IEDC: Nominations, Applications Open for Business Awards

The following is a release from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation about the 2011 Companies to Watch nominations. (Our own BizVoice magazine is a partner of the program, and will publish stories and profiles about the winners for the third consecutive year.):

Nominations and applications for the fourth annual Indiana Companies to Watch awards program, highlighting some of the state’s top second-stage companies opens today.

Presented by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, its Small Business Development Center network (ISBDC), Purdue University and the Edward Lowe Foundation, Indiana Companies to Watch recognizes privately held Indiana businesses that employ six to 150 full-time employees and have between $750,000 to $100 million in annual revenue or capital.

"Companies to Watch is a great way to recognize businesses in our state that are continuing to grow and create new opportunities across Indiana," said Mitch Roob, Secretary of Commerce and chief executive officer of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. "This program provides entrepreneurs with well-deserved recognition for their efforts, but also a chance to network with past and fellow recipients, which encourages further growth in our state." 

Anyone may nominate an eligible business or apply for the awards by completing the online application form at A panel of judges will review the applications and select the top companies to receive the awards based on past growth, projected success, innovation, technology application and community involvement. Nominations will be accepted through March 25. Companies may submit applications on their own behalf through April 15.

"This annual event has grown to be a preeminent awards program that shines the spotlight on Indiana’s entrepreneurial companies," said Marcus B. Chandler, chair of flagship sponsor Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Entrepreneurial Services Group. "As an advocate for several Indiana entrepreneurial companies of all sizes and types, we are always excited to see and learn more about the progress of these businesses."

Winners of the awards will be recognized Aug. 25 during an awards dinner at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in Indianapolis.

Companies to Watch was developed by the Cassopolis, Mich. – based Edward Lowe Foundation.  The foundation hosts similar programs in Michigan, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina and Wisconsin.

"Companies to Watch is proof that second-stage companies have become the major employment drivers in our economy. Over the last few years when stories about our economy dealt with infamous blows to larger corporations, the second-stage companies in our communities were quietly adding jobs, creating new products and entering national and international markets," said Penny Lewandowski, director of entrepreneurship development at the Edward Lowe Foundation. "For the past three years, Indiana Companies to Watch has identified 141 outstanding second-stagers that have employed more than 7,900 full-time equivalent workers. These companies represent 32 counties from across the state and industries as diverse as biotechnology, manufacturing, retail and health care."