BOULDER - Eighteen companies have been selected as finalists in six categories for the Boulder County Business Report's 13th annual IQ Awards.

The awards event, to be held Wednesday, Oct. 3, in Boulder, honors companies in Boulder and Broomfield counties and in the Denver/Boulder corridor which have innovative products or services.

This year, winners will be chosen by a panel of judges after finalists make short pitches at the event. The audience will have the honor of selecting the Innovation of the Year.

The panel of judges includes: Paul Jerde, University of Colorado; Jerry W. Lewis, Upstream Communications LLC; Tim Bour, Innovation Center of the Rockies; Alex Sammoury, Longmont Entrepreneurial Network; and Susan Graf, former president of the Boulder Chamber.

Here is a list of the 18 finalists in six categories:

Business Services

Connect First: The Boulder-based company's Cloud Routing product enables clients to manage spikes in call traffic through the use of multiple destinations, while improving business continuity and load balancing by using the flexible deployment and expansion options that only a SaaS offering can deliver.

Gorilla Logic Inc.: The Boulder-based company provides custom application development services on the ground and in the cloud. Gorilla Logic's innovative work with emerging development platforms led to the creation of two open-source tools for automated testing: MonkeyTalk (iPhone/iPad/Android applications, formerly FoneMonkey) and FlexMonkey (flex applications).

Vertiba Inc.: The Boulder-based company provides project management, business process design and development services to help clients customize Salesforce.com to their needs. Salesforce.com is a cloud-based platform for customer relationship management and custom development. It also helps clients migrate from Microsoft Exchange and other legacy applications to Google Apps for Business such as Gmail, calendar, documents and online storage.

Hardware

Spectra Logic Corp.: The Boulder-based company has created Certified Media with CarbideClean, which was developed to protect the lifespan of tapes for data storage. It uses a carbide head to pre-clean media prior to shipment to customers. It removes microscopic debris from the surface of new or green media and improves the reliability, availability and longevity of the drives and media.

Sporian Microsystems Inc.: The Lafayette-based company makes a suite of sensors that withstands ultra-high temperatures and corrosive environments. These pressure sensors are used to increase fuel efficiency in gas turbine engines. Energy-generation companies will likely be the first to adopt them.

Stratom Inc.: The Boulder-based company has created the Adaptive Specialty system that provides robotic tools for military and municipal first responders dealing with improvised explosive devices, homemade bombs and hazardous materials. Each robotic tool has mounts that can be used with different robotic platforms. The tools can wrap and cut wire, penetrate light-cased containers and disable devices.

Mobile Apps

MobileDay: The Boulder-based company has created a mobile app that serves as an "easy" button for conference calls. The app provides one-touch entry into any conference call on any service, whether you are a host of the call or a guest. It is available for free on iPhone and Android smartphones.

Tagwhat: The Boulder-based company has created a mobile app that runs on iOS and Android, and uses the GPS capabilities of a device to determine where users are. The app then brings up web-based content to tell users more about their location. Tagwhat can be thought of as a mobile tour guide, one that is always updating itself with the latest information from the web. The material Tagwhat retrieves includes text, video and pictures. Businesses and organizations that use the app can link Facebook and Twitter pages to their channels.

Techtionary: The Boulder-based company has created a mobile app that serves as a study and training tool for iPad and iPhone users. iFlipTips focuses on providing users with a variety of tools to create flashcards that increase learning speed and help retain and recall more information in less time. It can be used to create multimedia presentations and personal corporate libraries.

Natural/Green/Outdoor

Cheribundi Inc: The Boulder-based company has created a sport drink made from tart Montmorency cherries. The company claims Cheribundi juice helps athletes' muscles recover more quickly; The juice is believed to help sufferers of gout and people who have problems sleeping.

Crocs Inc.: The Niwot-based shoemaker has produced a new line of color-changing shoes called Chameleons. The shoes are made with Crocs' Croslite material with photochromic technology. When exposed to ultra-violet light, the shoes change from being translucent to a vibrant color.

EcoSmart Homes: The Boulder-based company has created Future Fit Your Home, a service in which staff goes into homes, assesses energy and comfort problems, and proposes solutions that can include air sealing, insulating, replacing heating and cooling systems, providing new windows, and installing solar electric and thermal systems. The innovation is the special software EcoSmart co-developed that provides financial metrics lenders can trust.
Nonprofits

Attention Homes: The Boulder-based nonprofit runs a youth shelter. It has created a fundraiser, Inaugural Sleep Out for Homeless Youth, that will have community leaders "sleep out" on the lawn to get a real glimpse of life as a homeless youth, exposing themselves to weather elements, dangers and other uncertainties that come from living on the streets.

Center for Resource Conservation: The Boulder-based nonprofit created the Garden-In-A-Box program, which provides low-cost, preplanned xeric gardens to residents. It offers people a chance to save water, beautify their homes and save money. The gardens are designed by expert landscapers, and are sold at less than half the price compared with big-box stores.

Sister Carmen Community Center: The Lafayette-based nonprofit has received Family Resource Center status that will allow the organization to collaborate with other nonprofits, private organizations and government entities to enhance an individual and a family's capacity to become economically stable.

Software

Amadeus Consulting: The Boulder-based company designed a cloud-based software application called Brief-Lynx that allows users to create, package and optimize documents efficiently while also giving the documents a professional, polished look. It simplifies creation of cross-document hyperlinks, incorporates multimedia files and improves security. Its primary market is the legal profession.

Confio Corp.: The Boulder-based company produces Ignite, which is used by database administrators and developers to monitor and analyze performance of Oracle, SQL Server, DB2 and databases on both physical and VMware virtual servers. Its AlarmVM is used by administrators to proactively manage a rapidly growing VMware installation.

LeaseRunner Ltd.: The Louisville-based company created a web software application called LeaseRunner that integrates digital applications, tenant screening, e-signature leases and electronic rent collection into one paperless process for the real estate industry. It merges data from applications into lease documents and other processes, saving data-entry time and reducing error.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St., Boulder. For more information, or if your company is interested in sponsoring the event, please contact De Dahlgren at 970-232-3132 or DDahlgren@NCBR.com.

Cost of the event is $39. To attend, register online at IQ Registration.