BizWest launches ‘IQ Awards New Venture Challenge’ in Northern Colorado

FORT COLLINS — BizWest is launching a Northern Colorado version of its IQ Awards, honoring the “Innovation Quotient” among Northern Colorado companies.

The IQ Awards New Venture Challenge will give deserving companies the opportunity to win a total of $22,500 in-kind services from local accounting, legal, marketing and other firms.

Nominations are being accepted now for the program, with an expedited deadline of Monday, Aug. 5. Nominations will be reviewed by a panel of judges, who will name three finalists to make six-minute presentations at the IQ Awards segment of the Bravo! Entrepreneur awards, with three judges then asking questions (two to three minutes per finalist).

The audience then will vote for the overall winner, who will win the IQ trophy, plus an in-kind package of services valued at $10,000. Second place will receive an in-kind package of services valued at $7,500, with third place receiving an in-kind package of services valued at $5,000.

To be eligible for IQ:

  • Companies must be less than 5 years old, with founding date no earlier than Aug. 1, 2014.
  • Companies must demonstrate an ability to be a sustainable, ongoing concern, with a strong potential for profitability and survival of the business.
  • Companies must be based in Larimer or Weld counties, or the city of Brighton.
  • Priority will be given to companies that display innovation in their products, business model and ideas. Nominations should not be judged based on the “slickness” of marketing materials.

The Northern Colorado version of the IQ Awards is separate from the Boulder Valley version, which is seeking nominations now.