SOURCE: SBANE

SBANE

January 18, 2011 12:07 ET

SBANE Issues Call for Nominations for 2011 New England Innovation Awards Program

Annual Program Marks 25th Anniversary of Recognizing Area Companies Who Succeed Through Innovation; Entry Deadline Is Feb. 28

WALTHAM, MA--(Marketwire - January 18, 2011) - The search is on for New England's most innovative and successful companies as the Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE) has issued the formal Call for Nominations to kick off its annual New England Innovation Awards (NEIA) Program. The program, now in its 25th year, involves a series of events that brings the accomplishments of nominated companies to the attention of business leaders, investors and the media in ways the nominees would not normally enjoy. The climax of the program is the announcement of award winners on May 11th at an "Evening of Innovation," New England's premier gala event for growing businesses. The deadline for nominations is Feb. 28; they can be submitted at www.sbane.org.

Established in 1986, the NEIA Program recognizes small- and medium-sized businesses across multiple markets and disciplines who have achieved success specifically through innovation and leadership. More than 100 companies from technology, manufacturing, service, media/social networking, retail/distribution and other market sectors have received SBANE's distinguished Innovation Award. Innovation does not always fall neatly into a single category. SBANE will consider any nomination that meets the NEIA requirements.

Non-profit organizations are also invited, and are judged in their own category. A "Rising Star" award is presented to recognize an early-stage business that has clearly demonstrated the validity of its business, but may not yet be profitable. 

"Each year, we receive more than 150 nominations from New England companies vying for this honor, but typically only between five and seven are selected based on their ability to achieve success through innovation," said Bob Baker, president of SBANE. "These are companies that seize upon a great idea and use it to build strong, competitive and profitable enterprises. This year's winners will join an illustrious list of companies, our Circle of Excellence, who have made a difference in New England's economy. Spanning 25 years, the award is a testament to the diversity and innovation of New England's most successful companies. Many of them have become household names within and beyond our region, such as Ben & Jerry's Homemade, Boston Duck Tours, iRobot, Hologic, Kronos, Genzyme, Staples, Tom's of Maine and Zipcar."

The deadline for New England Innovation Awards nominations is Feb. 28. Nominees, sponsors and guests will get acquainted at an "Innovation Reception" on March 24th at SBANE's office building in Waltham, Mass. SBANE will announce the companies selected as finalists shortly thereafter and, on April 13 at the Henderson House in Weston, Mass., the finalists will state their case for winning the Innovation Award before SBANE's panel of distinguished judges and event sponsors. Award winners will be announced at SBANE's "Evening of Innovation" on May 11th at the Westin Hotel in Waltham, Mass.

Nomination Process
Anyone can nominate a company and firms are encouraged to nominate themselves. To qualify for the program, a company must be in business for a minimum of two years, be independently owned, headquartered in New England, have revenue up to $100 million and be an innovative business in its field. For-profit nominees must have between 10 and 300 employees and non-profits between 2 and 300 employees.

Calendar: New England Innovation Awards Program
Feb. 28th: Nomination deadline. Online nominations: http://www.sbane.org
March 24th, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm: Innovation Reception, 1601 Trapelo Road, One Reservoir Place; Waltham, Mass.
April 13th, 4:30 pm - 7:00 pm: Finalists Judging, Henderson House, Weston, Mass.
May 11th, 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm: Evening of Innovation Awards Banquet and VIP Reception, Westin Hotel, Waltham, Mass.).

About SBANE
The Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE) is a private, non-profit organization representing 1,000 member companies in the six-state region. Its mission is to help small businesses compete and grow through proactive advocacy initiatives, educational programs and cost-saving benefits. For more information about SBANE and the New England Innovation Awards Program, visit www.sbane.org or call 781/890-9070.

All company names, trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners.

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