Nominations Guide


The Apex Award Experience

Why Nominate? Because the Apex Awards are the only Colorado technology award ceremony with a 13-year track record of celebrating the best in innovation in Colorado.

It's Easy...

Pause. Take the time to celebrate your wins - it's important! Nominate a company, leader, team, teacher, or advocate for an award. We know you are busy, so we made the forms short and concise without a lengthy process. Deadline: June 30th!

  1. Take the first step and register to nominate in order to get early branding, qualify for prizes, and get support through workshops and one-on-one support.
  2. Submit your completed nomination(s) before June 30th!

Get noticed. Submit your nomination(s) early to enjoy the most recognition for the nominee gets. We post nominees to our web and social media, as well as provide a marketing kit to help you promote the nomination.

Fingers-crossed. Our esteemed judges will select the finalists for each award category.

Celebrate. Be recognized as a technology leader at the Apex Awards dinner - held the evening of Sep 10th in front of more than 800 leaders in the community. All finalists will receive enormous coverage, generating invaluable interest and awareness for your company.

Congratulate and share. The winners will get a personalized press release and press kit to make your marketing a snap.

Visit the wall of fame to see who has graced the Apex Awards stage in the past and won.

Tip: Have you nominated your company for another award in the community? Simply transfer the information into our one-page, online form and hit submit.


Award Categories and Nomination Overview

Technology Company of the Year

This award is presented to the Colorado-based company whose overall performance sets it apart as a leader in its market segment. The company will show profitability from sales of its products and/or services; strong financial growth or return on investment for its investors and/or shareholders; technical innovation; and concrete examples of how it is meeting a need in the marketplace. The company presented with this award should also be a strong leader in the community and show corporate responsibility.

COMPANY HISTORY: What is the history of the company? Include the source of the idea for the original business strategy. Discuss any significant obstacles overcome within the industry and the strategic direction of the company.

BUSINESS MODEL: Explain the company business model and how it demonstrates a clear and sustained capacity for creativity and innovation in the development and implementation of major projects, products and/or services. Highlight any competitive points of differentiation. What is the company's vision or plan for future growth of the business?

TECHNOLOGY IMPACT: Identify the technology impact from the company’s products or services. Explain the technical innovation of the products or service. Describe the level of competition within the target market and how the company’s product, service or delivery differentiates themselves.

SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP: What is the company's contribution to philanthropic organizations? How does the company give back to the community? Has the company created or sponsored any key people initiatives? How have these initiatives changed the company's culture and helped to empower and retain employees?

REFERENCE CUSTOMERS: Provide two customer references or testimonials that speak to the impact, technical, financial or otherwise, this product or service has enabled customers to experience. Is there something else the judges should take into consideration? Share anything else you want the judges to know about the nominee. It can be a story or any type of factoid about the company.

FINANCIAL INFO (Note: Both Judges (except VC judges) and CTA staff are asked to sign confidentiality agreements and no nomination is published or shared.) Has the company merged with another company within the last three years? Yes/No If yes, what year? If yes, what percentage of the growth reflected in the financial data below is attributable to the merger? Describe key financial philosophies (i.e., accounting and other business methods) and the company’s ability to manage economic duress and opportunity. (Optional)

Most recent FY ended MM/DD/YYYY

Prior FY ended MM/DD/YYYY

Prior FY ended MM/DD/YYYY

Total employees

Annual sales

Income before taxes

Total assets

Total equity

Technology Project of the Year

This award is presented to an innovative IT department who has implemented a project with successful measurable results. Nominees will be measured on the following criteria: solving a business problem, strategic objectives, innovation, value/impact for the company or industry, risk-reward benefits, overcoming obstacles, meeting goals and team or internal collaboration.

PROJECT CHARTER: Describe the project and the opportunity or problem being addressed, as well as how the project aligned with the company’s strategic objectives. (For example, what is the high-level outline of the business value/impact for the company or the industry? What measures for success were established at the outset?)

PROJECT OUTCOMES: Describe the outcome of the project. (For example, did the project meet its goals? How did the final delivery measure up against the previously defined measures of success?) Feel free to include both or either quantitative measurements such as cost savings and percentages as well as qualitative anecdotes, comments or internal/external customer feedback.

TEAMWORK: Discuss team work and collaboration. (For example, a description of the team with a high-level outline of roles and contributions can be included and the involvement of the business area team members as well as technical team members.) In relation to the original definition of the project, how closely was budget, timeline, and scope managed? (For example, describe the process of managing these aspects of the initiative.)

LESSONS LEARNED: Outline the lessons learned that were captured from the project. (Feel free to discuss any significant challenges or course corrections made. Also describe meaningful organizational change management/technology adoption approaches that were either done well or opportunities for improvement in the future.) Add any additional information that was relevant to the project.

Technology Entrepreneur of the Year

This award is presented to a Founder / CEO who organizes, manages and assumes risks of the business early in the companies life cycle. Entrepreneurs are creative, innovative, determined, successful, and pursue many means to the end. Whether it’s raising capital, finding strategic partners, differentiating their operations, or negotiating unconventional deals, this award recipient is not afraid to propose unique ideas and strategies to be successful.

CAREER HISTORY: Describe the nominee's current role.

LEADERSHIP: Discuss the nominee's high standards relating to him/herself, the business, and his/her determination to be successful. How does the nominee demonstrate perseverance in the face of adversity and overcome obstacles? Describe how the nominee is an independent thinker and is willing to take risks in the face of uncertainty.

QUALIFICATIONS: Describe the nominee's educational, professional and personal background. Describe the nominee's achievement both professional and personal.

DECISION MAKER: Describe the nominee's leadership style. Provide concrete examples of how the nominee is a good decision maker.

ACHIEVEMENTS: Discuss significant entrepreneurial innovative achievements that would distinguish the nominee within their company, amongst their peers, or in the community. What is the nominee's contribution to technology innovation? How does the nominee support Colorado’s innovation efforts? How are people, companies or the industry impacted?

ATTRIBUTES: Describe the qualities and attributes that make the nominee an ideal candidate for an award. Describe the nominee's integrity level and characteristics that set this person a part from his/her peers. Please provide specific examples of how the nominee has gone above and beyond the call of duty. What makes these contributions so unique; how do they differ from the contributions of others?

Technology Community Connector of the Year

This award is presented to an individual who has supported early stage endeavors through mentoring, coaching, or being the first reference customer for the emerging company. Significant hurdles for new companies include securing their very first reference customer in order to substantiate two crucial questions: does the product work? will people buy it (and for how much)?

EARLY STATE SUPPORT: Describe all early stage start ups that the executive support. Provide company name, how the executive supported the start up (was their first reference customer, coached/mentored,...).

LEADERSHIP: Discuss the nominee's high standards relating to him/herself, the business, and his/her determination to be successful. How does the nominee demonstrate perseverance in the face of adversity and overcome obstacles? Describe how the nominee is an independent thinker and is willing to take risks in the face of uncertainty.

QUALIFICATIONS: Describe the nominee's educational, professional and personal background. Describe the nominee's achievement both professional and personal.

ACHIEVEMENTS: Discuss significant entrepreneurial innovative achievements that would distinguish the nominee within their company, amongst their peers, or in the community. What is the nominee's contribution to technology innovation? How does the nominee support Colorado’s innovation efforts? How are people, companies or the industry impacted?

ATTRIBUTES: Describe the qualities and attributes that make the nominee an ideal candidate for an award. Describe the nominee's integrity level and characteristics that set this person a part from his/her peers. Please provide specific examples of how the nominee has gone above and beyond the call of duty. What makes these contributions so unique; how do they differ from the contributions of others?

Bob Newman Lifetime Achievement

This award is in honor of Bob Newman, one of the founders of Colorado Technology Association and the first recipient of the "Outstanding Contribution to the Community” award. This award is presented to an individual who has made outstanding achievements and commitments to furthering innovative technology in our community and the state, and has contributed to the initiatives of Colorado Technology Association.

CAREER HISTORY: Describe the nominee's career role history.

LEADERSHIP: Discuss the nominee's high standards relating to him/herself, the business, and his/her determination to be successful. How does the nominee demonstrate perseverance in the face of adversity and overcome obstacles? Describe how the nominee is an independent thinker and is willing to take risks in the face of uncertainty.

QUALIFICATIONS: Describe the nominee's educational, professional and personal background. Describe the nominee's achievement both professional and personal.

DECISION MAKER: Describe the nominee's leadership style. Provide concrete examples of how the nominee is a good decision maker.

ACHIEVEMENTS: Discuss significant achievements that would distinguish the nominee within their company, amongst their peers, or in the community.

ATTRIBUTES: Describe the qualities and attributes that make the nominee an ideal candidate for an award. Describe the nominee's integrity level and characteristics that set this person a part from his/her peers. Please provide specific examples of how the nominee has gone above and beyond the call of duty. What makes these contributions so unique; how do they differ from the contributions of others?

PHILANTHROPY: What is the nominee's contribution to philanthropic organizations? How does the nominee give back to the community? Has the nominee created or sponsored any key initiatives throughout the person's lifetime? How have these initiatives impacted people, companies or the industry?

Technology Teacher of the Year

This award is presented to an individual educator whose efforts are making a real and measurable impact on students and their understanding, passion for and use of technology. This person should be employed as a teacher, instructor or professor, and either currently teaching a technology-based curriculum to Colorado students or leveraging technology to teach students in new and innovative ways.

CURRENT ROLE: Describe this person's role in technology education. Where does he/she teach? What technology course(s) is he/she teaching or alternatively, what innovative uses of technology has this educator introduced into the classroom?

LEADERSHIP: Discuss the nominee's high standards relating to him/herself, the business, and his/her determination to be successful. How does the nominee demonstrate perseverance in the face of adversity and overcome obstacles? Describe how the nominee is an independent thinker and is willing to take risks in the face of uncertainty.

QUALIFICATIONS: Describe the nominee's educational, professional and personal background. Describe the nominee's achievement both professional and personal.

EDUCATOR: In what ways is this educator inspiring students, making a difference and influencing technology education? What specific activities or benefits is this person delivering to technology education that his/her peers are not?

ATTRIBUTES: Describe the qualities and attributes that make the nominee an ideal candidate for an award. Describe the nominee's integrity level and characteristics that set this person a part from his/her peers. Please provide specific examples of how the nominee has gone above and beyond the call of duty. What makes these contributions so unique; how do they differ from the contributions of others?

Technology Advocate of the Year

This award is presented to an individual legislator whose efforts are making a real and measurable impact on the advancement of Colorado's technology industry.

CURRENT ROLE: Describe this person's role in technology advocacy. Where does he/she advocate?

LEADERSHIP: Discuss the nominee's high standards relating to him/herself, the business, and his/her determination to be successful. How does the nominee demonstrate perseverance in the face of adversity and overcome obstacles? Describe how the nominee is an independent thinker and is willing to take risks in the face of uncertainty.

QUALIFICATIONS: Describe the nominee's educational, professional and personal background. Describe the nominee's achievement both professional and personal.

ATTRIBUTES: Describe the qualities and attributes that make the nominee an ideal candidate for an award. Describe the nominee's integrity level and characteristics that set this person a part from his/her peers. Please provide specific examples of how the nominee has gone above and beyond the call of duty. What makes these contributions so unique; how do they differ from the contributions of others?

LEGISLATOR: In what ways is this legislator influencing technology friendly policy? What specific activities or benefits is this person delivering to technology legislations that his/her peers are not?

Women in Tech of the Year

This award is presented to an individual woman whose efforts are making a real and measurable impact on the advancement of Colorado's technology industry.

CAREER HISTORY: Describe the nominee's career role history.

LEADERSHIP: Discuss the nominee's high standards relating to him/herself, the business, and his/her determination to be successful. How does the nominee demonstrate perseverance in the face of adversity and overcome obstacles? Describe how the nominee is an independent thinker and is willing to take risks in the face of uncertainty.

QUALIFICATIONS: Describe the nominee's educational, professional and personal background. Describe the nominee's achievement both professional and personal.

ACHIEVEMENTS: Discuss significant achievements that would distinguish the nominee within their company, among their peers, or in the community.

Technology Startup Company of the Year

This award is presented to the most promising technology company that has been operating for approximately 2 years or less. Each company applicant will be judged based on the initiative the company took in creating, promoting, or advancing the product or service offered; the technical innovation of the product or service offered; the need in the marketplace for the product or service; and the acceptance by customers of the company's product or service.(Winners of this category must be headquartered in Colorado.)

COMPANY ORIGINATION: What is the history of the company? Include the source of the idea for the original business strategy. Discuss any significant obstacles overcome within the industry and the strategic direction of the company.

BUSINESS MODEL: Explain the company business model and how it demonstrates a clear and sustained capacity for creativity and innovation in the development and implementation of major projects, products and/or services. Highlight any competitive points of differentiation. What is the company's vision or plan for future growth of the business?

TECHNOLOGY IMPACT: Identify the technology impact from the company’s products or services. Explain the technical innovation of the products or service. Describe the level of competition within the target market and how the company’s product, service or delivery differentiates themselves.

REFERENCE CUSTOMERS: Provide two customer references or testimonials that speak to the impact, technical, financial or otherwise, this product or service has enabled customers to experience. Is there something else the judges should take into consideration? Share anything else you want the judges to know about the nominee. It can be a story or any type of factoid about the company.

Tip: We strongly urge you to prepare the answers to the essay questions in a separate text document and to finalize your answers prior to clicking on the button to complete the online form to prevent any data loss or issues using online forms can introduce. You can then simply copy/paste the answers from your text file to the online form, with no risk to losing valuable information. Here are all of the essay questions for each award. Please limit your answers to 900 characters each - the online form will truncate anything over 900 characters!

Judging Criteria

Corporate Categories
  • Innovation & Vision
  • Business Activity & Strategic Direction
  • Financial Performance
  • Leadership
  • Culture & Corporate Responsibility
Individual Categories
  • Achievement
  • Leadership
  • Perseverance
  • Integrity
  • Community & Global Influence

The Apex Award’s independent panel of judges is comprised of professional leaders within the Colorado technology community. They have experience within the industry and have either started, built and/or advised technology companies. There are two judging panels; one for companies and another for the individuals.

Judges and their companies are ineligible for nomination when judging. Judges are also asked to sign a nondisclosure Agreement upon committing to participate and asked to refrain from evaluating nominees with whom they have personal or significant business relationships with. PLEASE NOTE- Due to the nature of Venture Capitalist's work, these judges do not sign NDAs.

Judges receive a packet containing the submitted nominations and a score sheet where they provide a numerical value ranking for each segment of the company nomination. Judges then convene to discuss and debate the highest scoring companies/individuals and determine the finalists and winners for each category.


FAQs

Q: Is financial information required to complete the nomination?

A: The nominees tend to be private companies and we understand the confidentiality of financials; however, the Apex Awards objective is to recognize successful companies in Colorado. Qualitative and quantitative data is requested to prove success and growth of a company. If no quantifiable information is given, the nomination will not be as competitive.The only category that requires financial information is Technology Company of the Year. Judges and staff are asked to sign confidentiality agreements and no nomination is published or shared.

PLEASE NOTE- Due to the nature of Venture Capitalist's work, these judges do not sign NDAs.

Q: Do nominees need to be headquartered in Colorado?

A: The Apex Awards are designed to recognize and promote the Colorado technology industry; however, there is one award, IT Project that only need to have operations in Colorado. Nominees for the other awards must be headquartered in Colorado.

Q: Can I self nominate?

A: Yes! Self nominations are encouraged. You know your company best. Some nominees utilize marketing and PR agencies. Work with your marketing department or a 3rd party agency.

Q: How do I nominate?

A: It’s easy! Nominations are received online. Please submit via the appropriate online form(s).

TIP:copy and paste all the questions to a new document, so you can edit freely; then when finished, you can go back in and paste your answers.

Q: Can I nominate for more than one category?

A: Technically you will be judged for all categories as judges will select the best company for each category. If you are striving for a particular category, tailor your answers to that category.

Q: Do nominees receive a discount to attend the awards program?

A: As the Colorado Technology Association, we are proud to recognize Colorado’s technology companies and professionals through the Apex Awards. Colorado Technology Association is a not-for-profit association that is supported through memberships. As a not-for-profit we must cover the costs of each signature event through sponsorships and ticket sales. This requires us to ask our nominees to purchase tickets for this event. As a membership based organization we price our tickets at member and non-member rates, so members always received the greatest discount. However, nominees are the highlight of the show and therefore we extend a special discount to our non-member nominees. *Teachers will receive a complimentary-hosted ticket.

Q: What if this isn’t our best year?

A: Judges look at overall success and strategy, not just current projections.

Q: Is the nomination process time consuming, because I don’t think that I have enough time?

A: The nomination doesn’t require much time and if selected as a winner, can give a great return for minimal resources. Engage the marketing department; often times you can reuse and tweak information used in investor reports or other already made materials.

Q: Is the information confidential?

A: Yes! All judges are required to sign confidentiality agreements.

Q: What if we don’t win?

A: Each year is different and includes different candidates. It’s important to apply every year, so judges see continued success. Much is gained just by nominating.

Q: What if I’m not the marketing person?

A: You don’t have to be a marketing professional to write a nomination, you just need to believe in the company or person that you’re nominating. If you give yourself enough time to go back and make changes, your passion will eventually come out in your writing. Also, watch and listen to this Nomination Writing Workshop.

Q: What if I want to nominate my client, but I don’t know everything that should be in the nomination?

A: Nominating your client (whether the company or the person) does take a little more planning. Call or email your contact at the company and let them know you would like to nominate their company, then schedule a coffee or lunch. In the meantime, read and print out the nomination form. Though you may already know the company, do more research and write down points you want to make sure you include in the nomination. Then, at the coffee or lunch you ask them questions in the areas that you’re missing.

Q: What if we do most of our business outside of Colorado?

A: Global companies can still promote local awards. It shows true leadership and community involvement. What customer wouldn’t want to see their vendor win an award?

Q: What if I want to nominate my company, but I don’t want to seem overconfident by self-nominating?

A: It’s ok to show the world your company is successful!


Awards Sponsors

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Technology Teacher Award

Technology Advocate Award

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Call Liz at 303.482.7046.