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Do IoT awards help discover IoT innovators?

Many IoT startups apply to win prizes that event organizers or IT industry giants have created to reward the best or most innovative IoT products of the year in different categories.

Let’s take a look backstage of the IoT awards:

The organizers and the nomination process
For most of us, the nominating process is not well-known, but it is also true that reading all published information related to the nomination process is a tedious work. Let´s be honest, when we are allowed to participate in nominations, we usually give our vote to our company, friend or colleague, or the most popular.

A characteristic of some nomination processes is that they allow you to check how the results go. Is it good or bad know in advance if our vote will count for something? Do we lose the interest if we were wrong? Do we try to influence others to follow us in our mistake? There is no such things as a “perfect nomination process,” but those processes that increase transparency, fight against voting manipulation, solve technical issues quickly and have measurable selection criteria get my vote.

The awards committee
The origins of the jury system are 11th Century England. The concept was that people were entitled to a jury of their peers. Somehow, over the centuries, we turned that upside down.

Nominees expect their submitted work to be judged by an ethics committee. The choice of a committee is not easy as we have seen in movies or TV series; organizers of the awards have to convince national or international experts in the fields of M2M communications and IoT, avoiding employees of nominated companies or people recognized by the community by their dubious reputation for impartiality. Many times, organizers offer paid travel and expenses for their work. The most difficult task? The organizers must ensure that members of the committee are kept confidential and not influenced by others.

We all expect that an awards committee to experience some pretty heated deliberation before announcing the winners that deserve the award. Although I do not remember a single award given that has not ended in disappointment.

The heaven of winners
If you are familiar with IoT awards, you will be with me about the different degree of happiness and behavior when we hear or read the names of the winners.

If the winner is a mega-vendor or works for a mega-vendor, we feel that the organization and the award committee was taking the easy way out. The winners accept the award sometimes with indifference or little emotion.

When the winner is an entrepreneur or startup, we all move our attention to them; we want to know more about them. These winners touch the heavens during the speech. New opportunities and doors are immediately open to them.

The hell of losers
Speaking of losers is always very subjective and controversial. For many new nominees, just being nominated is a win. Of course not all companies or individuals can keep in mind that it is expected they win by a landslide. If this does not happen, disappointment is greater. But such is life, a fair and transparent process and an ethical jury can blow the surprise.

There is life after the awards
What happens after the awards? The world goes on, life goes on, and both winners and losers have big challenges ahead. Winners and losers should avoid complacency, keeping focus on core business and proof they can escalate.

Do awards help discover IoT innovators?
There are many reasons for startups to participate in IoT award programs. The jury and the organizers receive hundreds of requests and their criteria filters until they’re left with the best. Being part of this selected group is a great recognition. But we must not wait for all startups to present innovative products; sometimes it is enough they solve a business need in a different way or discover a new untapped opportunity.

Maybe the most important outcome for startups is that they move from relatively unknown companies to a bigger audience, including investors and multinationals that will help grow their ideas. For multinationals, IoT awards are an excellent opportunity to invest in startups, discover new talents and capture new ideas that move dinosaur organizations in the right direction in the digital transformation of the company.

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