The Alabama Innovation Awards celebrate and honor individuals and teams who contribute to Alabama’s innovation economy. Each award category is an important component of the technology and innovation community. Receiving the top honor in an award category showcases the impact of the recipients’ contributions in Alabama and beyond. Recognition will be given only to innovators whose efforts occurred during the qualification period from January 1, 2013 through
July 31, 2014. Outstanding Startup Business Outstanding Product or Service Corporate Innovator of the Year University/College‐Corporate Partnership Inventor of the Year Startup Executive of the Year Lifetime Achievement in Innovation Outstanding Woman or Minority in Innovation
Award Categories and Descriptions*
Outstanding Startup Business A qualified Nominee is a growing company, in business for less than (<) five (5) years, with (i) at least one product or service, and (ii) either the product or service is commercially available and installed past the beta stage, and (iii) the company demonstrates the potential for continued growth and success. Outstanding Product or Service A qualified Nominee is a company who has designed, developed and produced an innovative product or service. Through product or service, the company has shown success in addressing an industry need or market niche. The product or service must be commercially available for sale. Corporate Innovator of the Year A qualified Nominee may be a team or an organizational unit within a company that has had direct leadership and involvement in the innovative use of technology to: significantly modify an existing product or service, develop and launch a new product or service, develop a new internal service, or significantly alter a business process that dramatically improves how an internal or external product or service is delivered in quantifiable terms. The innovation should have demonstrated industry leadership and delivered significant business success in the marketplace within the Qualification Period; however, the work may have spanned several years. University/College ‐Corporate Partnership A qualified Nominee is a team of TWO or MORE individuals, from both a company and an Alabama‐ based college or university that demonstrates successful implementation or development of a SINGLE innovative technology‐based initiative or technological breakthrough. The innovation(s) by the TEAM should break with conventional processes and should go beyond marginal improvements in existing products and services. Special attention should be paid to describing how, within the Qualification Period, the TEAM successfully operated to achieve the initiative. Inventor of the Year A qualified Nominee is an inventor who has created the greatest impact on technology through his/ her invention(s)/innovation(s). The Nominee’s work must be proven through commercialization and viability in the market. *
All Nominees must have met the criteria for submission during the Qualification Period. The Qualification Period spans January 1, 2013‐ July 31, 2014.
3 Startup Executive of the Year A qualified Nominee is an executive (founder, officer, etc.) of a growing company, in business for less than (<) five (5) years, with (i) at least one product or service, and (ii) either the product or service is commercially available and installed past the beta stage, and (iii) the company demonstrates the potential for continued growth and success. Lifetime Achievement in Innovation A qualified Nominee is an entrepreneur, executive, business owner, inventor, or innovator that has shown a life‐long commitment to innovation in his or her field. Outstanding Woman or Minority in Innovation A qualified Nominee is a woman or minority who demonstrates a commitment and dedication to innovation. All questions should be addressed with respect to the Nominee’s career and in the context of the Nominee’s innovative efforts for his/her company during the Qualification Period.
TO BE ELIGIBLE, A NOMINEE MUST:
1. Demonstrate contribution and success, consistent with the criteria for each category of nomination, in a technology‐related field.
2. For all INDIVIDUAL categories, be a person who is employed or otherwise conducts his/her business in Alabama.
3. For all COMPANY categories, be EITHER based in Alabama, OR if not based in Alabama have a
division, department or other unit based in Alabama with local employees and operations that are NOT LIMITED TO one or both of administrative functions and sales. A majority of the work included in the submission should have been completed in Alabama. (ONE EXECPTION:
University/College – Corporate Partnership award category. The University or College partner must be an Alabama‐based institution. The corporate partner can be located outside of Alabama.
4. Have met the criteria for the category of submission during the Qualification Period (i.e. between January 1, 2013 and July 31, 2014). Note, however, that an initiative may have begun before January 1, 2013.
5. Submit a COMPLETE application, addressing each of the enumerated criteria in the category of nomination, on the Innovation Awards Website on July 31, 2014 by 11:59 PM CST‐ NO EXCEPTIONS.
1. Submissions MUST comply with stated word limits, provide specific and factual information, as appropriate to the category, and direct responses to a general audience (i.e. avoid use of technical language and jargon).
2. Submissions should be focused on innovations that occurred or came to fruition during the Qualification Period (January 1, 2013 – July 31, 2014). 3. Submissions will be judged on both technological sophistication and business acumen. Be sure to address both in your narrative. 4. Submissions should use specific, quantifiable, and verifiable information in all aspects in order to assist the judges in the evaluation process.
5 NOMINEE QUALIFICATIONS: A nominee will be automatically disqualified from participation in: MORE THAN TWO CATEGORIES for the same product or service, or person or team related to the same product or service. This exclusion applies collectively to the company and individual award categories. Companies who have such nominees in more than two categories will be contacted by a member of the Verification Committee and will have the opportunity to elect which two categories to pursue. In the absence of such an election, the product, service, person, or team will be eligible for the FIRST TWO categories in which COMPLETE applications are submitted to the Innovation Awards Website and will thereafter be disqualified from participation in any other category/ies (all subsequent submissions will be disqualified and will not be judged). GENERAL: 1. Evaluations throughout the verification and judging processes are based on the completeness of each Nomination and Nominee submission and conformity with eligibility requirements. The Innovation Awards Committee reserves the absolute right to disqualify a Nominee for nonconformity with eligibility or submission requirements. Judging is based on consideration by each judge of all eligible Nominee submissions within an award category. 2. The Innovation Awards Committee reserves the right to cancel a specific Award Category in the event based on number and/or merit of applications. 3. All Nominees and Applicants are expected to attend the Innovation Awards Ceremony on September 25, 2014. 4. Nominee submissions will be accessible by members of the Innovation Awards Committee and Verification Committee. Nominees are discouraged from submitting confidential or proprietary information and are solely responsible for safeguarding their interests in such information. Though information from Nominees will generally be maintained as confidential, the Innovation Awards Committee and Alabama Launchpad do not guarantee confidentiality. The Innovation Awards Committee and Alabama Launchpad reserve the right to use any and all information submitted by a Nominee for public relations and marketing purposes. By submitting a packet, each Nominee waives any and all claims that may be asserted against the Innovation Awards Committee, Verification Committee, Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA), and Economic Development Partnership of Alabama Foundation (EDPAF) with respect to any and all use, dissemination, and publication of all or any portion of a Nominee’s submission.
5. The verification process does NOT involve verification of the accuracy or validity of any Nominee’s submission. The Innovation Awards Committee, Verification Committee, EDPA, and EDPAF have no responsibility for ensuring the accuracy or validity of the Nominee submissions, and they make no representation regarding the ultimate qualification of any winning Nominee. In addition, winners of Innovation Awards are selected based on achievements that occurred during the time interval from January 1, 2013 to July 31, 2014. Thus, it is possible that on the date of the Innovation Awards ceremony a winner may no longer qualify for the award though the winning Nominee met the eligibility criteria during the Qualification Period. EDPAF reserves the exclusive and absolute right, on a case by case basis, to disqualify a Nominee at any time should EDPAF learn that a Nominee who met the eligibility criteria during the Qualification Period either provided materially inaccurate information in the submission or does not meet the eligibility criteria at some point after the Qualification Period and before the Innovation Awards ceremony.