Friday, January 30, 2009

Sarasota Valley?

This morning I had the privilege of announcing the unveiling of an exciting new project to over 500 of Sarasota County's top business leaders and politicians. The project (called the Regional Business Resource Center of the Florida Gulf Coast) involves a 3-part technology initiative spearheaded by the regions 10 local chambers of commerce and funded by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice. The goal of the RBRC is to offer every business in the area unlimited access to a localized, co-branded Fast Pitch! community to encourage local buying and selling.

To say I'm proud of this region for taking these bold steps in bringing Fast Pitch! to the masses is an understatement. The support of the areas top brass coupled with backing from the local media will put Sarasota County on the map as the first metropolitan area of it's size to leverage an existing social networking community to encourage local buying and selling. Simply stated, Sarasota County has the potential to become the most hyper-connected region in the world. The goal in many ways is to make this one of the 'flattest' places to do business by allowing everyone to connect and market their business online without restriction.

Not even Silicon Valley has a vision as bold!

Officially launched this morning, the co-branded online community powered by Fast Pitch! can be found at The current URL serves as a local gateway into the much larger Fast Pitch! platform comprised of existing professionals from around the globe who are already actively networking and marketing their business in a variety of ways including virtual tradeshows, press distribution, blog promotion, email marketing and search optimization all built within the package offered to area businesses.

As local businesses login to the RBRC branded community, the experience is localized and relevant to the region and includes local connection recommendations, local press, local events, blog articles, videos and more. As the RBRC continues to integrate content from a variety of resources and business leaders, the ability to communicate to the masses everything from political discussions to economic agendas to public service announcements should also begin to weave itself into the fabric of conversation within the overall network... making the RBRC / Fast Pitch! community the ultimate audience for generating word of mouth.
Sarasota County... where new business opportunities are now only 1 degree away.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

People You Should Know

Yesterday we added a somewhat new feature to our platform that makes a recommendation about who you should be connecting with. I say 'somewhat' new feature because it's something we offered in email format about a year ago but decided to remove after realizing people were being inundated and overwhelmed with ironically enough, too many opportunities.

Our new format is a more passive approach that allows you to manage these 'leads' on your own terms. Now, when you login to your account you are presented with up to six other professionals our system has determined to be good connections for your business. You have the ability to quickly reach out to these people, or simply ignore them until new opportunities come along.

Each of these recommended profiles are served up with a degree of artificial intelligence by revealing only those profiles that meet most of the following criteria:
  • The member has stated in their profile that they plan to purchase from your industry.
  • The member works in an industry that you typically sell into or partner with.
  • The member lives in close proximity to you.
  • The member is active and logs into their account frequently.
  • The member shares common connections with you.

Fast Pitch! analyzes every profile in our system and makes these recommendations according to how closely they match of these criteria. Profiles presented to you are then organized according to the strength of their relevance to your business as well as their membership level (Premium and Platinum Members are guaranteed more visibility on everyone elses's listings).

Our goal with this feature is to streamline your networking efforts by quickly presenting you with new opportunities each and every time you login to your account. Time is money... being able to make intelligent connections, FAST, can help keep your sales pipeline full of new opportunities forever.

Good Luck!


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Get Out The Vote: Round 2

After hundreds of nominations and of thousands of votes, Fast Pitch! recently announced our finalists for the First Annual Business of the Year Awards. These 70 finalists were chosen by a combination of open voting and our expert panel of judges across nine categories including: Top Startup, Top Green Business, Best Technology, Top Non-Profit, and more.

A second and final round of open voting will take place for the remainder of January, with winners to be announced on February 2nd. Winners will once again be determined by open voting and our expert panel of judges who will take an even closer look at each business.

Take a moment to review our finalists below.

If you are a finalist... grab your widget and Get Out The Vote!

Branded J Collections Vote
Pikes Peak Placement Vote
Hansa Center for Optimum Health Vote
Five Stars Mortgage, LLC Vote
International College Counselors Vote
Sakiro Skin & Body Vote
Online Security Authority, LLC. Vote
Engel & Voelkers Florida Vote
BMD Media Website Design Vote
Window Washing System Vote

P & L Translations Vote
Vantage BioTrials Inc. Vote Vote
EQmentor Vote
Vertical Insight Vote Vote
eLearningZoom Vote
Webbed Marketing Vote
Business Expert Webinars Vote
Vell Group LLC Vote

EQmentor Vote
MetrixApps Vote
Next2Friends Vote
ARAM Total Health Management of America Vote
SponsorDaddy Vote
UPC Hungary Vote
BizHarmony, LLC Vote

UltraLuster Wash Vote
GizmoVideo Hosting Vote
Scandle Body Massage Candle LLC Vote
Window Washing System Vote
Charters Beach Cottage Vote
Dress The Drink Vote
ReviewSNAP Vote
Sunless Beauty, Ltd. Vote
So. Likasit IT Services Ltd., Part. Vote
Startup Florida Vote

MBUintelligence Vote
The Heart Link Network Vote
Raandesk Gallery of Art Vote
Kaposlogisztika Vote
K & E Bridal Consultants Vote
The 5 Second Commute Vote

Astralux Environmental Solutions Vote
UltraLuster Wash Vote
Sakiro Skin & Body Vote
CityRyde LLC Vote
EQmentor Vote
BuddhiWear Organic Apparel Vote
Green Economic Solutions Vote
EGM Green Vote
Jeanettes Patisserie Vote

The Apogee Foundation Vote
Coastal Pet Rescue, Inc. Vote
FAAVM Canada Vote
Bumbo International Vote
Avalanche Center Vote
Project Community, Inc. Vote
RBI-Responsible Business Initiative Pakistan Vote

Personal Productivity Expert Vote
Brewster & Scott - Tax Law Services Vote
Arch & Company Fine Arts Vote
Catriceology Enterprises Vote
MB Private Equity Capital,LLC Vote

GizmoVideo Hosting Vote
Left Brain/Right Brain Productions, LLC Vote
Beyond Video Vote
Leashes and Lovers Vote
Design Shoji Vote

Good Luck!


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Stay Warm

This week saw extremely cold weather cripple many businesses across the Midwest and Northeast. Many professionals were either unable or unwilling to venture outside their home or the office (assuming they even made it in to work!). For those who rely on meetings, networking events and leads groups to keep their sales pipeline full with new opportunities, the harsh weather conditions felt during the Winter months can have a direct effect on how warm their sales pipelines are in Spring and Summer.

Fortunately, for members of Fast Pitch, the Winter months aren't quite as debilitating. Our members keep their sales pipeline warm by constantly logging into their account and connecting with thousands of professionals locally, regionally and worldwide.

So, the next time you're about to fight the elements stop and ask yourself, 'Is it worth it?' Chances are, in the amount of time it takes you to put on 3 layers of clothes, scrape the ice off of your car and drive through sleet and snow... you could could have created a Fast Pitch! profile, grown your network ten-fold and added some warm leads to your sales pipeline... all from the comfort of your office (or home office).

Stay Warm!