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Walmart contest: Shark Tank meets American Idol

Walmart is holding its second annual crowdsourcing contest to find the best new product to offer customers.

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Walmart crowdsourcing for products

Walmart’s next “season” of “Get on the Shelf,” a social crowdsourcing contest for entrepreneurs and inventors, has kicked off and will end July 30, 2013. This contest offers contestants a chance to not only get their product noticed, but also, have them sold on Walmart’s web site and in select stores. This is a great opportunity for startup companies to get their name and idea out to a larger audience.

The contest is open to any one in America with a great product to pitch, although there are a few rules contestants should check out before entering. Once you have decided which of your ideas you would like to pitch, you can enter the contest in just a few simple steps.

First, you will need a link to a YouTube video demonstrating your product. It can be funny, touching, or just plain pandering, it is up to you. It should be noted that Walmart is especially interested in innovations to the following areas: baby, technology, beauty, pets, home, and toys, but anything not excluded by the rules is welcomed.

After you submit your video link, it will be posted online for your own fans and the general public to vote on, which is where the “American Idol” feel comes in. This will show merchants just how much people love your product. Again, even if you do not win, you can use all the new reviews and feedback to bolster your business, without spending a single cent.

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Engaging small businesses

Joel Anderson, president and CEO of Walmart.com. “In this age of technology, the contest is a great way for us to engage our customers and small businesses in a different way.” Not only does this engage Walmart’s customers in helping to select products they would like to see, in an easy, fun way: voting, but also, it engages potential merchants. It allows them to see how great your product is and your dedication in selling it.

The top twenty videos will be selected from the online vote and if your video/product makes it through the next round, it will be spotlighted in a web series created by Walmart. And from this group of twenty, the choices will be reduced to five winners. Last year, the contest attracted more than 4, 000 entries and over one million votes to decide on one grand prize winner and two runners-up.

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Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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