Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for a New England Innovation Award?

Anyone whose company/organization is based in New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont), has a revolutionary product, technology or process, and does not employ over 200 people.

My company has won an Innovation Award in the past; are we eligible to apply?

Of course; if you have a new product or technology, you are welcome to apply again.

We have applied/competed before but not won; can we apply again?

Absolutely! Previous applicants are encouraged to apply again. We are here to help and mentor you and support you deliver a stronger presentation pitch.

Which Categories do the Awards cover?

Categories are updated every year, to reflect current market trends; for 2020, the available categories are:

1. Clean Technology & Sustainability,

2. Healthy Living & Well-Being,

3. IT & Cybersecurity,

4. IoT & Smart Living,

5. Life Sciences,

6. Minority-Owned,

7. Non-Profit, and

8. Robotics & Advanced Manufacturing.

What if my product/company does not fit into one of the above Categories? What if my product/service applies to more than one Category?

You may contact us directly ( or (978) 888-8343), and we will be happy to discuss with you and make suggestions.

What is the application/participation fee?

There are absolutely NO costs associated with applying to or participating in the program.

Can I apply for an Award with more than one product?

Yes, you can apply for more than one Categories, but only ONE product entry is accepted within each Category.

Is attendance required?

Attendance is not required to enter the competition.

If your company/organization is selected to be a Finalist, you MUST have a representative present at the:

- Finalist Information Meeting on Tuesday, July 21st;t

- October Innovation Showcase (Wednesday 10/21, 4-8pm), and

- November Evening of Innovation/Award Ceremony (Wednesday 11/4) to win; no exceptions.

Failure to send a representative will disqualify the entrant, and the runner up will be offered a place in the competition.

When are Award Winners announced?

All Winners will be announced at the November 4th 2020 New England Innovation Awards Ceremony; NO Winner will be notified ahead of time; no exceptions will be made.

What are the judging criteria?

All entries are judged on a 100-point system, which is comprised of the following elements for the (for profit categories):

1. Degree of Innovation: how unique and disruptive is the product/technology or process? Is it disruptive and ground-breaking? Can it be a “game-changer” in its market? Maximum Value: 60 points

2. User Benefits/Problem-Solving: Is the product/technology or process in the market yet? Are consumers engaged? Can they clearly see its benefits? Is the result thoroughly communicated, understood and compelling? Does it seem likely that the product/technology or service will be adopted and reimaging processes, improve lives or experiences? Maximum Value: 25 Points.

3. Future & Sustainability: Does the application/entry suggest that this is a product/technology, process, service or idea that can survey beyond the life cycle of a “fad”? Does it showcase future and sustainable market potential? Does it seem likely that it will continuously succeed in generating enough revenue to cover costs and operation? Maximum Value: 15 Points

For Non-Profit Organizations, the Degree of Innovation is described the Impact the organization on the community it serves, the shock-waves it creates in disrupting the status quo, and its ability to affect positive change to the particular population.

How are Mentors matched with the Finalists?

Mentors and members of the New England Innovation Team get together immediately after the Finalists are announced, to discuss each finalist profile and compare them with each Mentor profile, so they can determine how to best match-make them.

Oftentimes, Mentors ask to be matched with Innovators from a particular industry, so they can best leverage their own knowledge and experience during the Mentoring period. Their requests are very seriously considered.

Can a Finalist request a specific Mentor?

A specific request will be considered, but it may not always be granted (depending on a number of factors that affect final matching decisions at the time).

Am I required to have a Mentor?

The Mentorship program is entirely optional; it is an added benefit of the program, that a start-up may not be able to afford at the time, as consulting services tend to be pricey.

It is strongly encouraged, to meet with the assigned Mentor at least once or twice, so you can benefit from their experience and guidance towards what the Judges will be looking for.

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The Massachusetts Innovation Network is a 501 (c) (6) non-profit organization under the Internal Revenue Code  © 2021; All rights reserved.

(978) 579-4990