A BUSINESS BUILDER: 'INC.' ADDS TO ITS PORTFOLIO OF EVENTS WITH INNER CITY 100

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As events for business magazine readers and advertisers heat up, Inc. has added another sponsorship category-professional services-to this year's annual Inc. 500 Conference slated for June 17 in Nashville.

Inc. also is thinking smaller: this month it will venture into new territory with the first-ever Inner City 100 event, honoring 100 companies located in distressed urban areas that have demonstrated profits and growth since 1997.

Held in conjunction with the non-profit Initiative for a Competitive Inner City in Boston on April 22, the inaugural dinner and awards event features no official sponsors this time around, said Inc. Publisher Gary Mirkin.

"But we hope to turn this into an annual event, and follow some of the Inner City 100 honorees to the Inc. 500 and beyond," he said.

PRICE WATERHOUSE SIGNS ON

For its Inc. 500 jamboree, PriceWaterhouseCoopers has signed on as the fifth sponsor, paying $150,000 for one-on-one and database marketing and opportunities with the nation's most successful entrepreneurial companies.

Insurer American International Group is also new, replacing John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co. this year; Lucent Technologies is making its second appearance with Compaq Computer Corp. and United Parcel Service continuing as long-term sponsors.

"Sponsoring this event gets us in front of a powerful market segment we want to reach, with our basic transportation to e-commerce solutions," said Steve Holmes, UPS public relations supervisor.

More than 1,100 invited executives will pay $450 each to attend the weekend event, a perennial moneymaker for Inc., although it will not disclose profits.

Emulated now by Business Week and Fast Company, which have each added several sponsored events for readers and advertisers, Inc. boasts a slate of eight ongoing events that are all profitable, Mr. Mirkin said.

"Our secret is that we've grown everything in-house; events have been part of

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