Level Up

SLAS Ignite Award

The SLAS Ignite Award will be given to the best start-up or emerging company from those exhibiting within the specially designated Innovation AveNEW. The companies will be judged by an SLAS panel on a combination of key concepts, including their marketing plan, market presence and potential; funding prospects; plan for growth and the existence of a balanced company leadership, among other qualities.


Competition Guidelines and Process

All Innovation AveNEW participating companies are notified of the SLAS Ignite Award and given the opportunity to be considered.


Evaluation Guidelines and Judging Process

Judging will take place Monday, January 27 and Tuesday, January 28 in the Innovation AveNEW area and in the Ignite Theater. The competing companies will also make a brief presentation in the Ignite Theater on Monday, January 27 or Tuesday, January 28 (presentations will be scheduled).

A panel of judges will visit the booths and meet with each company’s representative. There may be more than one group of judges visiting the booth during exhibition hours.

There must always be AT LEAST ONE person at the booth during the judging time frame who can discuss the company with the judges.

Judging will be based on:

Presentation (at booth)

  • Was the company representative able to speak to the product/technology comfortably and clearly?
  • Was the marketing, web/social media presence clear and evident?
  • Did the company have flyers, handouts?
  • Could the product or service be clearly demonstrated?

Presentation (in Ignite Theater)

  • Did the company representative explain the key concept(s) well?
  • Did the company representative provide the correct amount of background information so that the audience could understand the trajectory of the company from inception?

Market Impact

  • Is the market potential evident (extreme niche/niche/moderate/large)?
  • Does the company have a clear competitive advantage and is the product/technology significantly better than currently available or potentially competing technologies?
  • Is the proposed product/technology highly innovative?
  • Does the product/technology have the potential to address a currently unmet need?
  • Where does next round of funding come from, or is it projected to generate income?
  • Is there a plan for growth, expansion or sale?
  • Is the company leadership a balance of business and science professionals?


Scoring Criteria

The Judging Panel’s decision will be based on a series of criteria (in no order of significance) evaluated through presentations at the company’s booth and in the Ignite Theater:

  • Marketing Presence
  • Compelling Message and Market Opportunity
  • Impact
  • Potential
  • Competitive Advantage
  • Level of Innovation
  • Addresses an Unmet Need
  • Funding Sources, Plan for Growth
  • Leadership Stability and Diversity

Scoring System

5-to-1 Rating Scale:

5 — Outstanding, Novel and Broad Impact for a New Product
4 — Very Good, Solid, Novel Product
3 — Some Unique New Product Qualities
2 — Needs More Proof and Development
1 — Not Substantially New or Improved
0 — Not New at Al



All companies who were chosen to exhibit in Innovation AveNEW are eligible to compete for the SLAS Ignite Award. Innovation AveNEW companies must align in some fashion with the area of life sciences and technology, and while it is not required, an established relationship with a university, bioscience incubator, or research institution is preferable. The company’s products and/or services must be available for sale/distribution in the year of their conference participation.


Non-Discrimination Statement

Discrimination based on race, religion, gender, age, national origin, ethnicity, veteran status, or disability in regard to the SLAS Ignite Award designation is prohibited. Each candidate company shall be evaluated based on the award's criteria, which are tied to SLAS's purpose of advancing the science and education through technology in the laboratory.



SLAS reserves the right to select and deselect any company at any given time. All decisions are final.



Contact Elizabeth Frank, SLAS Program Manager
+1.630.256.SLAS (7527) ext 102


Our Sponsors

Premier Sponsor:

  • Diamond Sponsor

  • Diamond Sponsor

    Beckman Coulter
  • Diamond Sponsor

  • Diamond Sponsor

    Miltenyi Biotek
  • Diamond Sponsor

  • Diamond Sponsor

    Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • Platinum Sponsor

    BMG Labtech
  • Platinum Sponsor

    Broooks Life Sciences
  • Platinum Sponsors

    Cosmo Technologies
  • Platinum Sponsor

  • Platinum Sponsor

    Molecular Devices
  • Platinum Sponsor

  • Gold Sponsor

  • Gold Sponsor

  • Gold Sponsor

  • Gold Sponsor

  • Silver Sponsor

    ACS Combinatorial Science
  • Silver Sponsor

    Analytik Jena
  • Silver Sponsor

    Greiner Bio-One
  • Silver Sponsor

  • Media Partner

    The Analytical Scientist
  • Media Partner

  • Media Partner

    Cell Press
  • Media Partner

  • Media Partner

    DDN News
  • Media Partner

  • Media Partner

  • Media Partner

    GEN News
  • Media Partner

    Lab Manager
  • Media Partner

  • Media Partner

    Science AAAS
  • Media Partner

    Europa Science/Scientific Computing World
  • Media Partner

    Select Science
  • Media Partner

    Technology Networks
  • Media Partner

    The Scientist