More than 50 companies from across North Carolina are among the finalists for the North Carolina Technology Association’s annual “21” awards.

“The NCTA 21 Awards recognize companies and individuals in North Carolina for their diligence and innovation in implementing successful business plans, excelling in the marketplace and their contributions to the community,” said Bob Hawkins, 2007 chairman of the NCTA Board of Directors. “We look forward to this event every year so we can celebrate not only the finalists but all the companies and individuals who actively promote the growth of knowledge-based jobs in North Carolina.”

The winners will be named on Nov. 15 during a banquet at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Cary. The theme for the event is “A Blockbuster Year.”

Awards are broken into five categories: technology industry, stage of development, functional awards, leadership, and excellence.

The finalists by category are:

Technology Industry Awards

Software Company of the Year: SAS Institute Inc.; Microsoft Corp.; APEX Analytix; VisionAIR, Inc.; Geomagic; Channel Advisor.

Health Care/Pharmaceutical Company of the Year: GlaxoSmithKline; MedCath Corp.; TransTech Pharma, Inc.; Metrics, Inc.

Electronics Company of the Year: Cree, Inc.; RF Micro Devices; Static Control Components.

Communications Company of the Year: Overture Networks; WRAL Local Tech Wire; AT&T.

Consumer Technology Company of the Year:
LED Lighting Fixtures; Dell, Inc.; UpSNAP, Inc.

Stage of Development Awards

Early Stage: Yap Inc.; Parion Sciences; Regado; Patient Care Technology Systems; Clinipace.

Midsize: Channel Advisor; Usfalcon, Inc.; Metabolon; iContact; Virtual Heroes.

Epic Games; Microsoft Corp.; Accenture; Red Hat, Inc.; Cisco Systems.

Functional Awards

Top Service Company of the Year:
Queen Associates, Inc.; VisionAIR, Inc.; Peak 10; Soft Pro Arsenal Digital Solutions; SciQuest.

Top Growth Company of the Year: SciQuest; Hosted Solutions; APEX Analytix; Credit Suisse;

Top Venture Capital Invested: InnerPulse; Motricity; Conterra; Ultra Broadband.

Top Government/Non-Profit Technology:
Winston Net; Npower Charlotte Region; Team for Technology.

Leadership Awards

Corporate Citizenship
: Microsoft Corp.; SAS Institute, Inc.; SunCom Wireless; Lenovo.

Media: Business Leader; Triangle Business Journal; WRAL Local Tech Wire.

IT Support Services: Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard, LLP; Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan, LLP; Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton, LLP.

Corporate Education:
SunCom Wireless,;SAS Institute, Inc.; Nortel.

Excellence Awards

Private Company of the Year: Motricity; SAS Institute, Inc.; Patient Care Technology Systems; Bandwidth; Consonus Technologies, Inc.

Public Company of the Year:
Dell, Inc.; Microsoft Corp.; Cisco Systems.