Alibaba.com and Inc. Announce Newpreneur of the Year Semifinalists; Entrepreneurs Demonstrate New Business Ventures that Arose from Recession

Thirty new entrepreneurs compete in six cities for a chance to win $100,000 in business grants

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--()--Proving that the recession can create opportunities to grow or start a small business, Alibaba.com (HKSE: 1688) and Inc. today announced the 30 new entrepreneurs who have been selected to move on to the “Newpreneur of the Year” semifinalist round. With businesses ranging from recyclable furniture to online costume stores to insulated handbags for men and women, these 30 entrepreneurs will compete in New York, Chicago, Miami, Dallas, Seattle and Los Angeles for one of 12 spots in the next round.

“As we look beyond the recession toward ways to stimulate the economy, small business has increasingly been recognized as a key recovery factor,” said David Wei, chief executive officer, Alibaba.com. “Through the Newpreneur of the Year search, Alibaba.com is honoring those who embody this vision, while providing the funds and tools necessary to succeed during these trying times.”

Contestants in each semifinalist round will be hosted and evaluated by an esteemed panel of experts, including Bob LaPointe, President, Inc.; Kirk Aubry and Jim Schelskler, the Inc. CEO Project; Kelly Sang, general manager, Alibaba.com Americas; Bo Burlingham, Editor-At-Large, Inc.; and Tom Searcy, author of Whale Hunting: How to Land Big Deals and Transform Your Company, and RFPs Suck! How to Master the RFP System Once and For All to Win Big Business.

Following the semifinalist events, the 12 finalists will be profiled on www.inc.com/alibaba, where the public can vote for the businesses that they think have the most potential to revive the economy. Based on online voting, the top five Newpreneurs will be invited to the finale event in San Francisco on Nov. 18, 2009, where the grand prize winner will be revealed and win $50,000 to invest in their business. The four remaining finalists will take home awards totaling an additional $50,000.

In no particular order, the semifinalists competing in the six regional events throughout October include:

New York Semifinalist Event, Oct. 6 at the Glass Houses at the Chelsea Arts Tower

  • Jacqui Rosshandler, Jacquean Products LLC
  • Nathan Leon, Setgo International
  • Justin Braver, Ergovation LLC
  • Katie Shea/Susie Levitt, FUNK-tional Enterprises
  • Kristin Black, UnBOWlievable LLC

Chicago Semifinalist Event, Oct. 8 at the W Hotel

  • Paul Wolf, Wolf Technologies
  • Ryan Dover, Costume Works
  • Kristen Harris, Party Palette
  • Craig Diamond, Diamond MMA
  • Jamie Pritscher, That’s Caring

Miami Semifinalist Event, Oct. 13 at the W Hotel

  • Chris Adams, Laptop Lifts
  • Jonathan Ross Shriftman, Sole Bicycles
  • Tommy Babil, Future Lifestyles
  • Mikki Sepanski, Go Green Handbag
  • Celine North, Giftaloft LLC

Dallas Semifinalist Event, Oct. 15 at Hotel ZaZa

  • Jared Joyce, Jared Joyce, LLC
  • Drew Jones, DJones LLC
  • Imran Karim, Trophy Skin
  • Vivian Elebiyo, Munch n’ Fit
  • Sherry Mullin, Animal Hoops

Seattle Semifinalist Event, Oct. 20 at the Edgewater Hotel

  • Cindy Sawyer, ToweLocs
  • Jessica Aceti, Cap-sac LLC
  • Burt Hamner, Hydrovolts
  • Joel Smith, Forward Mobility
  • Steven Bohannon, Feed Your Mind

Los Angeles Semifinalist Event, Oct. 22 at the SLS Hotel

  • Brent Wagner, The Day of Games LLC
  • Jane Angelich, Bright IP Concepts LLC
  • Jimmy Chiang, Way Basics
  • Christopher Walworth, SeaRebel Marine Industries
  • Mareya Ibrahim, Eat Cleaner

About Alibaba.com Limited

Alibaba.com Limited (HKSE: 1688) (HK.1688) is the global leader in business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce and the flagship company of Alibaba Group. Founded in 1999, Alibaba.com makes it easy for millions of buyers and suppliers around the world to do business online through three marketplaces: a global trade marketplace (www.alibaba.com) for importers and exporters; a Chinese marketplace (www.alibaba.com.cn) for domestic trade in China; and, through an associated company, a Japanese marketplace (www.alibaba.co.jp) facilitating trade to and from Japan. Together, its marketplaces form a community of 42 million registered users from more than 240 countries and regions. Alibaba.com also offers business management software solutions targeting small businesses across China under the "Alisoft" brand. Founded in Hangzhou, Alibaba.com has offices in more than 40 cities across Greater China, Japan, Korea, Europe and the United States.

About Inc. magazine

Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures, Inc. magazine (www.inc.com) is the only major business magazine dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies that delivers real solutions for today's innovative company builders. With a total paid circulation of 724,110, Inc. provides hands-on tools and market-tested strategies for managing people, finances, sales, marketing, and technology.

Contacts

Press:
Alibaba.com
Andrea Meyer, 408-896-8221
ameyer@alibaba-inc.com
or
Ruder Finn West for Alibaba.com
Kate Garsson, 310-882-4010
garssonk@ruderfinn.com

Contacts

Press:
Alibaba.com
Andrea Meyer, 408-896-8221
ameyer@alibaba-inc.com
or
Ruder Finn West for Alibaba.com
Kate Garsson, 310-882-4010
garssonk@ruderfinn.com