Voting Ends 11.30
Contest Frequently Asked Questions Win a $25,000 Service Grant

What Is The Ecommerce Economic Defense Initiative?

The Ecommerce Economic Defense Initiative (EEDI) is a benevolent alliance of ecommerce professionals dedicated to the revival of the economy through the skillful practice and ongoing betterment of ecommerce.

The EEDI was founded in 2012 by Brand Labs in an effort to recognize the critical role that ecommerce has played in the economy's recovery. By banding together with Volusion, PowerReviews Express, Grasshopper, Olark and AutoResponderMax, we hope to contribute to that recovery through our Ecommerce Grant Contest.

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What Is The Ecommerce Grant Contest?

The contest was created to recognize and reward growing businesses and to assist them by providing the means to maximize the impact of their ecommerce presence (or to create it from scratch, if necessary).

Any established business can enter the competition by creating a short video or writing an essay that tells their story. The public will have a chance to vote for their favorite business and then all of the entries will be reviewed by our judging panel, who will choose the grant winners.

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What Are The Contest Prizes?

There will be two Grand Prize winners. Each will receive a $25,000 ecommerce service grant. The grant comes in the form of a prepaid $25,000 line of credit with Brand Labs - the ecommerce specialists. Each winner will also receive all of the following: one (1) year of Volusion Gold Level Service ($1,188 value - courtesy of Volusion), one (1) Year Volusion Pro SSL Certificate ($79 value - courtesy of Volusion), one (1) year of Grasshopper Grow Level Phone Service ($588 value - courtesy of Grasshopper), one (1) years of PowerReviews Express Platinum Level Service ($3,588 value - courtesy of PowerReviews Express) and one (1) year of AutoResponderMax Plus Level Service ($588 value - Courtesy of AutoResponderMax). Total value of each Grand Prize package is $31,031. No portion of the prize may be redeemed for cash.

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What can I do with the $25,000 Brand Labs Ecommerce Service Grant?

The winners can choose from any combination of Brand Labs' ecommerce services including: Volusion site design and development, custom Volusion programming, Volusion merchandising, Certified Google Analytics implementation, Certified Google AdWords management, online marketing, social media management and ecommerce consultation. With $25,000 worth of services you could conceivably build an entire ecommerce business from the ground up, including Volusion site design and development, merchandising and marketing services. Or you could take your existing ecommerce business to new heights with custom Volusion programming and advanced ecommerce services. Each winner will consult with Brand Labs' experts at the beginning of the process (and throughout) to craft a unique plan that meets their specific needs. We'll ensure that you make the most of the grant and we'll implement the prizes provided by Volusion, Grasshopper, Olark, PowerReviews Express and AutoResponderMax (as necessary).

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Who Is Eligible To Enter The Contest?

Two prizes will be awarded. One will go to an established business that is already operating on the Volusion ecommerce platform. The other will go to an established business that is NOT operating on Volusion.

Any established business is eligible to enter - retail, wholesale, manufacturing - any existing business* (online or brick & mortar). The EEDI knows that there's more to ecommerce than retail. Most businesses can benefit from an ecommerce presence. Wholesalers can obviously put their catalogs online, but so can manufacturers.

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My Business Doesn't Current Have An Ecommerce Site.
Can I Still Enter?

Absolutely. Every business should have an ecommerce site. If yours doesn't, you should definitely enter.

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What Are The Deadlines For Entry And Voting?

All entries must be uploaded to before 11:59 PM EST on November 16, 2012. Public voting begins the following day, November 17, 2012, at 12:01 PM EST. Public voting ends on November 30, 2012 at 12:01 PM EST.

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How Do I Enter?

There are two methods of entry: video and essay. (Video is recommended.)

For video entries, all you need to do is create a short video (under 3 minutes) that tells us about your business. It doesn't have to be a major Hollywood production, but it can be if you like that sort of thing. It can be as fancy or as simple as you like. We really just want to know what's special about your business.

Written entries must be under 2000 words and the same rules apply. It doesn't have to be poetry. It just needs to be clear, passionate and compelling.

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What Should My Video (Or Essay) Tell You About My Business?

We want to know your story, but how you tell it is up to you. Here are some suggested topics that you may want to cover:

  • What do you do?
  • Do you currently have a website?
  • How did you start your business?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • What are your business/personal goals?
  • What's special about you and your business?
  • What are your specific ecommerce goals/needs?
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My business is outside of the USA. Can I enter?

No. The competition is only open to businesses operating in the USA.

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How Are The Winners Chosen?

Winners will be chosen through a combination of public voting and review by our panel of ecommerce experts. (The judges' review will carry greater weight in determining the winners.)

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When will the winners be announced?

Winners will be announced on or around December 12, 2012.

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How can I keep up with the EEDI?

You can subscribe to our newsletter and you'll receive dispatches from the EEDI with all the latest news and deadline alerts. You can also follow us on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

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How Does Public Voting Work?

From November 17th to November 30th, public voting begins for all published entries. You can vote for one entry per day, every day, until the period is over. You can share your entry page to encourage others to vote. Total votes will be shown on each entry, and after November 30th, voting will close so our judging panel can choose the winners!

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Can I change my entry once submitted?

No. All submissions are final. You can delete your entry if absolutely necessary.

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I'm not able to register, vote OR enter, what do I do?

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Can I submit more than one business?

Absolutely...and tell your friends!

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Will the Judges review every entry?

The judges will review every entry that is not disqualified. (*See below.)

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What would cause
an entry to be disqualified?

Any entry that is NSFW or any business that does not comply with Volusion's Acceptable Use Policy will be disqualified.

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Does it cost anything to enter?

No. It's free to enter.

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Yes. All entries will be available for voting (and for browsing afterwards) at

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I'm already a customer of Brand Labs (or Volusion, PowerReviews Express,
Grasshopper, Olark or AutoResponderMax). Am I still eligible to win?


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*All entrants must comply with Volusion's Acceptable Use Policy which can be found at