Green Energy Was the Winner at the 2012 Product of the Year Event
For the seventh year, about 250 local innovators, members of the technology industry, and advocates of innovation in New Hampshire gathered to celebrate the best new technological achievements the state has to offer. The NH High Tech Council’s annual Product of the Year (POY) competition and reception was held on November 13th at SERESC Event and Conference Center—a new location—and provided yet another exciting and informative evening as five finalists competed for top honors and the right to have their company name added to the prestigious POY crystal trophy.
At the event, covered by regional media outlets, the Council honored the top five companies competing for Product of the Year with Judges Awards. Those five finalists were selected by the judges from a larger pool of candidates in October and embody the principles and purpose of the Council: New Hampshire companies and New Hampshire people, sharing New Hampshire ideas, and advancing innovation. The competition is open to any New Hampshire company that newly introduced, or significantly upgraded, a product within the past 12 months.
The Five Finalists
The Product of the Year is a unique networking opportunity where those in attendance come together to catch up, converse, and confer with one another, while visiting the displays of the five finalists. This provides an opportunity to see the technology up close and to ask a company representative questions before viewing presentations and ultimately casting a vote for the product – and company – deserving of the award of Product of the Year. The finalists and Judges Award winners are as follows:
Airmar Technology Corporation is a world leader in the design and manufacture of ultrasonic sensor technology for marine and industrial applications. In February 2012, Airmar launched a new product line that featured the 150WX WeatherStation Instrument. The 150WX ultrasonic wind instrument uses a unique combination of sensors that enables the 150WX to calculate true wind speed and direction, even when mounted on a moving vehicle. Additional features of this product include apparent wind speed and angle, true wind speed and direction, compass heading, GPS, pitch and roll, air temperature, wind chill temperature, dew point temperature, barometric pressure and relative humidity. The 150WX provides all this functionality in a product that is smaller than a can of soda and is the most capable instrument of its kind on the world market. The UV stabilized housing is fully waterproof and resistant to chemicals and sunlight, making it the most reliable ultrasonic wind sensor for demanding environmental conditions. Growing markets for this diverse product include, but are not limited to: marine vessels, autonomous vehicles, agricultural sprayers, bridge and highway road conditions monitoring, wind turbines, airports, meteorology, military, and utility towers.
Dynamic Benchmarking utilizes the latest cloud-based technology in developing a web-based benchmarking platform that is configurable, scalable and uniquely positioned to help businesses of all types. Stack-Up is a web-based platform that collects information and delivers comparison results in one easy to use solution. Stack-Up helps members benchmark their information and gain immediate insight while valuable data is collected on topics such as finances, operation, compensation and benefits, procedures and best practices. Stack-Up provides a software platform that is uniquely configured for each client, but does not require custom software development. Each client receives a fully branded implementation that includes unlimited questions, an interactive set of filters for drilling down into the data, dynamically generated PowerPoint reports, and access to sophisticated administration and usage reports.
Itaconix Corporation was founded in 2008 by Yvon Durant and John Shaw and is a next-generation performance polymer company based on technology licensed from UNH. Their proprietary technology platform for polymers of itaconic acid combines novel chemical synthesis with industrial biotechnology to convert renewable feedstocks (like corn) into performance polymers. Their first commercial polymer, Itaconix DSP 2K, is sold to consumer and industrial detergent formulators as an effective builder to replace phosphates, EDTA, citric acid and petroleum-based chemicals. Itaconix 2K is revolutionizing detergent formulations based on two unique qualities relative to existing builders: DSP 2K has higher capacity per gram than any other builder to bind metal ions, such as calcium, which cause water hardness and impair cleaning; and DSP 2K is made from 100 percent renewable carbon. The combination of these features and functions allows leading standard and green detergent brands to launch new phosphate-free products that satisfy consumer desires for performance equal to their old phosphate detergents.
Medtronic Advanced Energy, LLC produces a wide variety of advanced energy medical devices. Medtronic received 510(k) clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the Aquamantys SBS 5.0 Sheathed Bipolar Sealer, a new addition to the spine portfolio of the company’s Advanced Energy business. The SBS 5.0 Sheathed Bipolar Sealer gives spine surgeons the ability to optimize speed and continuity in surgical cases by providing hemostatic sealing capabilities for both incised soft tissue (e.g., cut muscle) and epidural veins with a single device. The SBS 5.0 uses Transcollation technology, which is a combination of radiofrequency energy and saline that has been shown to reduce blood loss and improve visualization when used during spine procedures. A novel feature of the SBS 5.0 is its movable sheath, conveniently allowing the device to be used to seal both broad tissue plains and tissue directly adjacent to sensitive tissue, such as nerves. This is the first product on the market that can conduct both procedures safely using one device.
Therma-HEXX is a Portsmouth-based startup that manufactures high efficiency heat exchange products. This company features two products: Therma-PAVER, a modular, aluminum or plastic heat exchange panel for use beneath pedestal or ground mounted pavers or stones; and Therma-CEILING, a highly efficient radiant heating/cooling system for use in suspended ceiling systems, which utilizes the same modular heat exchange component, technology, and IP as Therma-PAVER. Heat transfer efficiency comes from distributing a small amount of turbulating fluid in a fractal flow pattern across a relatively large area for a quick and efficient heat transfer in both directions, reducing operating costs. Therma-PAVER is the only product on the market that can heat or cool pedestal mounted pavers and Therma-CEILING is revolutionary when compared to forced air heating/cooling systems.
A New POY Guest
With loyal POY supporter Governor Lynch departing from office at the start of the new year, the Council was honored to welcome Governor-elect Maggie Hassan to her first POY reception. Speaking to the group, Hassan affirmed the importance of New Hampshire’s technology sector to her incoming administration stating she wants to “make sure that as a state we focus, moving forward, on being the most innovative state in the country—and you guys are the best examples I have when I talk about this.” The Governor-elect also acknowledged her innovation plan as a focal point of policy initiatives going forward, including targeted tax breaks and credits, and technical assistance for business.
In the tradition of past POY events, the five finalist companies previewed their products during a reception before the evening event, and then made seven-minute pitches as part of their effort to encourage the audience to vote for their product. Each of the 250 attendees was given a ballot on which they marked their choice for product of the year. These votes counted towards 50 percent of the final tabulation, with the judges’ votes completing the remaining 50 percent. The company with the highest combined score received the 2012 Product of the Year award.
And the award goes to…
The temperature that night was just right for Portsmouth-based Therma-HEXX. The audience vote and previous judging by a panel of business and technology experts were equally weighed, and Therma-Hexx was named the winner of Product of the Year for 2012.
Robert Barmore, co-founder and CEO of Therma-HEXX, said, “We want to change the world. There are a lot of things that are being done so inefficiently; there’s no reason not to fix that—it’s so easy to do it.” And Therma-HEXX makes it look so easy, garnering a Green Launching Pad grant, placing second in the first-ever TechOut business startup competition, and now snagging the 2012 POY. When asked about this, Barmore emphasized, “Green Launching Pad got us started, TechOut allowed us to keep going, Product of the Year is going to give us the recognition that we need, and it just proves that people believe in our product and it gives the marketplace the confidence in our product that they need to know that it’s a worthy product.”
The Therma-HEXX name will be added to the prestigious NH High Tech Council Product of the Year crystal trophy, designed by Pepi Herrmann, and the trophy and an exhibit of the winning product will be on display at the Manchester–Boston Regional Airport for one year.
Congratulations to Therma-HEXX and to all of the Judges Award winners!