The Chicago Innovation Awards is accepting nominations from Chicago region inventors, entrepreneurs and companies to honor innovative new products and services.

Help keep Chicago’s spirit of innovation alive and thriving by nominating any innovative new product, service or process you’ve encountered. Nominations opened May 1. There is no cost to enter one or more nominations; deadline is July 31.

Last year more than 300 Chicago-area companies were nominated. Nominees can be high-tech, low-tech or no-tech; for-profit or not-for-profit; big products from large companies or small products from small companies. The key is innovation.

It’s looking for companies whose new products or services have:

  • Been introduced within the past 3 years
  • Created a whole new category of business (for example, electronic stock trading)
  • Triggered a “me-too” response from competitors (such as touch-screen cellphones and software applications)
  • Changed or elevated customer expectations (overnight package delivery)
  • Solved unmet customer or consumer needs
  • Received market support (number of users) or financial success (revenues, although not necessarily profits)