We’re proud to announce the 30 finalists of this year’s 15th Annual Momentum Awards, and share that our voting period is now open until 8.19

Our finalists were chosen from one of our most impressive pools of nominees to date. After a difficult deliberation, our judges have selected an incredible group of founders, innovators, & businesses that are leading the way in their industries and communities. 

The six award categories include: Rising Star Award, Momentum Award, CityLIGHTS Award, Outstanding Tech CEO Award, Industry Disrupter Award, and our new Social Impact Award

“The 2022  Momentum Awards finalists exemplify the spirit of innovation and creativity that makes Chicago the best place to build and grow a business,” said Betsy Ziegler, CEO of 1871. “We’re proud to honor the achievements of these innovators & leaders that are advancing the world forward and shaping a brighter future for the communities they serve.”

Reminder, the voting period closes on 8.19.2022, so dig into the details of our finalists and let us know who you think should win!

The Momentum Awards will be held on  September 22, 2022, both in-person and virtually, where  we publicly celebrate these incredible innovators & leaders by unveiling the winners on stage! Stay tuned for details on tickets, and see below for this year’s finalists.

Rising Star Award

Presented to an early stage company that is positioned to grow into a leader in its market.

CASH DROP | 💸 Start an online store from your phone in minutes. Zero commissions. Zero monthly fees.

Homethrive | Homethrive is a technology-enabled healthcare service company that reduces work, worry and stress for unpaid family caregivers, their loved ones and their employers. Our family caregiving platform, Dari, uniquely integrates our digital assistant for coaching, navigation and resources with expert personal interaction and service coordination to help ease the difficult and stressful responsibility of supporting loved ones who are aging or have special needs. Family, or unpaid caregivers, and their loved ones get the support they need to confidently maneuver the aging, eldercare, and special needs journeys.

Valqari | Valqari has developed a patented, intelligent mailbox that is compatible with traditional and future delivery modes.

Honest Game | As the industry leading on-demand academic compliance solution, we empower student-athletes with a plan that provides guidance on the classes, grades and test scores they need to meet NCAA academic eligibility status. We leverage a passion for sports as a motivation for learning.

Bonfire | Bonfire is a unique talent development accelerator helping employers attract, develop and retain diverse talent. We help companies build a strong leadership pipeline by empowering women to realize their own potential and change the rules of the modern workforce.

Momentum Award

Presented to a growing company with the strongest potential to emerge as a leader in its market.

Packed with Purpose | Packed with Purpose blends the best of two worlds: gifting and doing good. We are a certified woman-owned business on a mission to create meaningful impact through gifts that give back. From empowering underserved women with job skills to supporting sustainability efforts, our gifts transform lives, enrich communities and preserve our environment. We curate thoughtful and sustainable gifts by sourcing products from purpose-driven organizations. The result is a unique gifting experience that is as inspiring as it is memorable.

Cooler Screens Cooler Screens is transforming retail cooler surfaces into IoT-enabled screens. Our media platform reimagines the brick-and-mortar shopping experience for consumers in the cooler and freezer aisle while delivering new marketing opportunities and smart merchandising for brands and retailers.

Leaf TradeLeaf Trade is the leading wholesale marketplace between cultivators/processors and dispensaries in the highly regulated cannabis states. Leaf Trade streamlines order management and fulfillment by providing a CRM, essential integrations and other tools that save time and help grow your business.

Ocient | Ocient completely reimagined our 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.

Rippleshot | Rippleshot is transforming the way that banks and credit unions detect fraud through a cloud-based technology solution that leverages machine learning and data analytics to distinguish fraudulent activity more quickly and efficiently. Rippleshot’s award-winning technology processes millions of payment card transactions to proactively pinpoint when and where a data breach occurred. Following detection, Rippleshot provides financial institutions with the tools they need to update fraud detection rules in order to lower their fraud losses while avoiding unnecessary card re-issuance.


Presented to a growth stage company that has become a serious competitor in the marketplace.

G2 | G2 is the largest and most trusted software marketplace, helping 60 million people every year make smarter software decisions based on authentic peer reviews.

Wavicle Data Solutions | Wavicle Data Solutions is a trusted cloud, data and analytics consulting and development partner for businesses that want to get more value from growing volumes of data. Well-known brands across industries work with our team of data management experts, cloud migration consultants and analytics professionals to modernize their data environments; build robust analytics solutions; and leverage machine learning to improve predictive insights.

Snapsheet | Snapsheet makes claims simple for everyone. Through our pioneering expertise in virtual estimating and leading cloud-native claims management software, we are transforming the end-to-end claims process – delivering faster, modern claims experiences.

ActiveCampaign | ActiveCampaign’s category-defining Customer Experience Automation Platform (CXA) helps over 180,000+ businesses in 170 countries meaningfully engage with their customers. The platform gives businesses of all sizes 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. Over 100,000 of ActiveCampaign’s customers use its 850+ integrations including Microsoft, Shopify, Square, Facebook, and Salesforce. ActiveCampaign scores higher in customer satisfaction than any other solution in Marketing Automation, CRM, and E-Commerce Personalization on G2.com and is the Top Rated Email Marketing Software on TrustRadius. Pricing starts at just $9/month.

SpotHero | SpotHero is the digital parking leader and only independent off-street parking marketplace in North America. Millions of drivers use SpotHero’s mobile apps and website to find, book and access off-street parking in over 7,500 locations across 300 cities in the U.S. and Canada. Leading operator partners leverage SpotHero’s AI-powered dynamic pricing platform SpotHero IQ to power data-driven decisions.

Outstanding Tech CEO

Presented to a CEO who has successfully scaled & nurtured their company through outstanding leadership.

Marc Shiffman, President & CEO, SMS Assist |  Marc Shiffman serves as the president and chief executive officer at SMS Assist, in addition to serving on the board of directors. With over a decade of experience leading SMS Assist, most recently as president and chief financial officer, Marc has been a driving force behind the company’s rapid revenue and profitability growth, and he has overseen the development of technologically driven, market-leading solutions in the facilities management industry.

Kelly Manthey, Global CEO, Kin and Carta |  We exist to build a world that works better for everyone. A global digital transformation consulting firm built for the 2020s and the first publicly-traded certified B Corporation on the London Stock Exchange, Kin + Carta helps make the journey to becoming a digital business tangible, sustainable and profitable. We bring together technology, data and experience to drive connected outcomes for clients. By building digital twins to replace existing analog processes, designing and launching new digital products and services, and unlocking future innovation through modernization initiatives, Kin + Carta seamlessly integrates the strategic consulting, software engineering and marketing technology needed to help businesses make it happen.

Brian Barnes, CEO & Founder, M1 Finance | I was a personal finance nerd from a young age. I apply that passion towards building and supporting organizations that help people manage their money and improve their financial well-being.

Ben Weiss, CEO, Coinflip | Ben Weiss co-founded CoinFlip in 2015 and served as the Chief Operating Officer before being appointed as Chief Executive Officer in April 2021. Since its inception, Ben has led the company’s strategy and helped CoinFlip surpass $1B in transaction volume. In addition to running a burgeoning startup, Ben spends his time working with governing bodies advising on cryptocurrency regulation. Regarded as a thought-leader in the space, he is regularly interviewed by major news outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN Business and Moneywise, and has given several keynote speeches about the future of cryptocurrency.

John Williamson, Co-Founder & CEO, Songfinch | Serial entrepreneur, operator, problem solver, builder, creator…loving every minute of the grind 20+ yrs in. Our lives are full of stories. Those experiences are meant to be shared. At Songfinch, we believe in helping people tell their stories by utilizing the power of music.

Through the SongFinch platform, we utilize our hand-picked artist roster to transform requests into song. This allows artists to make money doing what they love on their own schedule while creating lasting memories for the recipients.

Industry Disrupter

Presented to a company that has developed an innovative product that has significantly disrupted the industry.

Rhaeos |  Rhaeos is a VC backed, clinical stage medical device company developing FlowSense, a platform technology and a noninvasive wireless, wearable skin patch that can assess and monitor fluid flow subdermally throughout the body. The company is initially targeting hydrocephalus, a life threatening condition caused by an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Implantable shunts, the gold standard treatment, often fail— leading to multiple trips to the emergency room and repeat surgeries. There is no technology available today that can easily assess CSF flow in shunts wirelessly, bedside and without capital equipment until now.

Rheaply | Rheaply is a B2B SaaS resource management technology to scale reuse and the circular economy within organizations, helping lower procurement and storage costs and reduce waste.

ReloShare |

ReloShare and their Safe Stays program is a custom hotel booking site — the only one of its kind — that provides social service agencies like domestic violence shelters and human trafficking response agencies the ability to book rooms at national hotel partners with complete anonymity via alias check-ins and no credit card or ID requirements.

NuCurrent | NuCurrent’s innovative wireless power technologies and proven processes create premium user experiences for product developers.

Anthill | Anthill helps you understand your employees by giving you an award winning, simple platform to communicate, engage, assess, reskill and map opportunities with your employees that don’t sit at a desk.

Social Impact

Presented to a company that has fostered a commitment to DEI, community contributions, & social impact. 

Clinify Health |  Clinify Health is a digital health company that works with healthcare organizations caring for populations in underserved communities to achieve financial stability through value-based decision-optimization that enables providers to succeed in alternative payment arrangements.

Zing Health | Zing Health Choice IL (HMO) is a Medicare Advantage plan serving Medicare eligible beneficiaries. Zing Health Choice IL takes the time to get to know you and partners with you to develop a plan to help meet your health needs and goals.

Fixer | We are dedicated to creating long-term, sustainable careers for skilled Fixers in the home repair trades. The demand for skilled workers has far outpaced supply in urban areas across the US. There simply are not enough opportunities for young people to get into the building trades and create sustainable careers vs. contract work. We have taken this challenge head on by creating our own training program and career track. In fact, our mission is written into our business charter. It’s a true commitment to our community.

Aqua Cultured Foods |  Aqua Cultured Foods has developed a novel new tech that creates an alternative seafood option through the use of fermentation. This tech should launch us forward as a first mover in the refrigerated set as an alt seafood analog to Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. Creating the first whole muscle seafood alternative created through fermentation.

SpringFour | SpringFour is the only Certified B, social impact fintech company that helps financial services institutions limit risk by empowering improved payment performance and increased customer engagement. Trusted by BMO Harris Financial Group, Beneficial State Bank, Oportun and more, SpringFour’s suite of financial health cloud-based solutions for financial institutions provide vetted financial resources to millions of customers and enable them to meet financial objectives, reduce household expenses and avoid payment delinquencies. More than 95% of our financial institutions report that their customers experienced increased affinity for their brands after receiving a referral from SpringFour.

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