Covidien a double champ at IQ Awards
Last Updated: 00:56 August 29, 2013
The Innovation Quotient, or IQ, Awards, from the Boulder County Business Report, are made to companies with the most innovative new services and products in Boulder and Broomfield counties. The Sonicision ultrasonic surgical device from Covidien won both the Innovation of the Year award from the audience as well as the IQ Award for Business Products and Services from a panel of judges at the event at the Boulder Theater.
If a patient could rub his hands together 55,000 times per second, they would literally stick together – a simple analogy to how the Sonicision ultrasonic surgical device works, said Lew Lanker, global product manager for Covidien's energy division (NYSE: COV) based in Boulder.
The Sonicision cordless device technology was "born in Boulder" and the device is manufactured in Boulder, "the world's leading place for medical energy-based devices," Lanker said. Covidien's U.S. headquarters is in Mansfield, Massachusetts.
From products such as a robotic ball used to play games and a natural condom to anti-virus software for the cloud, numerous other unique products and services competed for recognition at the awards event.
Agora Foundation, Bounce.io, Orbotix Inc., Tusaar Inc., and Webroot Inc. all won in their respective categories, as did Covidien. The audience chose the Innovation of the Year through a texting scheme. A panel of judges chose the winners during a brief interlude at the event after listening to short pitches from company representatives. The nonprofit group Agora Foundation was chosen in advance of the event.
Snapshots of the winning companies and products:
Agora Foundation won an IQ Award in the Nonprofits category. The Boulder-based nonprofit group's Hot Spot project uses solar-powered "canopies" to offer free access to wireless Internet-enabled computers. The project is expected to serve as a "branch library for the 21st century" for people around the world, said Bud Wilson, a founding partner of the nonprofit group. Agora may become a private company in the future, and is looking for funding partners, Wilson said before the award was announced.
Bounce.io won an IQ Award in the Internet/social media/mobile application category. The Lousville-based company developed a way to reroute bounced emails back to senders, along with an advertising message. Since an estimated 20 percent of all emails "bounce," or are returned to senders, the market is currently wide open, said Scott Brown, a Bounce.io spokesman.
"Ten months ago, we stumbled into this idea, almost by happenstance," Brown said. "We think we found a bank vault."
Orbotix Inc. won an IQ Award in the Consumer Products category. The Boulder-based company makes the Sphero, a robotic ball controlled by a smartphone. Sphero is now used in more than 25 mobile applications. One of the popular apps is "Sharky the Beaver," in which a user manipulates the ball and sees a display on his or her screen of an animated beaver moving around, rather than the ball itself.
Tusaar Corp. won an IQ Award in the Natural/Green category. The Boulder-based company has developed a process to remove and recover more than 46 different metals from waste water and other waste streams. The company estimates there is a $3.2 billion market for its services, in the nuclear waste field and in recycling rare earth metals, among other areas, said Gautam Khanna, founder of the company.
Webroot Inc. won an IQ Award in the Software category. The Broomfield-based company makes a cloud-based software that serves as an Internet security product. Webroot put itself in the "reinvention" category, after creating new products to work in the Internet "cloud" rather than on individual computers, said David Duncan, chief marketing officer. Since then, the company has grown its annual revenue well past the $100 million mark, Duncan said.
A panel of judges previously chose finalist companies from submitted entries. Panelists were Paul Jerde, a consultant, Jerry W. Lewis, Uptream Communicatins LLC; Tim Bour, Innovation Center of the Rockies, Susan Graf, former president of the Boulder Chamber, and Theresa Szczurek, Radish Systems LLC.
Sponsors included EKS&H PC public accountants in Boulder, Boulder Staffing Inc. in Broomfield, Wells Fargo Bank in Boulder, Photo Craft Imaging in Boulder, Survey Gizmo in Boulder, KUNC-FM 91.5 in Greeley and Connect First Inc. in Boulder
This year's event theme was "Game of Innovation," based on the popular HBO series, "Game of Thrones."
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