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Nominations Accepted: August 21 – August 31.

Nominations must be submitted through this website. Late nominations will not be accepted.

Popular Vote Round: September 4 – September 8
All products nominated are voted on during this time. Voters will have the ability to vote up to five times per day. The top 16 vote-getters will move on to the bracketed rounds.
Bracketed Rounds
Voters may vote in each bracketed round once per day.

Top Sixteen Round: September 11 – September 14
Top Eight Round: September 18 – September 21
Top Four Round: September 25 – September 28

Winner Announced: October 6
The overall winner will receive and award recognizing The Coolest Thing Made in California, a written article about the company and product on, a company celebration at the CMTA MakingCA Conference and awards ceremony, and a filmed interview with CMTA President & CEO Lance Hastings (if possible).

Does my product qualify?

Products must be made in California. The manufacturers’ headquarters does not need to be in California.

Products must be manufactured using a manufacturing process. For example, a restaurant that makes pizzas would not qualify, but a plant that mass-produces frozen pizzas would. If you’re not sure your product qualifies, email us at

Do I have to be a CMTA member to nominate my product?

No! You do not have to be a member of the California Manufacturers & Technology Association, but if you would like to learn more about the benefits of membership, contact

How many products can I nominate?

There is no limit on the number of products a person may nominate.

Can a company have multiple products in the contest?

Yes, but only one product per company can make it to the Top Sixteen.

How will a company know that one of its products is nominated?

CMTA will notify a company when its product has been nominated and selected for eligibility in the first round. Following notification and the company’s consent to compete, CMTA will seed the tournament-style bracket.

How do you vote, and how does a product advance in the contest’s brackets?

Voting is open to the public. A voter may vote once per match-up round.  Votes will be entered on the website only and not by any other method. Products will compete in weekly head-to-head matchups. Products receiving the highest number of votes in the 16-bracket head-to-head matchups will advance rounds to the top 8, 4, and the championship.

The two products that advance to the championship round of the tournament will compete for the most votes during the last week of the contest.

The product receiving the most votes in the final round will be announced as the winner at the MakingCA Conference on October 6, 2023.

The number of votes received will be reset at the beginning of each round.


  • The product must be made in California. The manufacturer’s headquarters do not need to be located in California.
  • Nominations must include the name of the product, the name of the manufacturer, link to the product/manufacturer’s website along with the name, email, and telephone number of the person making the nomination. The nominator’s information will not be made public but may be used for verification or follow-up questions from the CMTA staff.
  • Nominations must be made through the website. Written, emailed, or other nominations will not be accepted.
  • Products nominated can be from any sector of the manufacturing industry.
  • A company can have multiple products nominated, but only one product per company will be allowed into the First Round (Top 16 products). If a company has more than one product in the top 16 after the Popular Voting round, the product with the highest vote total will be that company’s sole entry into the contest in the Round of 16.
  • Voting during the Popular Round will occur from September 4 through September 8, with the ability to vote up to five times per day, per device.
  • In the First, Second, and Final rounds, a voter may vote in each bracketed contest once per day. There are eight head-to-head contests in the First Round (16 total products), four head-to-head contests in the Second Round (8 total products), and one Final Round contest with four products competing.
  • During the First and Second Rounds, the product with the most votes in each seeded, bracketed contest will advance to the next round. The product with the most votes in the Final Round will win the title of The Coolest Thing Made in California for 2023.
  • Votes will be tabulated and confirmed by the California Manufacturers & Technology Association at the conclusion of each round before winners are announced.
  • The number of votes will be reset at the beginning of each round.
  • Products nominated are subject to qualification verification by the California Manufacturers & Technology Association. In case of questions about nominations, CMTA will make every effort to contact the nominator for additional information.
  • The California Manufacturers & Technology Association will attempt to contact all companies with products nominated for the Coolest Thing Made in California for every round of voting.