create two Open Science Challenges that awarded grants to promising citizen scientists. Of these, two grants went to citizen scientists under the age of 18, proving that you don't need to be a trained professional to come up with a great idea. Assay Depot also teamed up with the Rare Genomics Institute to found the "Be HEARD" Challenge, which awarded $500,000 in donated services to 26 researchers studying 26 different rare diseases.
Sales In 2012: $580,000
Sales In 2012: $1.6 million
I Do Now I Don't (IDNID) is a trusted online marketplace that offers an outlet for sellers to unload their unwanted assets (predominantly from failed relationships or divorces) for above-market returns. At the same time, IDNID provides buyers an opportunity to get a great discount on high-quality jewelry.
The key to IDNID's success is our 100% safe, secure and guaranteed transaction process.
Every item sold on our website is inspected by a gemologist to assure its authenticity. The buyer's money is released to the seller ONLY when the diamond certification process is complete.
Not too long ago, proposing with a secondhand diamond, let alone one that was purchased online, would have been unimaginable. We believe that IDNID has helped removed that stigma, and instead, have encouraged people to buy/sell pre-owned jewelry.
In addition, we have taken the fear out of purchasing high-priced items online by creating a trusted environment through our unique transaction and certification process. We guarantee our buyers that their purchase payment will not be released to the seller until our gemologist has given an official GIA seal of approval.
Lastly, we believe we have given our users hope. What may have seemed like the end of the world may very well be the start of something wonderful. Just look at our founder's story! His broken engagement led to the start of this very business. Talk about turning lemons into lemonade!
At I Do Now I Don't we promote an eco-friendly and green environment in more ways than one!
People ready to propose can buy a ring on our website for a great bargain, saving them some serious green.
We also promote recycling. Rather than buying new, we have our customers opt for the "greener" choice and help save the planet by reusing and reselling their unwanted diamonds so that another diamond does not need to be mined. After all, we all know that mining diamonds can be pretty harmful to the planet.
Not to mention every Earth Day we give our users the chance to donate a profit of their item to an earthly charity of their choice!
Sales In 2012: $614,000
I've developed a new DIY print process, Lumi printing, an alternative to screen printing that doesn't require expensive equipment or toxic chemicals. The process is made possible by Inkodye, the photographic fabric dye we manufacture ourselves in Los Angeles. Inkodye comes out of the bottle clear and develops its color in sunlight. The Lumi process is similar to photography.
I've recently learned that I'm part of the art supplies industry, and in the art supply industry, Lumi is pushing nearly every boundary that exists. We're breaking the mold by valuing software just as much as our physical product and by connecting directly with customers through Kickstarter and the Maker Movement instead of relying entirely on retail. Our competitors in this industry think of their products (paint, brushes, etc.) as commodities whereas we think of ours as enablers. We've had to push retailers to understand the power of DIY over the 'crafty' aesthetic and the virtues of educating.
Teaching: Every tool I use becomes a new skill in my arsenal for teaching. I've successfully used Kickstarter twice, so I teach crowdfunding. I know how to raise investment, so I coach other entrepreneurs. I know the treachery and triumphs of running a business from day to day, so I share my experiences with my peers. I'm active in the Summit Series community and I teach ongoing classes on Skillshare.com. Valuing alternative education: I believe it's important to expand your mind, and it's equally important not to take life too dreadfully seriously... so Lumi gives each employee a $500 fund.