BlueSnap Announces Entrepreneur Development Program with One Million by One Million, Elance

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Offers twelve scholarships to virtual incubation program focused on bootstrapping and go-to-market strategies for entrepreneurs launching or expanding digital commerce ventures

Commerce Anywhere

Hagai Tal, CEO BlueSnap: "What better way to celebrate our history in eCommerce, stay close to the entrepreneur and grow with them as they grow, than with Sramana’s 1M/1M program?”

BlueSnap, a global provider of open Cloud Commerce technology and services to meet the rapidly changing needs of today’s digital brands, and its CEO, Hagai Tal, today announced the Entrepreneur Development Program to encourage new entrepreneurs who are launching, or engaged in, digital commerce ventures. This program is supported by noted Silicon Valley entrepreneur, strategist and author Sramana Mitra and the One Million by One Million (1M/1M) global initiative, which has a goal of nurturing one million entrepreneurs to each reach $1 million or more in annual revenue.

Through the program, BlueSnap and Elance will jointly award 12 digital entrepreneurs scholarships to virtually attend the 1M/1M program for one year. BlueSnap will assist the scholarship recipients in establishing their online business presence on BlueSnap’s eCommerce platform, enabling them to begin selling and implementing the lessons learned with the expert guidance of BlueSnap. In addition, Elance, the world’s leading platform for online employment, will provide Elance service credits to help scholarship winners hire and manage online professionals in the cloud.

On May 18th, 20 finalists will be announced, and invited to present their company pitches, with guidance from 1M/1M, during two public online Roundtables for Entrepreneurs to be held on June 4 and June 7. The twelve winners will be chosen at the end of the sessions by BlueSnap CEO Hagai Tal, Elance VP of SMB Ved Sinha, and Sramana Mitra, and each will receive: a yearlong scholarship to the 1M/1M program; access to BlueSnap commerce experts who will help establish the winners’ online presence when ready; and Elance service credits to help them hire and manage online professionals in the cloud. Existing commerce ventures, if chosen, will work with BlueSnap experts to implement BlueSnap technologies for their monetization platform. Winners will be profiled on both the BlueSnap and 1M/1M websites after the roundtable.

The deadline for entrepreneur scholarship applications is May 11, 2012. Applicants must have a concept or existing business providing a digital commerce product or service that offers any of a wide variety of digital goods including: audio and video content; software; casual games;and subscription access to publications and services. Submissions take the form of a simple business plan; a sample format is available here: http://1m1m.sramanamitra.com/bluesnap-elance-scholarship-program

One Million by One Million (1M/1M) is a case-study-based, online educational program that provides budding entrepreneurs methodologies, video lectures, strategy consulting through public and private online roundtables, and introductions to customers, channel partners and investors, including pre-seed, seed, angel, VC, bank and alternative financing. The 1M/1M program is all about coaching entrepreneurs on funding, business strategy and execution. BlueSnap’s mission is to help companies of all sizes overcome the hurdles inherent in implementing eCommerce platforms. In a world increasingly dominated by the social Web, the ability for vendors to adapt and evolve business and commerce models quickly and strategically is imperative. BlueSnap enables traditional and emerging companies to provide global, enterprise and consumer access to digital storehouses of content, services and products, through a wide array of traditional, subscription and emerging ownership models. Elance is the world’s leading platform for online employment, and helps businesses hire and manage in the cloud. Whether businesses require IT, marketing, administrative or creative services, Elance ensures that companies have instant access to a contingent, global and online workforce.

The idea for the Entrepreneur Scholarship Program grew from an interview Mitra conducted with BlueSnap CEO Hagai Tal last year for her blog Sramana Mitra on Strategy. With a company and CEO DNA grounded in small, fast-growth companies, and a business model based on shared mutual growth, BlueSnap traces its success to the inventive entrepreneurs who are now leading some of the most successful online commerce sites in the market with some of the most innovative new SaaS-based services. “Said Tal, CEO of BlueSnap, “While much of our focus is on enterprise-class commerce-as-service solutions, we have a keen interest in, and broad set of relationships with, many fast-growth, SaaS-based companies. What better way to celebrate our history in eCommerce, stay close to the entrepreneur and grow with them as they grow, than with Sramana’s 1M/1M program?” Said Ved Sinha, vice president of SMB at Elance, “We're excited to offer entrepreneurs instant access to great talent so they can get work done faster and cost-effectively with an on-demand team. This program with BlueSnap and 1M/1M is a great resource for businesses to launch and expand their companies.”

“We can accept companies regardless of their prospective Total Available Market (TAM) or the speed at which the business will grow" said Mitra of 1M/1M. "Small, niche businesses comprise the operating system of the global economy, and any small business owner can benefit from being trained. 1M/1M is headquartered in Silicon Valley and is an international virtual incubator for entrepreneurs rooted in the Valley’s methodology and best practices; only the ability to speak and understand English is required. Our program started in 2010, and this partnership with BlueSnap is yet another recognition the program is receiving worldwide and we are excited to see the potential.”

ABOUT BLUESNAP
BlueSnap is a global provider of open Cloud Commerce technology and services that meet the rapidly changing needs of today’s digital brands, helping companies of all sizes to optimize customer engagement and maximize revenue. BlueSnap offers flexible monetization solutions that enable companies to create competitive advantage. Built on proven technology that leverages more than a decade of digital commerce expertise, BlueSnap provides a compliant and secure business environment that scales the consumer experience and turns browsers into buyers.

ABOUT ELANCE
Elance, the world’s leading platform for online employment, helps businesses hire and manage in the cloud. For businesses looking to staff-up a team on an hourly or project basis, Elance offers instant access to talent and the ability to build and manage entire teams online. For independent professionals who want to work online, Elance offers access to qualified clients, a virtual workplace and guaranteed pay for great work. The company is privately held and headquartered in Mountain View, California and Oslo, Norway. For more information, visit elance.com.

ABOUT ONE MILLION BY ONE MILLION
1M/1M is a global initiative to nurture a million entrepreneurs to each reach a million dollars in annual revenue and beyond, through education, incubation, strategy consulting, coaching, mentoring, business development, media outreach, and access to capital. Find more information visit 1m1m.sramanamitra.com

For More Information

BlueSnap Contact:
Charles Born
Charles(dot)Born(at)bluesnap(dot)com

Elance Contact:
Carrie Stuart
cstuart(at)elance(dot)com

One Million By One Million Contact:
Maureen Kelly
maureen(at)sramanamitra(dot)com

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