Sprint.com

October 21, 2010

Four Entrepreneurs Compete in the Sprint “Second Chance” Online Reality Show for a Chance at Small Business Success and $150,000

Show Host and Angel Investor David S. Rose Leads All-Star Panel of Mentors

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), October 21, 2010 - Through a unique online reality show that begins Oct. 26, Sprint (NYSE: S) is giving four small-business entrepreneurs a second chance at business success and an opportunity to win $150,000. In a six-part Web series titled “Second Chance,” four entrepreneurs, all of whom attempted to start their own businesses but fell short of success, will be featured as they learn to compete against one another in business-specific challenges for a second chance to successfully start a business.

Hosted by super-angel investor David S. Rose, the six Second Chance episodes will be available for viewing on Sprint’s Business on Main community at www.businessonmain.com. The winner not only gets $150,000 from Sprint but will have the unique opportunity to present his or her business concept to a group of angel investors, including Rose, who may choose to invest in the new business. The investors will also provide their wisdom and business knowledge to help get the concept off the ground.

“Through Business on Main, Sprint is committed to helping small businesses thrive by providing the tools and information they need to succeed,” said Steve Gaffney, vice president-Corporate Marketing for Sprint. “The Second Chance Web series gives us a chance to help the winning entrepreneur start a small business while also providing an entertaining and educational opportunity for the many others who will view the Web series on www.businessonmain.com.”

Each participant in the Second Chance competition receives something even if they don’t win. The runner-up will receive $25,000, and the “community favorite” – the entrepreneur who receives the highest number of votes from the Business on Main community – also receives $25,000. The Business on Main community will be able to vote for the community favorite Dec. 6-20 after the first four episodes have been posted. Both the grand-prize winner and the contestant voted as the community favorite will be announced during the final episode on Jan. 31, 2011. The competition began in June with a pool of more than 200 contestants and was pared down to the four finalists in September.

Shot in New York, Second Chance features the four contestants competing in the following challenges to test their skills: business strategy, marketing and public relations, technology, building the right team, and creating a compelling “elevator pitch.” Additionally, the participants will get advice from top business mentors and learn about new concepts that may be helpful for their next venture. The final episode will feature the two finalists presenting their new business to a panel of angel investors as they compete for the grand prize.

Throughout the competition, visitors to the Business on Main community will be able to interact with the contestants by asking questions about the challenges, offering advice and other tips, and the contestants will work to persuade viewers to vote for them through the interaction and other means such as blog posts on the site.

"Second Chance is a unique challenge, teach and learn competition,” said Rose. “To truly survive long-term, small-business owners need to constantly challenge themselves to be smarter. It’s been wonderful to share what I've learned from working with hundreds of passionate entrepreneurs who have tried over and over again to build successful businesses.”

The four small-business finalists are:

  • Dennis Bauer of Spring, Texas. His new company is Design by Grace, which features a product called “The Easy Sheet,” a fitted top-bed sheet that doesn’t come untucked and includes expanded room for foot space.
  • Lisa Grant of Providence, R.I. Her new company is Good for You Goodies and features sugar- and chemical-free, all-natural bakery desserts for diabetics and the obese. Targets high-end markets to sell products.
  • Ryan Orlove of Burlington, Vt. His new company is Amplified FM, a social-networking community and music-subscription service tied together through a geographically based live music calendar.
  • Steve Wasnick of St. Anthony, Minn. His new company is MillCityAuctions.com, a no-cost online auction site dedicated to serving non-profits, designed to replace traditional silent auctions.

Sprint and its New York-based media agency Mindshare developed the Second Chance Web series specifically for the Business on Main community. Business on Main, in partnership with Microsoft, is a site where small-business leaders come for inspiration and to be empowered for success. The site allows small-business owners to connect with achievers like themselves to collaborate, learn and share successes, and it delivers other valuable information specific to small businesses. The Business on Main community has grown in popularity and now serves approximately 500,000 users per month.

Chairman and chief executive officer of Angelsoft and an Inc. 500 CEO, Rose is best known for mentoring young entrepreneurs. He was named to the 2008 “Silicon Alley 100” and is a frequent speaker at business school entrepreneurship programs. Rose founded and is chairman of New York Angels, an early-stage technology investment group, and is managing principal of Rose Tech Ventures, an early-stage venture fund. He also serves as chairman of Egret Capital Partners, a middle-market private-equity firm.

About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 48.1 million customers at the end of the second quarter of 2010 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, Common Cents Mobile and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. With its customer-focused strategy, you can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.

About Mindshare

Mindshare is a global media and marketing services network with billings in excess of $27.8 billion (source: RECMA). The network consists of 115 offices in 82 countries throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific, each dedicated to forging competitive marketing advantage for businesses and their brands. Mindshare is part of GroupM, which oversees the media investment management sector for WPP, the world’s leading communications services group.

Contact(s):

Sprint
Dave Mellin, 720-840-4788
dave.mellin@sprint.com


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