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IZEA CEO Ted Murphy Named as Finalist in 2012 American Business Awards(SM)

Company Founder Is a Finalist for Maverick of the Year; Stevie(R) Awards Will Be Presented on June 18 in New York City (May 10, 2012)

ORLANDO, FL -- (Marketwire) -- 05/10/12 -- IZEA, Inc. (OTCQB: IZEA) (PINKSHEETS: IZEA), the world leader in social media sponsorship, today announced that its Founder and CEO Ted Murphy was named a finalist in the Maverick of the Year category in The 2012 American Business Awards, and will ultimately be a Gold, Silver, or Bronze Stevie Award winner in the program.

The American Business Awards are the nation's premier business awards program. All organizations operating in the U.S.A. are eligible to submit nominations -- public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small. More than 3,000 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted this year for consideration.

Ted founded IZEA in 2006 to much controversy and criticism for his desire to monetize the blogosphere. He is widely considered the leading pioneer in social media sponsorship. Ted was the first to openly pay bloggers to create content on behalf of brands, the first to pay celebrities for tweets and the first to pay people for social media check-ins. He also worked directly with the FTC to help define the guidelines for endorsements in social media and with the Word of Mouth Marketing Association to gain acceptance for paid social media sponsorships.

His efforts have created a new industry, with many of the world's top blogs, tweeters and social users now using social media sponsorships to generate income by driving brand awareness for clients. Under his leadership, IZEA became a public company in May 2011 and today boasts a network of 700,000 registered influencers in 147 countries and 50,000 brand partners.

IZEA recently announced their guidance for 2012. Annual revenue for the company is projected to double and annual profit margin is expected to increase to 56-60% by year-end. IZEA plans to report its quarter-ending March 31, 2012, financial results on May 15.

"Ted's dynamic leadership continues to drive IZEA and its employees," said Ryan Schram, Chief Marketing Officer, IZEA. "His creative influence can be seen in the company's daily work and its successes, which have enabled our continued leadership in the space he created. We are thrilled that he's being recognized."

Details about The American Business Awards and the list of Finalists in all categories are available at

About IZEA
IZEA, Inc. is the world leader in social media sponsorship, operating multiple marketplaces including, WeReward, Sponsored Tweets and SocialSpark. IZEA connects advertisers with social media influencers, helping them monetize their social media presence. The company has completed over three million social media sponsorships for customers ranging from small local businesses to Fortune 50 organizations. For more information about IZEA, visit

Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements are based largely on IZEA's expectations and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, certain of which are beyond IZEA's control. Actual results could differ materially from these forward-looking statements as a result of, among other factors, competitive conditions in the social media sponsorship segment in which IZEA operates, failure to popularize one or more of the marketplace platforms of IZEA and general economic conditions that are less favorable than expected. In light of these risks and uncertainties, there can be no assurance that the forward-looking information contained in this respect will in fact occur. Please read the full statement and disclosures here:

About the Stevie Awards
Stevie Awards are conferred in four programs: The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about The Stevie Awards at

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Jennifer P. Brown
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