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Interested in sponsoring? See information here or email momentum@1871.com.

The 10th annual Momentum Awards, hosted by 1871 and the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, will be held November 2, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The awards will honor the best and brightest of Chicago’s tech community in a variety of categories.

The 10th annual event — which is hosted by CEC for the benefit of 1871 — promises to be the largest yet. Last year’s Momentum Awards dinner and ceremony welcomed more than 800 guests from across Chicago’s diverse and thriving tech community, and saw appearances by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, 1871 Co-Founder and Managing Partner of the Pritzker Group Venture Capital J.B. Pritzker, 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman, CEC Board Chair Jim O’Connor Jr., WeSolv Co-Founder and CEO Stella Ashaolu, the entire WiSTEM cohort and a surprise performance from spoken word artist Marshall Davis Jones.

The annual event celebrates the past, present and future of Chicago’s entrepreneurial community, culminating in the presentation of five awards to deserving leaders and companies that have made major contributions to the city’s tech ecosystem. The awards include:

  • The Corporate Champion Award: Recognizes a corporation or business that has made an impact through community focused efforts throughout the Chicagoland area. Past recipients include A.T. Kearney (2015) and Comcast (2016).

  • The Chicagoness Award: Bestowed upon individuals or companies that exemplify the values of the Chicago entrepreneurial community, which include hard work, inclusion and commitment to collective opportunity. Past recipients include Impact Engine (2015) and Outcome Health (formerly ContextMedia) Co-Founders Shradha Agarwal and Rishi Shah (2016).

  • The Entrepreneurial Champion Award: Given to an individual entrepreneur to recognize his or her personal dedication to the Chicago tech community through mentorship, civic leadership and economic contributions. Past recipients include Jai Shekhawat, Jeff Aronin, J.B. Pritzker, Richard Melman, Tom Ricketts, Gordon and Carol Segal, Michael Ferro, Brad Keywell and Eric Lefkofsky.

  • The Momentum Awards: Recognizes companies that are on track to become the next great companies to emerge in Chicago. The awards are separated into two categories: The Momentum Award, which recognizes a company more than five years old, and the Rising Star Momentum Award, which honors a company less than five years old. Past recipients of the Momentum Award include Avant, kCura, Braintree, GrubHub, Eved, SAVVO and most recently, @properties. The Rising Star Award, which was awarded for the first time in 2016, honored Civis Analytics. The Momentum Award finalists for 2017 will be announced this summer.

The 2017 Momentum Awards will prove to be our largest and most robust celebration of the Chicago tech ecosystem to date. We look forward to celebrating a decade of success and inspiration from leaders across the Chicagoland area and charting a path forward for the future together. –Jim O’Connor Jr., CEC Board Chair

If you are interested in sponsoring or attending, please email momentum@1871.com.

Members of the media with questions or requests can email press@1871.com.

Champion Sponsor

Chicago Tribune Foundation
JB and MK Pritzker Family Foundation
Merrick Ventures

Official Media Sponsor


Premier Sponsor

Pivotal Labs
William Blair
Tasty Trade
JP Morgan Chase
Incisent Labs
BMO Harris Bank
HighTower Advisors

Founding Sponsor

Cushman & Wakefield
Gogo Air
Keeper Security
Polsky Center at University of Chicago
Latham & Watkins

Startup Sponsor

OCA Ventures
Adams Street Partners
GCM Grosvenor
Sterling Bay
Lettuce Entertain You
Ernst & Young
Mind + Matter Studios
Much Shelist
Levy Family Partners
Met Capital
WP Global
Edgewater Funds
Summit Trail
Forward Space
Pritzker Group Venture Partners
Sky Deck
Hyde Park Ventures
Chicago Ventures
SMS Assist
Valor Equity
Loyola University
Sheppard Mullin
Perkins Coie LLP
Kellogg at Northwestern University
Origin Ventures
The Impact Engine
Silicon Valley Bank
Rise Interactive
Spot Hero
Civis Analytics
Horizon Pharma
Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC
Weber Shandwick
AT Kearney


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