J Blaszczykiewicz

Director of Marketing, 1871 

1871 honors eight distinguished innovators & leaders for their contributions to the Chicago technology community at the 15th Annual Momentum Awards.

CHICAGO (September 22, 2022) — 1871 honored eight award winners at the 15th Annual Momentum Awards on September 22, 2022, including the first-ever Social Impact Award. 

The ceremony celebrated both 15 years of the Momentum Awards and 10 years since 1871 first opened its doors. In addition to these milestones, 1871 CEO Betsy Ziegler acknowledged the incredible impact of the community and laid out the path forward for the organization as an independent, nonprofit innovation hub. The ceremony also featured recorded remarks from both Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Illinois Governor Pritzker. 

The winners of the Corporate Champion and the Chicagoness Award—Navistar and James (Jim) Reynolds Jr., respectively—were announced in advance, but were officially recognized during the program. The following six awards were also presented live: Outstanding Tech CEO, Industry Disrupter, Social Impact, Rising Star, Momentum, & CityLIGHTS. 

“This year’s finalists and winners were selected from our most impressive and competitive nominee pool to date, which highlights the incredible growth of our tech community since 1871 first opened a decade ago, ” said Larry Eppley, Chairman of 1871 and Sheppard Mullin’s Chicago office founding managing partner. “The 15th Annual Momentum Awards was a celebration of their past successes and bright futures, as well as a reminder of the impact our community will continue to have for years to come.” 

“In 2022, we marked 10 years of 1871 and 15 years of the Momentum Awards, and what better way to celebrate than by honoring this remarkable group of innovators and leaders,” said 1871 CEO Betsy Ziegler. “Our finalists and winners are the present and future of the tech industry, and the work they’re doing to launch innovative products, scale successful companies, and give back to their communities is building a brighter future for all of Chicagoland. We’re proud to come together to honor them here tonight.” 

Here are the eight winners from the 15th Annual Momentum Awards:

Corporate Champion Award: Navistar

The Corporate Champion Award was presented to Navistar for their commitment to impactful innovation both internally and externally.

Navistar is a purpose-driven company, reimagining how to deliver what matters to create more cohesive relationships, build higher-performing teams and find solutions where others don’t. With a history of innovation dating back to 1831, Navistar has more than 14,500 employees worldwide and is a member of TRATON SE, a global champion of the truck and transport services industry. 

The 2021 Corporate Champion Award went to Abbott.

Chicagoness Award: James (Jim) Reynolds Jr.

The Chicagoness Award was presented to James (Jim) Reynolds Jr., Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Loop Capital for his work in supporting and uplifting the community and its future leaders.

The 2021 Chicagoness Award winner was Ellen Carnahan, Principal of Machrie Enterprise LLC. 

Outstanding Tech CEO Award:
Kelly Manthey of Kin + Carta

The Outstanding Tech CEO was presented to Kelly Manthey, Global Chief Executive Officer of Kin + Carta.

Kelly Manthey is the CEO of Kin + Carta, a global digital transformation consulting firm committed to working alongside their clients to build a world that works better for everyone. 

The 2021 Outstanding Tech CEO was Stan Chia of Vivid Seats.

Industry Disrupter Award: Rheaply

The Industry Disrupter Award was presented to Rheaply.

Rheaply empowers people to transform companies into climate-centered organizations. Their B2B SaaS resource management technology scales reuse and the circular economy within organizations, helping lower procurement and storage costs and reduce waste.

The 2021 Industry Disrupter Award went to Mycocycle, LLC.

Social Impact Award: Zing Health

The inaugural Social Impact Award was presented to Zing Health.

Zing Health Choice IL (HMO) is a Medicare Advantage plan serving Medicare-eligible beneficiaries. By extending 21st century health service solutions built around community, Zing Health seeks to drastically improve health outcomes in diverse populations that have been chronically underserved.

Rising Star Award: Valqari

The Rising Star Award was presented to Valqari.

Valqari has developed a patented, intelligent mailbox that is compatible with traditional and future delivery modes. With the Valqari landing station technology, drone deliveries become simple, safe, and secure..

The 2021 Rising Star Award went to 86 Repairs

Momentum Award: Ocient

The Momentum Award was presented to Ocient

Ocient completely reimagined the modern data warehouse from the ground up for rapid, continuous analysis of complex, hyperscale datasets. Unlike any other data analytics solution provider, Ocient brings storage adjacent to compute to maximize performance on industry standard hardware, enables users to transform, stream or load data directly and returns massive queries in seconds.

The 2021 Momentum Award went to Farmer’s Fridge.

CityLIGHTS Award: ActiveCampaign

The CityLIGHTS Award was presented to ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is the global leader in customer experience automation, helping growing businesses make meaningful connections with their customers. Their personalized, automation-first approach helps teams save time, connect with customers, and grow by providing access to 500+ pre-built automations that combine transactional email, email marketing, marketing automation and CRM for powerful segmentation and personalization across social, email, messaging, chat and text.

The 2021 CityLIGHTS Award went to ShipBob.

About The Momentum Awards

The Momentum Awards, now in its 15th year, is the largest annual celebration of tech innovation across Chicago and beyond and 1871’s primary fundraiser. The event brings together 1871’s full community of innovators, leaders, civic supporters, and partners to celebrate the people that are disrupting their industries, building up their communities, and shaping the future.

With nearly 200 nominations, over 8,000 votes casted, and 82 judges, this year’s finalists were selected from the most competitive and impressive pool of nominees in the event’s history. Winners were determined by a combination of public vote and vote by the 1871 Board of Directors. 

Lead sponsors this year include AbbVie, AON, Discover, Navistar, and West Monroe Partners.


About 1871

1871 is Chicago’s technology hub and the #1 ranked private business incubator in the world. It exists to inspire, equip, and support early stage, growth scalers and innovators in building extraordinary businesses. 1871 is home to ~450 technology startups, ~200 growth stage companies, and ~1,500 members, and is supported by an entire ecosystem focused on accelerating their growth and creating jobs in the Chicagoland area. The member experience includes virtual and in person access to workshops, events, mentorship, and more. The nonprofit organization has 350 mentors available to its members, alongside access to more than 100 partner corporations, universities, education programs, accelerators, venture funds and others. Since its inception in 2012, more than 850 alumni companies are currently still active, have created over 14,500 jobs, and have raised more than $3.5 billion in follow-on capital.

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