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Coolest Thing Made in Colorado Contest Nominations Open

For media inquiries, please contact Cynthia Eveleth-Havens at [email protected].

DENVER – The Colorado Chamber of Commerce today announced that nominations are open for its third annual Coolest Thing Made in Colorado competition sponsored by FirstBank. This community-driven contest aims to highlight the vibrant and diverse manufacturing industry across the state.

“The Coolest Thing contest provides a unique platform for manufacturers across Colorado to showcase their best creations,” said Tricia Smith, executive vice president of investor and community engagement for the Colorado Chamber. “Each year, the quality of nominations continues to exceed our expectations, highlighting the creativity and innovation within our state’s manufacturing sector. We are excited to celebrate the exceptional products that will be submitted this year!”

The nomination period closes on July 26, 2024. An independent panel of judges will review the nominations and select the top ten finalists in August. The finalists will be honored at the Colorado Chamber’s annual meeting luncheon on October 17, where the Coolest Thing winner will be announced. The winner will be awarded the Coolest Thing Made in Colorado trophy along with the title and recognition of the Coolest Thing top winner for 2024.

“We are delighted to join forces again with the Colorado Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the state’s most innovative manufacturers,” said Kristen Bernhardt, FirstBank’s Northwest Market President. “FirstBank has always been committed to helping local businesses and manufacturing companies grow. I think we can all agree they’re the backbone of our economy. If they succeed, we all succeed. That’s why we love supporting this contest because it allows us to promote these organizations, and it enables them to reach new customers.”

In order to be eligible to enter the contest, the product must be made in Colorado using a manufacturing process. For example, a restaurant that makes “made to order” pizza would not qualify, but a food manufacturer that mass-produces frozen pizza would. The company manufacturing the product does not have to be headquartered in Colorado, but the product must be manufactured in a Colorado-based facility. There is no cost to participate in the contest and membership with the Colorado Chamber is not required. Anyone can nominate a product and self-nominations among companies is encouraged. A product only needs to be nominated one time to be considered.

The inaugural contest has received hundreds of nominations in prior years from which the top 10 finalists were selected. Past finalists have represented diverse industries, from musical instruments to outdoor equipment to life-saving medical devices and more. Finalists have represented regions all across the state and come from companies large and small.

The 2023 winner was the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft and asteroid-sampling mission by Lockheed Martin Space. Launched on September 8, 2016, the spacecraft conducted a detailed two-year survey from orbit, and successfully collected a sample. This sample, brought back to earth on September 24, 2023, marks a significant milestone as the first sample retrieved by a U.S. mission. It promises invaluable insights into the early formation of our solar system and holds potential clues about the origins of life on Earth.

Colorado’s 4,900+ manufacturing firms contribute more than $28 billion to the state’s economy, accounting for 6.58% of total output and employing approximately 149,000 Coloradans. The Colorado Chamber has been the state’s affiliate for the National Association of Manufacturers since 1965 and is proud to count many of Colorado’s prominent manufacturers among its members.

Nominations can be submitted at:


The Colorado Chamber of Commerce champions free enterprise, a healthy business environment and economic prosperity for all Coloradans. It is the only business association that works to improve the business climate for all sizes of business from a statewide, multi-industry perspective. What the Colorado Chamber accomplishes is good for all businesses, and that’s good for the state’s economy. It was created in 1965 based on the merger with the Colorado Manufacturers’ Association.

About FirstBank, Sponsor of The Coolest Thing Made in Colorado

FirstBank began providing banking services in 1963. Today, it’s known as an industry leader in digital banking. It has grown to be one of the largest privately held banks in the United States, maintaining over $28 billion in assets and 100 branch locations across Colorado, Arizona and California. FirstBank offers a full range of consumer and commercial banking services, including business financing, commercial real estate loans, treasury management, and more. Since 2000, FirstBank has been recognized as a top corporate philanthropist, contributing more than $85 million and thousands of volunteer hours to charitable organizations. The company is also unique in that a large portion of its stock is owned by management and employees, giving employees a financial stake in the bank’s success through its Employee Stock Ownership Program. For more information, visit Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.