Voting for the 2008 Crunchies is now open.

This is the second year of the tech-startup awards ceremony. It’s where the 15 best startups, founders and executives are awarded by the community based on outstanding performance. While the ceremony — to be held Jan. 9 at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco — does focus mainly on startups, we’ve also allowed nominations for larger companies for particularly innovative projects that impact technology in a significant way.

If you are a startup or individual in the finals, you can get a badge to promote votes here. Voting ends at the end of the day on Jan. 5.

Voting rules: We will count one vote per person per category per day. Voting ends Monday, Jan. 5 at midnight PST, and winners will be announced live at the ceremony.

We have also released 200 additional tickets for the Crunchies Awards Ceremony and After Party. We will release one more round of tickets after New Years and then the ceremony will be sold out.

With the economic downturn setting in, there may be fewer business successes to celebrate in the foreseeable future. So it’s more important than ever to recognize companies and leaders of excellence.

VentureBeat co-hosts the awards with TechCrunch, GigaOm and Silicon Alley Insider.

We announced the opening of the Crunchies nomination process a few weeks ago. You’ll see there are awards for everything from “Best Technology Achievement” (you’ll see that finalists for this category include a diverse group, from Swype to Google Chrome) to “Best Startup Founder” (finalists include folks like Robet Kalin of Etsy, and Evan Williams of Twitter).

This year’s Crunchies would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors.

Thank you to ceremony and after-party co-hosts Microsoft, MySpace and Founders Fund; award benefactors CRV and Mayfield; streaming partner Ustream; after-party game-room partner Garage Games; ticketing partner Amiando; photo host PicApps; hosting partner Media Temple; wine partner Cannonball wines; and event patron Institutional Venture Partners. Please contact or if you’re interested to learn more about creative (and very reasonably priced) sponsorship opportunities.