ERICA seeks creative ideas for building Internet Communities

Ericsson Internet Community Award (ERICA) seeks creative ideas for building Internet Communities More than USD 250,000 in cash and in-kind Web development services will be donated to selected non-profit organizations that win the Ericsson Internet Community Award (ERICA), the first-ever international awards program designed to help non-profit organizations realize the power of the Internet. Sponsored by Ericsson, the ERICA runs from today through March 31, 1999. The program is seeking new and creative ideas for technology applications from non-profit organizations that take advantage of the community-building power of the Internet. The winning projects will then be awarded Web development services and funding to turn them into a reality. Submissions will be accepted at the ERICA Web site http://www.ericsson.com/erica until March 31, 1999. Judging will be completed by May 17 and awards will be presented in New York City in June 1999. The ERICA Web site also will serve as a permanent resource for integrating the worlds of Web technology, Internet community-building and non-profit organizations. (See separate release.) "Philanthropic organizations are just beginning to harness the Internet's power to communicate, organize and motivate their audiences," said Sven- Christer Nilsson, CEO of Ericsson. "ERICA will help them engage in this process more effectively. The program brings together three important elements - the charitable philosophy of the non-profit community, the vision of leading Internet companies that are acting as ERICA's judges and the experience of noted Web developers - to solve real world problems and build lasting bridges between these constituencies." The ERICA Advisory Board, which comprises leaders from the non-profit community who have actively advocated the adoption of technology, will conduct an initial screening for entries that solve important problems faced by the non-profit community. A blue-ribbon judging panel, representing the commercial Internet community, will select the most creative solutions for addressing those problems. The winning projects then will be turned into practical applications by ERICA's Web development partners. ERICA Advisory Board member Todd Cohen, editor and publisher of the Philanthropy News Network, states that the ERICA's timing is perfect: "With limited resources and little experience with technology, the non-profits have been slow to take advantage of the Internet. However, non-profits recently have begun to recognize they can use the Internet to better manage their organizations, deliver services, raise money and communicate their message. The ERICA will support and encourage that trend." ERICA's judging panel will be co-chaired by Mr. Nilsson and Bo Peabody, CEO of Tripod, part of the Lycos Network. The panel includes key figures in commercial Internet marketing. Mr. Peabody was one of the first Web pioneers to begin using the term "community" to describe how content would be aggregated on the Internet. "Unlike most awards that honor projects which already have been completed, the ERICA rewards new ideas that have yet to be fulfilled -- the announcement of the winners isn't the culmination of the program but rather, the beginning of it," Mr. Peabody noted. "Once the award is given, the work begins on transforming the winners' ideas into functional Internet solutions that help address real problems. The ERICA is the hardwire that connects non-profit organizations, the Internet marketing community and Web developers in ways that have never before been tried." To complete ERICA's circle of involvement, leading Web development companies from around the world have been recruited to donate time and expertise to take the winning projects from concept to design, development and implementation. Ericsson's CyberLab East, an Internet business division based in New York, NY, will organize and oversee this process. Non-profit organizations can obtain official ERICA entry forms, guidelines and more information about the award at http://www.ericsson.com/erica or by writing to the ERICA, c/o Edelman Public Relations, 1200 Brickell Avenue, Suite 1270, Miami, Florida 33131. Ericsson is the leading provider in the new telecoms world, with communications solutions that combine telecom and datacom technologies with freedom of mobility for the user. With more than 100,000 employees in 140 countries, Ericsson simplifies communications for its customers - network operators, service providers, enterprises and consumers - the world over. Please visit Ericsson's Press Room at: http://www.ericsson.se/pressroom FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT Terri Mueller Edelman Public Relations Phone: +1 305 358 9500, ext. 217 Mats Renée, ERICA Project Manager, Ericsson Public Networks Phone: +46 8 719 03 47, Mobil +46 70 519 03 47 E-mail: mats.renee@etx.ericsson.se Ann-Sofi Sjöberg, Press Officer, Ericsson Public Networks Phone: +46 8 719 58 18, Mobil +46 70 693 32 24 E-mail: ann-sofi.sjoberg@journalistgruppen.se

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