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crowdspring

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Company: crowdSPRING, Chicago, IL
Company Description: crowdSPRING (http://www.crowdspring.com) is an online marketplace for creative services. For buyers, crowdSPRING is a place to post a creative project, watch the world contribute ideas and choose the one they like. For creatives, crowdSPRING is a global stage for creativity where title and experience don't matter. crowdSPRING is a privately held company based in Chicago.
Nomination Category: Products & Product Management Categories
Nomination Sub Category: New Product or Service of the Year - Services

Nomination Title: crowdSPRING

Tell the story about this nominated product or service (up to 500 words). Describe its function, features, benefits, and sales to date. You may include hyperlinks to product photos and data sheets. IMPORTANT: Begin each link with http://, and enclose each link in square brackets; for example, [http://www.youraddress.com]:

crowdSPRING: a new way to buy creative services

crowdSPRING is a community-powered marketplace for creative services.  Whether
you need a new logo, website, marketing materials or other creative content, you
simply post what you need, when you need it and how much you'd like to pay.
Once posted, contributors from around the world will work on your project and
you'll begin to receive actual work - not bids or proposals - to review.  And,
as the submissions come in, you'll be able to review, sort, rate, give feedback
and collaborate with contributors until you find "the one". 

For creatives, crowdSPRING offers powerful tools to showcase their talents on a
worldwide stage.  The explosion of so-called ‘user generated content’ - from
Threadless and iStockPhoto to YouTube or even blogs - is proof positive that
people are looking for outlets for their creative talent, whether it's graphic
design, photography, video or copywriting.  crowdSPRING is empowering this
underground, underdog creative community and giving them yet another outlet for
their creativity. 

crowdSPRING was founded on three core principles: offer Buyers choice, give
creatives a level playing field, and protect intellectual property for all.  The
model takes the risk out of buying creative services by offering buyer's choice
up front.  It empowers an underground, underdog creative community and levels
the playing field by allowing creatives to compete solely on the basis of their
talent.  And it protects the intellectual property of all by offering completely
free, customized written legal agreements for every transaction.

Risk-free creative services
When people buy art or music or movies, they see all the options available to
them and then decide which they'd like to purchase. But the purchase of many
other creative services has traditionally been a lot more risky. Buyers are
asked to dig through portfolios, review past work and make a commitment before
seeing the end product. crowdSPRING offers a better way. Buyers can now purchase
the work they love at a price they're comfortable, without the risk.

A level playing field for creative service providers
By allowing designers, illustrators, writers and photographers - whether
established professional or talented newcomer - to compete based solely on their
creativity and the quality of their ideas instead of bids, proposals, or
portfolios, crowdSPRING will level the competitive playing field for creative
people worldwide.  By allowing global participation, crowdSPRING will engage
previously untapped talent across the world - freelancers, stay-at-home moms,
students, hobbyists, part-timers and creative services providers in countries on
the other side of the globe - that would have been far beyond the reach of the
typical buyer and, thereby, will also bring business to creatives who never
would have had the opportunity before.

Built-in intellectual property protection
crowdSPRING takes intellectual property extremely seriously and has incorporated
this concern into every facet of the business.  In addition to digital
watermarking and other technological advancements, crowdSPRING will offer buyers
and contributors - without any cost to either - customized written legal
agreements protecting their transaction and ensuring that the intellectual
property made by creatives and purchased by buyers is protected.

List hyperlinks to any online news stories, press releases, product reviews, or other documents that support the claims made in the section above. IMPORTANT: Begin each link with http://, and enclose each link in square brackets; for example, [http://www.youraddress.com]:

http://www.crowdspring.com/news
http://www.chicagoreader.com/features/stories/thebusiness/090219/
http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2009/0216/062.html
http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/aaron-perry-zucker/new-ideas/democratizing-design
http://www.condenet.com/promo/smallbizprogram/sweeps/smallbizprogram/entry/
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/multiMedia.pl?mmId=520
http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/2008/09/demo_crowdsprin.html
http://www.suntimes.com/business/spirrison/957474,CST-FIN-spirr19.article
http://www.btobonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090209/FREE/902099988/1155

Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader(s) of the team that developed this nominated product or service:

Mike Samson and Ross Kimbarovsky, co-Founders
Mike has over 20 years experience in the creative field, including as picture
editor at New York Magazine and as a producer on films such as Wall Street and
Bull Durham. He holds a BA from the University of Illinois and an MBA from the
Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Ross is an experienced intellectual property lawyer. For over 13 years, he has
represented internet startups and Fortune 100 companies in complex disputes, in
state and federal courts and before the World Intellectual Property
Organization. He holds a BA from Northwestern University and a law degree from
the University of Illinois.