Innovative Small Businesses, Non-profit Organizations and Individuals Win Virtual Assistant Support to Achieve Business and Personal Goals

Mountain View, Calif. – February 14, 2008— Elance, an online workplace where businesses find and hire people "on demand" to get work done quickly and cost effectively, today announced 14 winners from its "Win A Virtual Assistant Contest." The grand prize winner is small business owner Wes Davis. In addition to the grand prize, a $5,000 in credit on Elance, three runners up will receive $500 credits towards virtual assistant help and 10 honorable mentions win a complimentary copy of The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss.
"As the owner of four small businesses and the father of three active children, I am always pressed for time and looking at an overwhelming to-do list," said Wes Davis, proprietor of Net Prophets, Nourished Magazine, Newsletter Now, and Net Shuttle. "Winning this contest is a dream come true. Working with my virtual assistant, I can think big for 2008?growing my businesses and managing my personal life like never before."
"We received an incredible response to this contest-with hundreds of entries from around the world underscoring the growing need for and popularity of the virtual workplace," said Amy Robinson, vice president of marketing and business development for Elance. "While it was not an easy selection process, the creativity and business need of our winners set them apart. We look forward to following our winners as they benefit from the talent of the Elance workforce."
The runners up are Antonio Thornton, James Catlin and Sean Kelly.

  • Antonio Thornton is a principle founder of Intentional Concepts, a training company that empowers entrepreneurs to become true business owners. His virtual assistant will help him screen emails, schedule appointments, research books and prepare for seminars.
  • James Catlin is a writer with more ideas and projects than time and resources. His self-published novel, A Home Among the Stars: Trials of the Elected, is the first book in a science fiction trilogy that has earned him a loyal fan base. His plans are to tap the considerable talent pool of Elance to help further develop his web site to promote his work.
  • Sean Kelly is the founder and director of P2P Rescue, a non-profit organization helping communities restore basic human rights to health, safety, and security. Formed in 2005 with a desire to help Southeast Asia after the December 2004 tsunami, P2P Rescue will employ its virtual assistant to help organize, plan and coordinate relief and rebuilding efforts in Sri Lanka.

Virtual assistants represent one of the fastest growing services on Elance. New research indicates that Americans seem to be looking to virtual assistants for help with everyday tasks. The majority of U.S. adults dread, and would happily outsource a variety of tasks (64 percent). More than 70 percent also said that hiring a virtual assistant would give them more time or reduce stress in their lives.*

The "Win A Virtual Assistant Contest", which ran from December 19, 2007 to January 25, 2008, asked entrants: "How would you use a virtual assistant to grow your business or improve your personal life?" Responses to this question were funny, creative and passionate - including videos, poems, cartoons, pictures and essays. Visit http://www.elance.com/p/promo/win-virtual-assistant/winners.html to see the winning entries.
The judges evaluated the entries based on creativity and impact on business or personal life. The judging panel included author of the best-selling book The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss (www.fourhourworkweek.com), small business guru Anita Campbell (www.smallbiztrends.com), outsourcing expert Sandeep Sood (www.sandeepsood.com) and Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for Elance, Amy Robinson.

*Survey commissioned by Elance and conducted by Harris Interactive® (January 2008)

About Elance, Inc.

Elance is an online global workplace where businesses find and hire people "on demand" to get work done quickly and cost effectively The Elance platform allows businesses to easily search, find, hire, manage and pay qualified professionals. In addition, individuals and firms join Elance and create their online profile in order to be immediately connected to businesses looking for their expertise. Founded in 1999, Elance is the leading workplace for hiring and working on demand. The company is privately-held and headquartered in Mountain View, California. For more information, visit Elance at www.elance.com.

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Elance and the Elance logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Elance, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

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