New Product Awards Blog

HZO's Stevie® Awards-winning Nanotechnology Keeps Consumer Electronics Safe

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Mon, Mar 31, 2014 @ 03:54 PM

HZO, Inc., of Draper, Utah, USA won the Gold Stevie® for Best New Product or Service of the Year - Consumer Electronics in the new product awards categories of The 2013 International Business Awards. The early bird deadline for the 2014 IBAs is April 16. Get your entry kit here.

1403HzOHZO WaterBlock™ is a nano-coating that protects electronic devices from liquid and corrosion damage. HZO debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012 and has caught the attention of the world ever since. From just CES 2012 and 2013 alone, this product has garnered over $7 million in earned media with outlets including MSNBC, The Huffington Post, the BBC, The Today Show on NBC, The New York Times, and Reuters.

Rapid Pace of Change

We asked Sergio Leveratto, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer at HZO, what he saw as the major challenges facing the electronics industry today.  According to Sergio, it’s keeping up with the rapid pace of change.  So how does Sergio manage that?

 “My approach is to do what I can to make sure HZO plays a consistent role in driving those changes by establishing and maintaining a leadership position in the industry,” Sergio told us. “HZO does this by providing device makers with a powerful and differentiating technology that creates value and allows consumers to do more with their electronics.”

A Milestone for the Company

Winning a Stevie® Award in 2013 has contributed to the success of HZO, added Sergio. “HZO has experienced a lot of growth over the past several years, and winning a Stevie Award has helped the company maintain that momentum by providing additional credibility and recognition to the hard work of our world-class team. An accolade like a Stevie is an inspiration for the company, and outside validation of our technology not only feels great, but also inspires us to keep innovating.”

Concludes Sergio: “To win a prestigious award like a Stevie is both an honor and a milestone for our company. “

Developing Relationships into Partnerships

The HZO WaterBlock team develops relationships into partnerships. The following list is a highlight of some of these associations:

-Brightstar Corporation, the world’s largest wireless distributor, is currently engaged with HZO to market WaterBlock to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and repair & refurbishment processors worldwide.

-TAG Heuer, the watch maker and luxury phone designer, features HZO WaterBlock in its Android smartphone, the TAG Heuer Racer Sub Nano, a high end phone that offers superior water protection.

-NavELite, creators of the NavELite backlit wrist compass, features HZO WaterBlock in its line of products, which are purchased by the military around the world as well as by civilian adventurers.

-LaiPac Technology features HZO WaterBlock on their AGPS Cell Phone Tracking Device and on other products by the company.  

-LiveFree, creators of the senior mobile alert product Life Beacon, features HZO WaterBlock on many of its alert systems. 

-Bully Dog features HZO WaterBlock on its diesel engine performance monitor.

According to Sergio, HZO WaterBlock can be featured on virtually any small- to medium-form electronic device in any market or industry. The products featured above are just the beginning of the opportunities of protection from HZO.

Keeping Track of Travel

Because he has to travel so much on business, we asked Sergio if he had a favorite travel app. “Concur is the key travel app,” advised Sergio. “ It helps me to make reservations on the fly while allowing me to keep track of my travel expenses.”

Defining the Future

We asked Sergio what motivated him. “My inspiration comes from the unique opportunity that a small company like HZO has to shape and define the future of an entire industry,” he told us. “Because HZO's technology protects electronics from damage caused by exposure to liquids or submersion in water, the company is truly changing where people use their electronic devices. Being a part of this revolution is very exciting, and seeing the potential and added value that our technology provides to innovative electronic products is a powerful motivator. 

“We feel that the Stevie Award shows that the industry recognizes HZO as the ideal form of liquid protection in consumer electronics going forward. We’re excited to continue to deliver on this recognition,” concluded Sergio.

About Sergio Leveratto

Sergio Leveratto is the Chief Sales & Marketing Officer at HZO, where he directs the global growth strategy for the company’s superior corrosion and liquid submersion protection technology. His expertise in global expansion planning is helping HZO build and advance international distribution channels, strategically align technologies with target markets and develop intelligent lifecycle programs that help maximize consistent growth potential.

Prior to HZO, Sergio spent nearly two decades spearheading global sales, marketing, and business development initiatives with Nokia and global mobile operator Telefonica, where he helped drive, launch, and promote value-add services and user-based application enhancements. He is fluent in four languages, and maximizes his ability to form strong alliances with multinational organizations to successfully execute global outreach and expansion campaigns.

About HZO

HZO is an innovative and rapidly growing nanotechnology company that has set the world standard in solutions that protect electronics from corrosion and extended liquid submersion. A robust coating is applied at the component level, creating a physical barrier between the vital circuitry of a device and any kind of liquid. The company's advanced technology provides innovative liquid protection from the inside out, and our patent protected materials, process and equipment provides an end-to-end solution that allows flexibility for manufacturers to develop new product features and functionality, while giving end-users the freedom to do more with the electronic devices they rely on.

Tags: International business awards, product of the year, new product awards, product management awards, HZO Inc, Nanotechnology

Top 3 Tips for Launching a New Product, From a Stevie Awards Judge

Posted by Liz Dean on Fri, May 04, 2012 @ 07:56 AM

Mike Oeth, CEO, OnSIP Business VoIP in New York, will chair the committee for final judging of the new product awards and product management awards categories in The 2012 American Business Awards, the premier business awards program in the U.S.A. Here Mike shares three tips for companies launching or rebranding a new product or service.

What are your top 3 tips for companies wanting to launch or rebrand a new product or service?

  1. Mike OethOperation
    Before you launch a product, you need to make sure you can perform the four pillars of operations: Sell it, provision it, bill it, support it.  Can Sales sell it?  Can Provisioning provision it?  Can Billing bill it?  And can Support support it?  If you can do all those things, you have a viable product to take to the market. 
  2. Coordination
    Coordinate the launch with your marketing, support, sales, billing, and operations departments. Make sure everyone is on the same page for message, service specs, and time frame for rollout.
  3. Communication
    Communicate internally to everyone, not just the involved parties; and communicate externally via appropriate marketing channels such as websites and social media.

What item of news recently caught your eye and why?
My twitter feed @VoIPCEO is full of news items that catch my eye.  I’m a nerd at heart and follow the BoingBoing, Wired, Slashdot, and ArsTechnica feeds.  I use the wisdom of the crowds at Reddit to vet stories from other, less well-known sources. 

Within the VoIP space, I thought the M5 acquisition deal was one of the more interesting stories this year.  Outside of VoIP, I’m very interested in copyright, digital rights management (DRM), software patents, and intellectual property in general.  I loved that the comedian Louis C.K. was able to produce a performance of his stand-up routine and offer it directly to the public without DRM.  As a result, he made way more revenue than he ever could have if he’d gone through the “normal” channels.  I think it’s the beginning of the wave and the end of old-school music/movie distribution.

What is your favorite app?
My favorite VoIP app, and one of my top five apps, would have to be Bria by Counterpath. It’s a beautifully designed phone application that allows me to answer my work calls over 3G or WiFi with my iPad.  Outside of the VoIP space, I like the Twitter and mobile apps.  They are both just proxies for the actual websites, but they are well done and give quick and easy access to the website content.  The coolest app is the new Marvel Comics augmented-reality app (available for iOS or Android).  You point the camera of your phone or tablet at a page in a Marvel Comic book, and the page comes to life.  I like it because it’s a novel application that gives me a good excuse to purchase the physical magazine. 

If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
My standby profession would either be basketball coach or blues musician.  But since my coaching experience—which I love—is limited to local girls basketball teams, and my guitar playing consists of about five chords, I think I’ll stay where I am.

What quality or qualities do you most value in your business associates?
When I think of the other two cofounders of OnSIP, two qualities I value jump to mind: a capacity for deep analytical thinking and an ability to play devil’s advocate.   John Riordan, our CTO, is very analytical.  He is constantly thinking five moves ahead of where we are today and looking to the future.  Rob Wolpov, our President, is a brilliant business strategist who plays the devil’s advocate to my over-optimistic approach.  These qualities help us challenge the status quo and propel our business and our technology forward.

As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
I enjoy problem solving.  There are always new and interesting problems to solve.  I even, every once in a while, jump on the support line and take a support call just for the rush of solving someone’s problem.  I take sales calls every now and then to keep sharp and to see what customers are requesting—like a secret shopper, but in reverse.  I like what we do.  I like that we actually help small and medium-sized businesses to compete and be as efficient as possible.  I like the people I work with.  I think we’ve done a really great job of hiring smart people and giving them the resources they need to be successful.  Yeah, I like my job.

About Mike Oeth:
Mike Oeth is the CEO of OnSIP Business VoIP, winner of a Stevie® Award for Best Management Team of the Year—Product Development in The 2011 American Business Awards.  Mike cofounded OnSIP in 2005 on the premise that the future of business communications would rely heavily on IP technologies.

About OnSIP:
Having helped over 15,000 customers, OnSIP is a leading provider of business VoIP service to small and medium-sized businesses. OnSIP, by Junction Networks, is an intuitive and reliable business phone service on the Internet for companies with 5 to 100 employees. OnSIP customers enjoy the benefits of a business-class phone system, without the traditional high cost, burden, and inflexibility. For more information, visit

Tags: American business awards, product awards, new product awards, product management awards, Mike Oeth, VoIP, OnSIP