This is the question that represents the essence of the annual HW TECH100™ competition -- and part of what sets this competition apart from any other. The HW TECH100™ is the industry's only effort to assess the technology landscape spanning across all of the U.S. housing economy: from residential mortgage lending, servicing, and investments to real estate technology.
At the core of the competition, we look for innovation. How do we define that? We use 6 unique dimensions: uniqueness, elegance, influence, growth, potential, and what we call "something else entirely." (After all, true innovators just have "it," and "it" often defies a more specific description.)
These dimensions are so important to the HW TECH100™, in fact, that our editors award six specific category winners for each dimension of innovation that underpins the HW TECH100™ program -- winning category recognition is a special honor reserved for 6 truly innovative technology & software companies.
For the 2016 HW TECH100™, firms should meet the following basic criteria:
HousingWire editors will score each entry and work to arrive at a consensus on both the final list of 100 firms as well as 6 category winners, based on the information provided in the entry and any additional research. All winners will be announced publicly on March 1, 2016.
Given the sheer volume of entries & nominations received over the last few years, we're expecting heavy competition for this year's program. As such, we recommend entries focus on the 6 dimensions of innovation that define our program.
1. Our company has more than one software platform. Do we have to apply multiple times?
No. You only have to apply once. The HW TECH100™ program recognizes leading technology & software companies — from companies with a single offering to companies that may house ten or more different software platforms. Each company need only be nominated once; that nomination should note any software worth our consideration in assessing the nomination.
2. We've got amazing software and would love to demonstrate it to HousingWire editorial team members as part of the consideration process.
Given the volume of applications, our team members/editors cannot accept individual requests for supplementary information beyond what is included in the 2016 HW TECH100™ application itself. (You may, however, tape a product demonstration and include it in your application if you feel it will help our team members better understand your technology.)
3. We want to know if _____________ applied. Or we'd like to know how many companies applied/were nominated.
In previous years, we have received more than 300 nominations. We're expecting to see more this year. Beyond that, we do not disclose if individual companies have been nominated for the program, nor do we disclose how many companies have received nominations in any given year.
4. Our software is proprietary and we want to share some things in our application that are private, so we can be accurately assessed. How do we do that?
If your software is so stealthy that you don't want anyone to know what it actually does, we're pretty sure you shouldn't be competing for public industry-wide recognition for your super-secret efforts. But every year we do receive a few requests like this, so let's be clear: HousingWire is a media company, and the information you submit in a nomination is material that will be published publicly in the event the company you nominate is named to our list. No secrets here. Nothing up our sleeves.
5. The company I want to nominate doesn't advertise with HousingWire. Can they still be considered?
We get this question every year, too, from a few applicants — which boggles our mind. Are there other competitions out there determined by advertising spend? We don't do things that way at HousingWire, if that's the case, and never have.
Here's the bottom line: selection to the HW TECH100™ isn't based upon a company's advertising relationship with HousingWire, and we encourage all technology companies looking to make their mark to apply.
6. We must have missed that the deadline. We really want to be included, but this got held up in legal/we missed it until now/it was the holidays/we had other things we were focusing on/etc. Can we still apply?
Our nomination period is open for 4 whole weeks: if a techcompany can't muster a basic nomination in that massive time frame, we shudder to think about that company's ability to deliver updates to a codebase. We have strict deadlines to manage to, and ask that you respect our editorial process so that we can consider hundreds of applications. Bottom line: all submissions/nominations must be made prior to midnight Central time on Friday, December 4, 2015. No exceptions. No mulligans. No extensions. Sorry not sorry.
7. How much does it cost to nominate?
It's absolutely free!
8. We submitted a nomination. Can we know if we made the cut prior to March 1, 2016 for planning and/or marketing purposes?
We do not disclose the companies that made our 2016 HW TECH100™ until March 1, 2016, and will not be disclosing any information as to who made the cut prior to that date. When the 2016 award winners are announced, the business contacts at winning firms will receive notification of their inclusion as well as information to support any press statements and similar marketing measures.