The Evolution of the MITX Innovation Awards

Posted by Kate Jurras on Fri, Mar 11, 2011

Guest post by John Francis, MITX Board member and co-chair of the 2011 MITX Innovation Awards program. He may be contacted at

, Gemvara, Nasuni, Akamai, or Brightcove; whether shining the light of public attention on promising early-stage technology companies, or acknowledging transformational technology in our midst, MITX has always honored companies for their innovation. And, like the fast-moving technology ecosystem itself, the MITX Innovation Awards (formerly the MITX Technology Awards) program is evolving.

alice matrix resized 600Innovation tends to happen at the intersection of different technologies, continually blurring the line between discrete product categories. To reflect this tendency, we have recast our submission categories. We hope that this will simplify things for our submitters, and better capture the trends that are driving web technology forward.  See our recent blog post for a description of these new categories.

As a longtime participant in the judging process, I look forward to the opportunity to take a closer look at the incredible innovation delivered by our entrants and the trends highlighted by the mix of applications that we will see this year. From incredible Monitoring & Analytics software to thoughtful Customer Engagement tools to amazing User Experience for even the most robust of products, the judging process provides a fascinating look into where the technology sector is heading.

In addition to revising our categories, we are introducing a streamlined judging process and tapping into you, our community, to crowdsource recommended entrants who might otherwise be overlooked. Our goal remains the same: including the most innovative applications from around New England and ensuring that we do an exemplary job of highlighting companies that are transforming their sectors. Whether through their creation of totally new product classes (like SCVNGR two years ago) or the introduction of a novel twist around their business model (like Gemvara last year), our goal is to highlight “What’s Next.” By using the most capable judges and evaluating these innovative entrants as efficiently as possible, we look forward to continuing to deliver the best Innovation Awards program in New England.

The application process is open, so if you or someone you know has developed a product that might make sense for the 2011 MITX Innovation Awards program, make sure to enter here. The call for entries has already gone out, and the competition will be open through April 8th.

Our 2010 finalists included such innovative companies as Netezza (now public), Vertica Systems, Modiv Media, ZipCar, DataXu, Brightcove, ITA Software (acquired by Google since their win) and Spring Partners – a diverse and interesting group! We love helping to shine a light on firms like Sproxil and Vitality or acknowledging the industry leadership that Brightcove and Netezza are delivering.

We look forward to your involvement as an innovator, judge, awards show attendee, or sponsor. See you June 16th!