TOPEKA (KSNT) – This year’s “Coolest Thing Made In Kansas” contest is kicking off with a round of voting to determine what products make the nomination list.

The Kansas Manufacturing Council said in a press release that people can now start casting their votes for the “People’s Choice” contest which includes 58 Kansas-made products. The top 16 products that receive the most votes by the time the nomination period closes on Sept. 9 will move on to compete head-to-head in a bracket-style tournament.

The Coolest Thing Made In Kansas annual contest is presented by FORVIS and promotes Kansas manufacturers, according to the Kansas Manufacturing Council. It also highlights products developed and built in Kansas that are distributed across the U.S. and internationally. Last year’s winner was the Terramac Crawler built by Ernest-Spencer.

A separate contest for 2023’s “Coolest Innovation” has a total of 29 Kansas-made products on its roster, according to the Kansas Manufacturing Council. These products will complete a questionnaire about their innovations which will later be reviewed by a panel of manufacturing experts. The four highest-scoring companies will then present to the panel about their innovative products.

The full schedule of events for both contests can be found below:

  • People’s Choice Contest calendar:
    • Aug. 1 – Aug. 30: Submit nominations
    • Sept. 1 – Sept. 9: Vote for favorite nominated products
    • Sept. 11 – Sept. 22: Announce tournament bracket of 16, open voting
    • Sept. 18 – Oct. 6: Announce bracket of eight, open voting
    • Oct. 9 – Oct. 23: Announce final round, open voting
    • Oct. 23: Coolest Celebration Reception – all 16 products/companies will be invited
    • Oct. 24: Announce 2023 People’s Choice Coolest Thing
  • Coolest Innovation Contest calendar:
    • Aug. 1 – Aug. 30: Submit nominations
    • Sept. 1 – Sept. 15: Nominated products submit innovation questionnaires
    • Sept. 16 – Sept. 29: Judges review and score innovation questionnaires
    • Oct. 5: Announce innovation finalists
    • Oct. 23: Innovation finalists present to judges
    • Oct. 24: Announce innovation winner

The winners for both contests will be revealed on Oct. 24 at the 2023 Kansas Manufacturing Summit, according to the Kansas Manufacturing Council. To find out more about the contests and cast your own vote, click here.