There's nothing like free marketing opportunities, especially if you're a startup!
One of the best ways for entrepreneurs to get some free buzz is to take part in startup contests, competitions, submit for awards, etc. since they are well-covered by PR/industry media as well as potential investors like angels, VC firms and corporate development execs from larger companies. Salesforce.com has done a few challenges that have yielded some fame and fortune for top entrepreneurs in our ecosystem. There are also well-known industry events like DEMO, TechCrunch 50 and the CODiE awards where startup companies can get recognized.
If you're looking for upcoming opportunities for free buzz as a startup, check out Under The Radar. The folks at Dealmaker Media have created a name for their event program here in Silicon Valley – it's become the place to get discovered (and funded) by early-stage investors. Go nominate your company for Under the Radar and breakthrough in 2009!