WHAT PAST WINNERS SAY:
"Everything good that has ever happened to us is because of winning a Chicago Innovation Award."
Andrew Mason, Founder & CEO, Groupon, 2009 Winner
"It gave us validation in the marketplace, validation to clients, to the money community for VCs, for private equity, and angels; you get a stamp of approval, and it allows others to talk about us being something real going on here."
Bob Gillespie, Co-Founder and CEO of InContext Solutions, 2010 Winner
"The company at that point was really trying to focus on marketing communications, and it’s hard to measure, but certainly it was validation of our technology. We had our first deployment of the new nWeb technology, which was US Cellular in Chicago… It definitely parlayed that into not only the validation of our technology, but also for the region."
Randy Cavaiani, Vice President, Global Sales & Marketing for Novarra Inc., 2005 Winner
"I accepted the Chicago Innovation Award on behalf of everyone who came before me, but I know the employees love it when stuff like that happens, and it gives investors more confidence, as they write those checks totaling over a half billion dollars over the years."
Michael Small, President and CEO of Gogo, 2009 Winner
"Investors like to see markets that have comeptitors, and if you’re the first to a market, you don’t have this. Winning the Chicago Innovation Award provided validation to our investors that, although we were brand new to a market, there was a need and opportunity here."
Paul Everton, CEO, Visible Vote, 2009 Winner
"A lot of people in the design community recognize the outside validation of winning a CIA, something we talk about with retail customers, perspective employees."
Tom Schlegel, Sr. VP of Product Development, Radio Flyer, 2007 Winner
"Receiving this recognition really helped our company out a lot. I’m glad that we can be a success story, not only for the city, but for the Chicago Innovation Awards. If you haven’t applied already, you definitely should because it really helps out."
Corbett Kull, co-founder, 640 Labs, 2014 winner
"What an incredible opportunity and such an affirmation of innovation and the great work that you do to put a spotlight on it in spades. The best part for us was for Cara to be included in a club of entrepreneurs, of people whose success was founded on the principle that an idea – if believed in, if breathed into – could create something of magic. I am super grateful to you and the Chicago Innovation Awards for the opportunity."
Maria Kim, President & CEO, The Cara Program, 2015 winner