Hiscox: Small Business Contest Winners

November 21, 2011

Bermuda’s Hiscox, the first company offering US small businesses the ability to obtain quotes and buy small business insurance direct, online and in real-time, announced that Victoria Kidd, co-founder of OMP Consulting Group, a career management and resume-writing firm, has won the Hiscox MyStartUpStory Contest first place prize of $10,000.

The Hiscox MyStartUpStory conducted through Facebook from September 27 through November 7, asked passionate entrepreneurs to describe their startup story in two-to-five minute videos or written summaries for a chance to win $10,000 and other prizes.

Entrants shared their advice for other small businesses, including the biggest challenges they’ve faced, how they overcame them and the biggest lesson they learned in the process.

“Winning is an honor,” Ms Kidd said. “Being recognised for your hard-earned success confirms what you have been working on for so long. I hope that this additional exposure will help OMP Consulting Group continue our success. Hiscox’s promotion is fuel for increased business, and the cash prize certainly helps us realise many long-term goals today.”

Kevin Kerridge, small business expert for Hiscox, says that the company’s main focus is to be a valuable resource for small businesses.

“The MyStartUpStory Contest was an opportunity for entrepreneurs to share their real-world experiences with others and we were excited by all of the great stories and practical advice we received,” Mr. Kerridge said. “We hope that this contest will help not only Ms Kidd’s business, and those of the other winners, but also provide others with tips and suggestions they can use to grow their small businesses.”

Ms Kidd plans to use the $10,000 cash prize to increase her marketing efforts and make improvements to her website and other marketing materials.

In her winning contest submission on the Hiscox Small Business Facebook page, Kidd said that she was inspired to launch her business when she discovered that high unemployment levels were not just a product of the recession, but that workers were also unprepared for their job search.

Her advice to other aspiring entrepreneurs: “I knew that to really pursue my dreams I had to accept the risk of failure, embrace it, and use it as a catalyst to make me succeed.”

The second-place winner is Erica Zidel, co-founder of Sitting Around, an organisation that creates babysitting cooperatives. Ms Zidel won the chance to choose three items from the Hiscox Professional Development Supply Closet, which features business essentials including an iPad, a printer/copier/scanner, a paper shredder, an office chair and computer software, among other helpful tools.

Ms Zidel’s market research revealed that babysitting co-ops can save families over $500 per year in child care. Motivated by the lack of innovation in the child care industry, her largest challenge in launching her business was the decision to bootstrap her startup. Rather than pursuing investor funding or loans, Ms Zidel worked a second job to fund her new business herself.

Georgia Tech college student Kurt Tomlinson, founder of Open Hardware Hub, is the third-place winner, and will receive free admission to a small business, or other professional, conference in his area from a list provided by Hiscox.

Mr. Tomlinson founded web-based Open Hardware Hub to allow people to contribute to open source projects. His advice for other young entrepreneurs: “Passion drives innovation, and innovation leads to success.”

More than 70 submissions were received from small business owners across 19 industries ranging from IT to Health & Wellness. The winning submissions will be featured on the Hiscox Small Business Insurance Facebook page through November 30.

Designed specifically for the small business and home-office market, Hiscox small business professional liability insurance coverage is customised for a range of knowledge-based professions including IT, management consulting, business consulting and marketing.

Hiscox offers professional liability insurance quotes direct and online in real-time along with other liability insurance products such as general liability insurance and business owners policies.

Hiscox’s licensed insurance advisors are solely focused on helping small businesses with their insurance needs.

Headquartered in Bermuda, international specialist insurer Hiscox is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

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