Calling all cloud fanatics! Nominations are open for the Innovation Showdown, one of the highlights of our third annual CloudBeat conference (Sep. 9-Sept. 10) at the Grand Hyatt in San Francisco.

We’re looking for companies — from young startups to more established players — that are innovating in, and around, the cloud.

Do you have a product or service that will change how businesses serve customers, empower employees, and deliver tangible value to investors? This is your opportunity to showcase that fresh idea/disruptive technology in front of 500-plus business and IT execs, investors, and press. To get an idea of what we’re looking for, check out VentureBeat’s roundup of last year’s competitors here.

This year, we’re breaking the 10 finalists into two groups:

1) Early stage companies (late seed stage to Series A):
We’ll select five companies that have received a range of $500,000 to $3 million in seed or early Series A funding. If you are a startup or a company that has received less than $3 million in funding, you may apply. We will provide you with a mandatory “bootcamp” pitch mentoring process where experts will help you to hone your pitch. We will also accept applications where companies have minimally viable product that is in a pilot or a beta but have not launched on a large scale yet.

2) Midstage companies (Series A to Series B funding):
The other five companies must have at least Series A or Series B funding (have received more than $3 million in funding, including your first or second venture round). You have a product on the market with a defined customer base and paying customers or pilots. You have a defined sales cycle and pipeline. You are looking to expand your executive, tech, or sales team and need to do another raise for expansion.

Finalists will have four minutes to present live at CloudBeat 2013. Our team of judges — made up of industry experts, venture capitalists, and actual enterprise customers — will provide feedback on the products/services presented and determine the winner from each group.

The Showdown winner will be announced onstage at CloudBeat 2013 and will receive VentureBeat coverage, introductions to investors, and/or relevant potential customers in our network, and other prizes yet to be announced.

Apply here for the Innovation Showdown. The deadline is August 16.

Early Bird tickets expire on July 27. Make sure to register this week to save 25 percent!

Special thanks to Norwest Venture Partners for sponsoring the Innovation Showdown, and thanks to all of the industry leaders who are supporting CloudBeat 2013: IBM Emerging Technologies as Gold Sponsor; ArchPoint Partners as Silver Sponsor; and CareCloud, Norwest Venture Partners, & Plex Systems as Event Sponsors.