With $100,000 in cold, hard investment capital up for grabs, the small office, home office crowd will be the focal point of an online promotion being produced by Inc. magazine and Yoyodyne Entertainment. Starting Feb. 28, entrepreneurs can register for "EZVenture," a promotion patterned after previous Yoyodyne programs in which participants can win prizes by interacting with sponsors.
Yoyodyne is close to signing deals with an office supply retailer, a computer manufacturer, and companies from the telecommunications and financial services industries. Sponsorship packages, which cost $250,000 for 14 weeks, include a rotation of banners on www.ezventure.com and sponsor status for business-themed chat sessions on the site. Sponsors also receive business survey results and a database of customer leads.
EZVenture will be promoted in a $100,000 online campaign that kicks off in late February. The program will also be advertised in Inc. and on www.inc.com, said Jerry Shereshewsky, vice president of marketing and business development at Irvington, N.Y.-based Yoyodyne. A minimum of 250,000 EZVenture small-business "players" are expected to vie for such giveaways as the $100,000 in investment capital.
Inc. magazine's participation in the program is essentially a barter deal in which the editorial staff supplies articles, business tips and chat session subjects to www.ezventure.com, plus it can use EZVenture to promote its online presence to its subscriber base of over 700,000. Inc. doesn't intend to use EZVenture as a recruitment scheme, but rather as a brand-and traffic-building campaign to attract attention to its site.