BOULDER — BizWest’s IQ event may not be until October, but nominations for individuals and companies to be recognized need to be submitted by the end of this month. IQ honors the “innovation quotient” among companies in the Boulder Valley — including Boulder and Broomfield counties and the Denver-Boulder corridor. The event will be held in October of 2018. The award categories and criteria: Innovator(s) of the Year honors an individual entrepreneur or researcher. An entrepreneur will be considered for fostering a culture of innovation within his or her company, while a researcher or team will be considered for a major discovery or innovation. Innovative Company of the Year recognizes a company for promoting a culture of innovation in the region. Incubator/Accelerator of the Year honors an incubator or accelerator that has had a major impact promoting innovation in the Boulder Valley. IQ Awards for Innovative Products or Services honors products and services that have demonstrated a high degree of innovation, with strong market potential. Up to 10 honorees will be named for innovative products or services, broken down into categories. Categories won’t be finalized until nominations are submitted and vetted, but the event typically draws nominations in the aerospace, bioscience, business products, clean-tech, computer hardware, computer software, consumer products, Internet, mobile apps, nonprofits, and sports and outdoors categories. Judges will be looking for products or services that are truly “innovative” — entries that stand out from the crowd, ideas that are very creative and perhaps even unique. Innovations from both new companies and those already successfully doing business will be judged. The idea should be one that can lead to a “sustainable” successful business — not just a design on a napkin but a product or service that has the best potential to help build or grow a successful company. The product or service should have been introduced to the market since Jan. 1, 2017, or at least be in a testing or beta situation where actual or potential customers already are using it. It doesn’t have to have made money, but it must show a potential for profitability and survival of the business. Priority will be given to ideas that are clever, unique and creative; not on “slickness” of marketing materials. A company that has won a previous IQ Award can win again for an entirely new product or service. Submit nominations for the IQ Awards here.
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