‘IQ Awards’ seeks nominations

It’s a challenge to keep up with the pace of innovation that occurs in the Boulder Valley. Our team at the Boulder County Business Report is constantly providing new leads to our reporters and researchers: “Have you heard about this company?” “Do we have them in our database?” “Would they make a good profile?”

Keeping up with those startups is a challenge, yes, but exciting as well.

As a startup emerges — whether a spinoff from the University of Colorado or federal labs or simply the brainchild of a clever entrepreneur — innovation typically is a driving force behind the endeavor.

That’s why we so value our signature event, the IQ Awards, honoring the “Innovation Quotient” among Boulder Valley companies. Through IQ, we seek out the best of the region’s new ideas, whether they stem from new products or new services. Innovation is key to the dynamic economy that we enjoy in the Boulder Valley, and is behind the accolades that Boulder and the region have garnered around the world.

This year, we’re bringing some of that spirit of innovation to the IQ Awards themselves. While our expert panel of judges will once again sift through dozens of nominations in multiple categories, the actual selection of most winners will occur live.

Finalists will be preselected and will present brief “pitch slams” to the judges, in front of the audience. Judges will then deliberate, and will announce the winners.

But the audience will be involved as well, selecting on their own an overall “Innovation of the Year.”

We believe that this format will inject new life into the IQ Awards, now in its 13th year.

As in the past, the IQ Awards includes the following criteria:

• IQ honors innovative ideas, not necessarily the company or person who came up with the innovation.

• The product or service doesn’t have to have made money, but it must show a potential for profitability and survival of the business.

• Priority should be given to ideas that are clever, unique and creative. Nominations will not be judged based on the “slickness” of marketing materials.

• Products or services should have already reached the market, or should be in beta testing or close to market arrival.

• Products or services should not have reached the market prior to Jan. 1, 2011.

• The product or service must have been developed by Boulder Valley companies, or local divisions of national or global companies must have been centrally involved in its development.

Categories will be finalized once all nominations have been received. Past categories have included bioscience, software, Internet/Web, mobile apps, nonprofits, green/sustainability, natural products, sports and outdoors, etc.

Anyone interested in submitting nominations for the 2012 IQ Awards can do so at the IQ Awards page. Or you can mail your submissions to the Boulder County Business Report, 3180 Sterling Circle, Suite 201, Boulder, CO 80301. Deadline for submissions is Sept. 7, with winners to be selected at the IQ Awards event in early October.

Christopher Wood can be reached at 303-440-4950 or via email at cwood@bcbr.com.

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