April 1, 2023

Wood: IQ Awards, Mercury 100 return

The past couple of years were difficult for organizations that produce events. That’s been true for chambers of commerce, economic-development groups, nonprofits and, yes, media companies.

Much of 2020 and 2021 saw events shift online, with organizations dipping their toes back into the in-person waters over time.

For BizWest, recent years have seen our business events shift entirely online, then move to a hybrid format, then back to in-person altogether. But some events were pulled from the schedule as we — and the public — got used to the new normal.

This year will see the return of two celebrated programs in BizWest’s events arsenal, the IQ Awards, honoring the “Innovation Quotient” among regional companies, and the Mercury 100 Fastest-Growing Private Companies reception, both of which have been on hiatus.

For the first time, BizWest will present these exciting programs on the same evening, June 8, at Grace Place in Berthoud. Attendees will learn which products and services our panel of judges deemed most-innovative, and we’ll unveil the 100 fastest-growing companies in the region — 50 for the Boulder Valley and 50 for Northern Colorado.

There’s no better opportunity to network with executives from high-growth and innovative companies and to celebrate those companies that have excelled through challenging economic times.

But time is short. IQ nominations will be accepted until April 15. Nominations submitted for the postponed 2022 event will be carried over to the 2023 program.

The IQ Awards honor products and services that have demonstrated a high degree of innovation, with strong market potential. Honorees will be named for innovative products or services, broken down into industry 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, 2021, 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.

Research for the Mercury 100 lists is ongoing, and there’s still time to submit your company’s data. To be eligible, companies:

• Must be headquartered in the Boulder Valley or Northern Colorado (Boulder, Broomfield, Larimer or Weld counties), Brighton or Westminster.

• Must be privately held.

• Must include revenue for each of the past three years. Companies must have recorded revenue no later than April 1, 2020. Revenue figures will be published.

Register and submit nominations for both programs at https://events.bizwest.com/mercury-100-and-iq-awards/

Christopher Wood can be reached at cwood@bizwest.com.

Christopher Wood
Christopher Wood is editor and publisher of BizWest, a regional business journal covering Boulder, Broomfield, Larimer and Weld counties. Wood co-founded the Northern Colorado Business Report in 1995 and served as publisher of the Boulder County Business Report until the two publications were merged to form BizWest in 2014. From 1990 to 1995, Wood served as reporter and managing editor of the Denver Business Journal. He is a Marine Corps veteran and a graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder. He has won numerous awards from the Colorado Press Association, Society of Professional Journalists and the Alliance of Area Business Publishers.
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