Gearing up for the 2010 Fierce 15 awards

Sue MarekThe fast-paced world of wireless communications has always been a breeding ground for smart, savvy entrepreneurs with business acumen. But lately the role of the wireless entrepreneur has become increasingly difficult. Tough economic times have forced venture capitalists to be very selective with their money, and that means fewer mobile companies have been able to secure the necessary funding to turn their ideas into reality.

Nevertheless, there are still hundreds of very creative mobile startups worth recognizing for their contributions to the wireless industry. That's why the FierceWireless editorial team is busy evaluating all the latest innovative emerging wireless companies in preparation for our annual Fierce 15 awards. Every year, FierceWireless editors evaluate dozens of privately held wireless firms and our final selections--the top 15--are awarded a Fierce 15 designation. We are in the midst of compiling our list of 2010 Fierce 15 companies, and that feature will make its debut next month. Click here to see past Fierce 15 winners.

We typically make our selections based on the numerous briefings and interactions our editors have with companies in the industry every year. To qualify for the Fierce 15, a company must be privately held, well funded, emerging (founded in the past few years) and have the potential to become a major player in the industry. We prefer that the firm be based in the U.S.; if it isn't, the company must conduct a significant amount of business in the U.S. wireless market since that is where the majority of our readers are located.

In this tough economic climate, we are finding that there are fewer wireless startups. However, the strong players stand out from the rest because of their ability to get VC backing and make headway in the industry in a short period of time. We are particularly interested in firms that solve some technical or business model dilemma facing the wireless industry. If you think your company has the potential to be a Fierce 15, please fill out this form for our consideration. --Sue