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2011 SAWIB WinnerCompany: VerticalResponse, San Francisco, CA, USA
Company Description: VerticalResponse Inc. provides a full suite of Web-based, self-service marketing solutions for small businesses including email marketing, online surveys, social media, event marketing and direct mail. Its mission is to empower small businesses and non-profit organizations to easily and affordably create, share and analyze their own marketing campaigns.
Nomination Category: Individual Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best Entrepreneur – Service Businesses - Up to 100 Employees

Nomination Title: Janine Popick, CEO and Founder

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated entrepreneur during the eligibility period (up to 500 words):

Janine Popick launched VerticalResponse in 2001 with the vision of it becoming a successful online marketing solution that enables anyone, regardless of technical expertise, to get up and running quickly with email marketing. Janine hasn’t strayed from what she originally set out to accomplish, while expanding the company’s portfolio of services to meet the ever-changing needs of small businesses.

The business world continues to take note. Among other accolades, the company won the 2010 Ebbies Award for Excellence in Business from the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, as well as the 2011 Blue Ribbon Small Business of the Year from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, VerticalResponse has been ranked on the Inc. 500|5000 list every year from 2006 through 2011, and the Deloitte Fast 500 list from 2007 through 2011.

Part of VerticalResponse’s continued leadership in its category can be credited to Janine’s commitment to small business and the entrepreneurial spirit. Janine has won and been nominated for several awards since starting her company, including the following nods earned after July 2010:

• 2011 Small Business Influencer Champion from Small Biz Trends
• 2010 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year from the Women’s Initiative
• 2010 Stevie Entrepreneur of the Year

Janine has led VerticalResponse through another successful year in 2011. Key achievements from July 2010 to present include:

Launched VerticalResponse Event Marketing, a new tool for businesses and non- profits to easily create a Web page for their events, sell tickets and/or collect donations online, track sales, and promote their events via email marketing and social media.

Established a successful partnership with Startup Weekend, a series of events where participants get together, develop, test and pitch their start-up business ideas to a panel of judges – all within 54 hours. We dispatched one of our marketing specialists to events across the country to be an on-site mentor, and Janine also helped judge and select the winners.

Debuted a new set of social media tools that enables customers to add social sharing icons in their email messages and newsletters. New reporting features can track which recipients share an email message via social channels, how the message is passed along and via which networks.

Launched the VerticalResponse Take Action User Seminars. The tour takes the company’s email marketing and social media experts to various cities across the country, so customers can benefit from one-on-one education.

Beyond the tech tools, Janine offers her expertise to customers and non- customers alike on her award-winning Marketing Blog for Small Businesses. She also has a column on, blogs at iMedia Connection and regularly contributes to various marketing publications.

With more than 20 years of direct marketing and entrepreneurial experience, Janine has successfully built a company that provides an essential service to more than 100,000 customers. Janine exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit, and serves as an inspirational role model for fellow leaders in business.

List the URLs (web addresses) of any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that you would like the judges to see that support your nomination. IMPORTANT: List each URL on a separate line, begin each URL with http://, and enclose each URL in square brackets. For example, []:

Event Marketing press release:

Startup Weekend press release:

Social sharing press release:

Take Action User Seminars press release:

BtoB Magazine profile of Janine Popick:


Provide a brief biography of the nominated entrepreneur (up to 100 words):

Janine Popick is the CEO and founder of VerticalResponse. She was an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist from 2006 to 2009, and won the Stevie Award for Best Entrepreneur of the Year in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Most recently, Janine won the U.S. Small Business Administration award for Small Business Person of the Year in San Francisco and was named a Small Biz Influencer Champion by Small Biz Trends. Janine brings over 20 years of experience leading direct and Internet marketing programs for some of the biggest brands in technology and entertainment.