More than 70 companies have qualified for the second stage of the New Zealand International Business Awards, with more than 30 per cent of all qualifying entries being ICT sector businesses, according to NZ Trade and Enterprise. Qualifying for stage two puts these companies one step closer to being awarded the Judges’ Supreme Award prize of $100,000, to fund further international growth, NZTE says. Business operating internationally are recognised in three categories: under $10 million, $10 to $50 million and over $50 million. “We have been delighted with both the high number of entries and the excellent standard of the submissions received across all award categories,” he says. Many of the stage two qualifiers have attended workshops run by NZTE over the past week. The workshops, held in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Hamilton, were designed to give entrants support in developing their entries to take them through to the next round of the Awards. Finalists will be announced mid-August and the winners will be celebrated at an awards ceremony on 30 September 2009. Award categories include: Best business (small, medium and large) operating internationally Most innovative international business model Best use of design in international business Best commercialisation of intellectual property in international business Best use of research and development in international business There is also a Supreme Award.