MITX Expands Scope of Technology Awards to “Promising” Early-Stage Companies; Entries Due April 3

3/19/09Follow @wroush

For the past five years, the Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange (MITX) has held an awards ceremony to recognize the most innovative technology companies in New England. Past winners have included significant regional players with established technologies—companies like BladeLogic, BBN Technologies, Progress Software, McAfee, Turbine, and Skyhook Wireless. But this year MITX is expanding the scope of the awards in an effort to recognize promising younger startups whose technologies may still be works-in-progress.

“There are such exciting innovations that are happening within the startup community that deserve further attention and awareness,” says Kiki Mills, MITX’s executive director. “To shed some light on this, we decided to incorporate into the program a way to recognize the young, emerging companies and start ups that have solutions that may not be fully deployed but show significant promise.”

Companies have until April 3 to nominate themselves for the awards. (The entry instructions are here. Full disclosure: MITX has invited me to be one of the judges.)

As Mills indicates, this year’s awards will come in two flavors. Companies whose technologies are fully operational and have had a significant impact on customers will be eligible for “Impact” awards resembling MITX’s traditional awards. Companies that are less than two years old and may not have fully deployed technologies, but show potential to create significant impact, will be considered for “Promise” awards. Previously, such early-stage companies wouldn’t have been eligible for the awards.

This year’s prizes—to be awarded in a June 16 ceremony—will be handed out in 10 categories, including analytics and business intelligence, cloud computing, devices, enterprise technologies, gaming, marketing/customer relationship technologies, mobile, online advertising, rich media, and social media. Each entrant will be judged on criteria such as how well its technology addresses a market problem or need, how it creates a competitive advantage, how it overcomes technological challenges, and how it positions the entering company for future growth.

“New England has a long history of making important contributions to global technology development,” Mills says. “These awards truly demonstrate the impact that local companies are making on business and society in the 21st-century, and our commitment is to provide the platform for recognizing them.”

MITX, pronounced “my-tex,” was founded in 1996 as the Massachusetts Interactive Multimedia Council and adopted its current name in 2004. It’s an industry association for New England professionals working in Web-related industries, including consumer services, media, advertising, and marketing. The dues-sponsored organization puts on more than 60 events every year, including the Technology Awards and the advertising-oriented MITX Awards. The group says it has over 250 member companies representing more than 7,000 professionals.

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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