NEW YORK, Aug. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- DailyCandy, the insider's, trend-setting email newsletter and popular website known to launch the newest and best designers, boutiques, restaurants, products, and personalities, announced today a roster of top industry experts who will mentor the winners of its second annual Start Small, Go Big contest. With only five days left to enter, burgeoning entrepreneurs need to race for the lifetime opportunity to win and meet with DailyCandy's favorite luminaries who started small and went big. Visit www.startsmallgobig.com by August 5 at 10 a.m. to enter.
The DailyCandy Start Small, Go Big contest, sponsored by Ink from Chase, the small business credit card portfolio from Chase Card Services, brings DailyCandy's favorite success stories -- the country's most prominent entrepreneurs -- together with tomorrow's innovators for a series of small business workshops at the DailyCandy Academy in New York City. Industry big wigs will mentor four lucky winners -- one from each of the Fashion, Food & Drink, Beauty, and Home categories. Winners also receive a DailyCandy Dedicated email, visibility on the company's website, and promotion to DailyCandy's 800k+ Twitter followers and Facebook fans. They'll also attend a blowout celebration with the movers and shakers from NYC's digital media, tech, food, fashion, and beauty industries.
This year's DailyCandy Start Small, Go Big top-notch list of mentors includes:
- Jonathan Adler: Potter-turned-lifestyle guru Jonathan Adler makes home decor anything but stuffy; he's successfully brought a whimsical touch to his 14+ stores while parlaying his groovy aesthetic into design books and a gig on Bravo TV.
- Stacey Bendet, founder of Alice + Olivia: Designer Stacey Bendet started with one solid idea (to create the perfect pair of pants) in 2002 and translated it into a global collection of ready-to-wear dresses, yoga wear, shoes, menswear, and children's clothing.
- Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx: Millions of women have creative genius Sara Blakely to thank for ridding them of VPLs (visible panty lines); her Spanx shape wear line began with footless panty hose and now comprises more than 200 slimming products.
- Andy Cohen: The face of Bravo TV, Cohen is the network's executive vice president of original programming and development, overseeing popular shows like Top Chef and The Real Housewives series. He is also the energetic host of the network's zany Watch What Happens Live.
- Lev Glazman and Alina Rotyberg, founders of Fresh: With ingredients such as sugar, soy, milk, and rice, Fresh helped pioneer the natural beauty movement, using natural ingredients in its skin care and body care, cosmetics, and more.
- Marcus Samuelsson: Owner of four restaurants, cookbook author, and TV regular, Marcus Samuelsson is the youngest chef to get two three-star reviews from The New York Times and was chosen to cook for President Barack Obama's first state dinner.
- John Sencion and Brad John, founders of Flight 001: With their multicity cyber boutique they have mastered the art of merchandising, and its modern stores brim with brightly colored luggage, in-air gadgets, and endless travel-size awesomeness.
- Gail Simmons: Culinary expert, food journalist, and cookbook contributor Gail Simmons is the always-engaging host of Bravo TV's Top Chef Just Desserts, as well as a regular judge on Top Chef and Top Chef Masters.
- Kate Somerville: The best facialist in all of Melrose Place, Kate Somerville created an award-winning line of inventive skin care products (including exfoliating creams, repair treatments, on-the-go tanning wipes, and hydrating masks).
- Douglas Quint and Bryan Petroff, founders of Big Gay Ice Cream Truck: Douglas Quint and Bryan Petroff served enough artisanal ice cream from their little food truck that could that they were able to open a storefront in New York City's East Village this summer.
Last year's contest winners, who were one year ago on the cusp of greatness, are today well on their way to success, thanks in part to the mentors they were paired with.
- Nella Pasta founders Leigh Foster and Rachel Marshall from Boston were in desperate need of a new ravioli machine. Today, they are selling sustainably made pasta at eight retail locations, ten farmers markets, and soon Whole Foods in the North Atlantic region.
- Dolly Pearl founder Vi Hoang of NYC went from personally sewing all of her dresses on the floor of her apartment to hiring a seamstress, working from a sewing studio, and entertaining numerous requests from boutiques hoping to sell her line.
- Thursdays, the girls-only cooking and crafting website and weekly dinner party planners from Kentucky, have dramatically increased their social network following, regularly conduct media interviews, and most recently hired guest bloggers to expand their website's content.
The key to winning Start Small, Go Big: Each product or service should make life a little sweeter, just like DailyCandy. To enter, winner wannabes should visit dailycandy.com/startsmallgobig by August 5 at 10 a.m. EST, fill out their key business info, select a category, and finish these three statements: 1) The world needs my business because ..., 2) My big idea moment was ..., and 3) My greatest challenge so far has been ... . On August 22, DailyCandy editors will unveil 12 finalists (three from each category) and invite America to vote (daily!) for their favorites. On September 16, DailyCandy will announce one winner in each of the four categories.
In mid-October at the DailyCandy Academy, the winners will partake in a day specifically created to suit their entrepreneurial needs; they'll have unprecedented access to industry leaders who'll mentor and share their start-up stories and tips for success. The winners will also rub shoulders with top executives in the areas of PR, marketing, finance, and technology, and clink cocktails with DailyCandy's favorite business owners who started small and went big.
Not only is the Start Small, Go Big microsite where the contest kicks off, the site also serves as a year-round resource for new business owners looking for insights, tips, and invaluable early-day resources. There, visitors can follow the continued growth of last year's contest winners -- and follow in the footsteps of industry experts who've blazed the trail to success. To learn more about DailyCandy's Start Small, Go Big contest or the DailyCandy Academy and the mentors participating this year, visit www.startsmallgobig.com.
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About Ink from Chase
Ink from Chase is a portfolio of business cards offering robust, flexible payment solutions and resources to meet the unique needs of small business owners, from spending habits to cash flow needs to rewards. This business card portfolio, which features Chase's pay-in-full charge card (a first from issuers of Visa® or MasterCard®), includes the Ink Bold, Ink Plus, Ink, and Ink Cash cards.