Updated July 6 at 2:06pm

SBANE calls for 2014 innovation award nominations

The Smaller Business Association of New England is accepting nominations for the 2014 New England Innovation Awards.

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SBANE calls for 2014 innovation award nominations

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PROVIDENCE – The Smaller Business Association of New England is accepting nominations for the 2014 New England Innovation Awards.

“Innovation is at the heart of economic prosperity and SBANE continues to recognize those companies that have transformed their innovative ideas into a product or service that delivers proven value to customers,” the organization said in a release announcing the call for nominations.

SBANE will accept nominations for businesses in six categories: technology, manufacturing, service, retail/distribution, nonprofit and “rising star.” The rising star award will be given to an early-stage company that has “clearly demonstrated the validity of its business, but may not yet be profitable,” according to SBANE’s website.

“Innovation does not always fall neatly into a single category,” SBANE said. “If a company meets the requirements but does not fit a category, the committee will consider the entry on its merits.”

To qualify, a company must be an innovative business in its field, be independent and headquartered in New England, have been in business for a minimum of two years, have between 10 and 300 employees (or between two and 300 employees if nonprofit), and have maximum revenue of $100 million.

Awards will be presented to the businesses with the most compelling idea or technology that demonstrates “significant benefit” to users and addresses market need or creates a new market.

Judges will also consider marketplace success as measured by profit, volume, growth rate, customer commitments, user reviews, return on investment and market impact. For nonprofit organizations, judges will consider success in the field as measured by impact in the community, growth rate, evaluation data, external review and other metrics.

Winning companies will receive a formal award at SBANE’s “Evening of Innovation” gala on May 7. In addition, companies will enter SBANE’s “Circle of Excellence” and receive membership in the association’s Innovation Center Program.

All nominations must be submitted online by Wednesday, Feb. 26, at www.sbane.org.

Smaller Business Association of New England, SBANE, 2014 New England Innovation Awards,

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