Announcements

Startups, Enter The Million Pound Startup Competition.

Heard about the latest contest to take your startup to the next level? The Million Pound Startup is your chance to win a £1,000,000 investment, as well as business support from formidable companies. Plus a move to one of the world’s top business centers – London!Million Pound Startup

Over 500 startups from 60 countries (and all types of industries) have entered to date. So throw your hat in the ring now. The deadline is August 31 though – what are you waiting for?!

Here is some more information from the organizers:

The Million Pound Startup is a global contest looking for “the next big thing” to move their HQ to London. If you’re a company who has big aspirations and has high growth potential, are less than 10 years old, are turning over less than £1 million per year, are open to receiving £1 million investment in exchange for 10-40% equity, and want to move your HQ to London – you should enter now!

The winner of the Million Pound Startup will receive an incredible package that includes:

£1,000,000 Investment raised and managed by Seedrs

£10,000 in free advisory services from KPMG

£10,000 in free legal services from Taylor Wessing

£20,000 in free PR from Ketchum

Visa and expatriation support from UKTI

And more!

If you think your startup is up to the challenge, check out millionpoundstartup.com now!

Win $1,000 In Our “Freedom Through Freelance” Photo Contest.

If there’s one word Elancers use to describe the feeling of online work, it’s “freedom.”

To celebrate this liberating sensation we’re holding a fun photo contest that brings your freedom to life. So enter our “Freedom Through Freelance” Photo Contest and show us how Elance makes you feel freer.Freedom Through Freelancing Photo Contest

Here’s what you could win:

First Place: $1,000 (plus your photo will be featured front-and-center on the Elance Facebook page for two months … and who knows, it may end up in other places that give you great exposure).

Second Place: $500

Third Place: $250

Remaining Top 25 Finalists: $25 Amazon gift cards

It’s simple to enter. Just submit a photo of yourself basking in freedom (please, no photos with computers or work shots – we want to see you loving life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness). The entry also needs to be in a horizontal format without added graphics. See complete contest details.

The entry deadline is Monday, September 2, so don’t dilly-dally. Our esteemed panel of judges will narrow the list to the top 25 (remember, if there’s a computer in the photo it won’t make the finals, promise). The top 3 winners will then be chosen by public voting September 3 -10. We’ll announce the contest winners on September 11.

What are you waiting for? Send us your photo now and enter to win $1,000 plus the admiration of the entire Elance community. Share the freedom you feel from working online.

No purchase necessary. See Official Rules for details. Void where prohibited. Contest ends September 11, 2013.

Elance CEO Fabio Rosati Pens Foreword To Best-Seller, Rise Of The Naked Economy.

We’re excited to see that Ryan Coonerty and Jeremy Neuner’s new book The Rise of the Naked Economy is swiftly moving up the charts. It’s a wonderful take on today online work revolution, detailing why so many of today’s changes have come about what folks can expect in the weeks and months to come. Written in a fresh and inspirational style (as well as being quite hilarious at times), the book is a great read for anyone who wants to benefit from our quickly-changing workplace. Grab your copy hereElance CEO Fabio Rosati

Introductory pages to The Rise of the Naked Economy include endorsements from dozens of thought leaders ranging from Walter Isaacson (author of the biography Steve Jobs) to Tony Hsieh (Founder/CEO of Zappos), Sara Horowitz (Founder of Freelancer’s Union and author of The Freelancer’s Bible) and Carl Guardino (President of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group).

As the leading voice in online work, Elance CEO Fabio Rosati was asked to write the foreword to The Rise of the Naked Economy. Fabio’s foreword reflects his intimate knowledge of what freelancers and businesses can look forward to as work moves online at a record pace. Here’s a short excerpt:

The Rise of the Naked Economy is about all aspects of this transformation of work and the emerging new workforce. Brimming with humor and insights, the book explores what makes the twenty-first-century worker tick. If you believe yesterday’s way of matching available jobs with qualified talent is riddled with inefficiencies, or if you’re a manager, marketer, educator, or a parent with a child destined for the workforce this book will make you smarter and more prepared for the inevitable changes. It will make you take a good hard look at the most profound transformation in our workforce in the last 100 years.Rise of the Naked Economy Book Cover

I thank the authors for beginning this important dialogue. This book allows all of us—from workers to employers to government policy makers—to begin discussing these enormous, once-in-a-century changes in our workforce, our economy, and our society. More importantly, this book provides insights on how to smooth the transition. Throughout the book the authors introduce you to a range of brave, talented people like Alexandra who are at the forefront of this shift. Make no mistake: They are writing about true pioneers, those who work differently today and are the future of work tomorrow. 

It’s amazing to see so many highly respected and knowledgeable people embracing online work. Elance applauds Rise of the Naked Economy authors Ryan Coonerty and Jeremy Neuner for crafting such a poignant book on a deserving topic. As co-founders of the popular co-working space chain NextSpace, Ryan and Jeremy are certainly attuned to the exciting changes ahead for us all.

Elance Hosts Series Of Events In New York City and Chicago.

Elance was excited to roll into Manhattan recently for a handful of fun and informative events.

The activities began on Wednesday of last week when our own Alex Yoon flew out from our Silicon Valley headquarters to present at the Elance-sponsored WeWork Demo Days. The festivities were held at the WeWork co-working space in New York, and included a “championship” pitchfest where five winners of previous pitch competitions battled for the top prize.WeWork presentation

The storming of Manhattan continued on Friday evening with some serious (OK, seriously fun) networking at NYC’s famed watering hole, The Brooklyneer. The Elance team hosted a Meet & Greet with New York-based Elancers. It was great fun rubbing elbows with old friends and new acquaintances alike. Rest assured quite a few stories were shared and even more beers were hoisted.

On Saturday the Elance team was at the day-long StrategyHack event, where startups and local marketing experts teamed up to hack away together on growth strategies. Our local Elance Mobilizer Libby also spoke to the group. Needless to say a good time was had by one and all, and lots of great progress was made.

Because the road to meeting up with Elancers never ends, tonight the team is in Chicago hosting a Work Differently Ignition Pitch Night at 1871. It’s where entrepreneurs can pitch their startup ideas to a crowd of spirited onlookers and our StrategyHackesteemed panel of judges. We’ll be giving away $3,000 in Elance credits and other prizes to contestants (as well as a free beer when you register and attend). Come on my. And if you can’t attend you can always follow along as we livetweet using #workdifferentlychi – it promises to be entertaining!

Hey Business Owners, Got A Great Story To Tell? We’re All Ears.

As we travel around this big ol’ world of ours attending various events, businesses invariably tap us on the shoulder to say “hello” and to share their stories of using Elance.

Their chronicles are often inspiring and heartfelt, filled with tales of overcoming obstacles to triumph and succeed. Well, we thought it would be great to share some of these stories with other businesses too (let’s be honest, who doesn’t like an inspiring story?).

Tell us your story. We’ll share it with others in our Inspiration Center.

Just shoot us an email at testimonials@elance.com (in the subject line, please include “My Story: (your name or brief description)” so we’ll be sure to prioritize it).

We would love to hear your anecdotes as a business using Elance, bringing to life how online work has helped you achieve more. Regardless of where you live, or your line of work, we want others to read what’s possible with a little perseverance and a good team behind you.

So inspire us!

P.S. - Oh, and if you’re a freelancer and have a great story, share it too. We’ll also be highlighting how you’re able to find work and enjoy a more rewarding life.

Surge in Online Work Brings Elance Leadership Team to the Middle East.

Elance was excited to visit Dubai recently, helping to further support the tremendous growth of online work in the United Arab Emirates.

It’s inspiring to see that people across the Middle East now choose to Work Differently in record numbers.

And nowhere is the online work revolution having a greater impact than in the United Arab Emirates. Businesses registering on Elance from the UAE have risen over 100% in the past year, showing the country’s strong interest in online work. To put the region’s vast adoption in perspective, the UAE is now the seventh largest country in terms of hiring Elancers. Last year alone UAE businesses paid freelancers over $22 million through Elance.

Record numbers of freelancers from the UAE are also now joining Elance, providing great opportunity for workers to expand their careers and improve their personal lives. This is particularly important for the region’s youth, as unemployment among young workers in the Middle East is the highest in the world.

“Here in Dubai the status quo is changing quickly and businesses are open to new ideas,” noted Elance Vice President of Category Development Ved Sinha. “This includes hiring online workers, which allows companies to be more successful.”

Ved recently returned from Dubai after taking part in several events, each centered on continuing the momentum of economic development and online work in the Middle East. One highlight included speaking at the ArabNet Digital Summit in Dubai, where Ved sat on a panel titled, “Disrupting Recruitment,

Elance was excited to visit Dubai recently, helping to further support the tremendous growth of online work in the United Arab Emirates.

It’s inspiring to see that people across the Middle East now choose to Work Differently in record numbers.

And nowhere is the online work revolution having a greater impact than in the United Arab Emirates. Businesses registering on Elance from the UAE have risen over 100% in the past year, showing the country’s strong interest in online work. To put the region’s vast adoption in perspective, the UAE is now the seventh largest country in terms of hiring Elancers. Last year alone UAE businesses paid freelancers over $22 million through Elance.

Record numbers of freelancers from the UAE are also now joining Elance, providing great opportunity for workers to expand their careers and improve their personal lives. This is particularly important for the region’s youth, as unemployment among young workers in the Middle East is the highest in the world.

“Here in Dubai the status quo is changing quickly and businesses are open to new ideas,” noted Elance Vice President of Category Development Ved Sinha. “This includes hiring online workers, which allows companies to be more successful.”

Ved recently returned from Dubai after taking part in several events, each centered on continuing the momentum of economic development and online work in the Middle East. One highlight included speaking at the ArabNet Digital Summit in Dubai, where Ved sat on a panel titled, “Disrupting Recruitment, Transforming Work.” Also on the panel were top executives from LinkedIn and other companies on the forefront of employment, discussing how online work is revolutionizing hiring in the region.

While in Dubai Ved also spoke to local entrepreneurs at an event titled, “Smarter Hiring for Your Startups.” Meeting with entrepreneurs who are now leading the way in the surge of startup activity throughout the Middle East, the focus of the night was helping businesses thrive on a global scale. Watch the presentation by Ved Sinha, Vice President at Elance.

The trip to Dubai was a wonderful opportunity for our leadership team to meet some of the many people who are helping transform the Middle East into a flourishing region for businesses of all sizes – including the large number of companies from the area now making their mark in the ecommerce and social media spaces.

Elance is thrilled to be part of the emerging opportunities in the region, and we’re proud to help businesses and freelancers in the Middle East as they Work Differently.

Congratulations to Next Glass, Winner of Elance’s Bold Idea Pitch Competition.

Let’s all raise our leaded crystal champagne flutes and toast to the winner of Elance’s contest for the best new startup idea, Next Glass.Elance Bold idea results

Next Glass’ ingenious startup idea involves changing how we all talk about, recommend and eventually purchase (ca-ching!) wines. Kurt Taylor and the team at Next Glass have some wonderful thoughts on how to thrive in a huge and growing market “ripe” for disruption.

The North Carolina-based startup plans to roll-out a free mobile app, which allows customers and wineries to share a subjective “universal language” when describing wines (don’t worry, it’s cooler than it sounds in a blog post). And as the winner of our Bold Idea Pitch Completion, they’ll get to the corner wine market sooner -- given their First Place price of $5,000 in Elance credits. The top award also means Kurt gets to pitch Next Glass to two Elance investors and venture capitalists, Paul Hsiao from NEA and Dan Marriott from Stripes Group.

Check out a video of their winning pitch to our panel of esteemed judges. You’ll also see the presentations of all 6 Finalists in our contests, including Second Place winner Maximillian Lekhtman of Raisera and Third Place winner Patrick Chu of 99 Composers. Maximillian earns $2,500 in Elance credits while Patrick earns $1,000. Our Fourth through Tenth Place winners each won $500 in Elance credits too. It will be interesting to see how these aspiring startups use their Elance credits to hire freelancers to fuel their great ideas.

Well done one and all. Thanks again to the 200+ entrepreneurs who submitted video pitches to our competition, plus everyone who voted for the Finalists. Keep dreaming up those great ideas as we’ll have more fun competitions in the near future. And if you need inspiration and tips be sure to check out Elance’s Startup Toolkit.

Startup Toolkit Spotlight: Debunking Common Myths.

Thinking of venturing inDebunking mythsto the world of entrepreneurs? Perhaps beginning your own startup? Or are you an established company who wants to retool and grow like a startup?  We say, “Go for it.” The time is right as markets are shifting quickly and the world is ripe for fresh new thinking.

If you’re unsure about throwing your hat in the ring, the first hurdle to overcome is fear of the great unknown. Sure there are a lot of “doom and gloom” forecasts out there for startups and companies branching into new areas, but the simple truth is if you have a good idea, great execution (and some top freelancers to lend a hand), success awaits you.Elance Startup Toolkit Homepage

Our brand-spanking-new Startup Toolkit is designed to help you progress from the initial stages of a startup to a full-fledged business. You’ll find lots of articles and resources geared towards helping you get off the ground floor and ramp up. Or if you’ve already launched your startup there’s also a plethora of information sure to provide you with valuable insights and guidance.

But if you’re new to the startup world, a great place to start is the Startup Toolkit’s article: Eight Common Myths to Building Your Startup. Seasoned entrepreneurs know that how startups are portrayed in the media is much different than reality. Check out the article to learn about misconceptions that may be holding you back, including myths about your startup idea, skills needed, funding and more.

While you’re there, browse around Elance’s Startup Toolkit for other articles and tools. And bookmark the site and come back often, as we’ll be adding new content often to further broaden the resources of your “go-to” spot for startup and fast-track growth information.

Votes Are In. See Our Bold Startup Idea Competition Finalists!

UPDATE: The winners have been announced! Also check out a video of the winning pitch, as the Top 6 Finalists presented to our panel of esteemed judges.

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Thanks to everyone who submitted entries in Elance’s Bold Idea Pitch Competition. And ditto to the thousands and thousands who voted for our contest’s Finalists. Read more about the competition, including our First Place prize of $5,000 in Elance credit and a meeting with two Elance investors/venture capitalists.Elance Bold Idea Pitch Competition Finlaists

Check out the six Finalists and watch their 90-second video pitches. You’ll be impressed with the innovative ideas our entrepreneurs have come up with.

In a nutshell, hundreds of aspiring startups submitted their video pitches – each outlining a great idea for a startup. Then thousands of people went online and voted for their favorite ideas.

The polls are now closed and we’ve tallied the results. Later this week our six Finalists will each have five minutes to present their idea to our panel of esteemed judges, live via Google+ Hangouts. The judges will then announce the First, Second and Third Place winners (each earning Elance credit to fuel their ideas) -- plus the First Place winner also earns an online meeting with top VCs Paul Hsiao and Dan Marriott.

Be sure to visit Elance’s Facebook page for updates on contest and to follow the competition as it progresses this week. See video pitches.

Updated Feature: Now Broadcast Messages to Folders.

Quick, spread the word. Elance is making it easier than ever for clients and freelancers to communicate with each other en masse.

Now you can quickly and easily send a single message to Folders in your My Elance page. The message can be sent to one Folder, to select Folders, or even to all of your Folders at once.

Previously, the Broadcast Message feature could only be used to send the same message to multiple jobs in My Elance. With this update you can make quick work of communicating with an even larger group of Elancers.

This is great for letting teams know anything from upcoming vacation dates to personnel changes and updates on the schedule of a project. Here’s how to use the enhanced Broadcast Message feature:

1. Select more than one job or Folder by selecting the check boxes on the left
2. Click on the "Broadcast Message" button in the panel
3. Type your message and click "Send"

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