What Winners Receive

  • Recognition at the Harris Theater

    The Chicago Innovation Award winners, the Up-and-Comer Award winners, and the People’s Choice Award winner are honored on-stage in front of 1500 people at the Harris Theater in October, 2014.

  • Meeting with Mayor Emanuel

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel invites the winners of the Chicago Innovation Awards to City Hall to discuss how Chicago can accelerate the efforts of our hometown innovators.

  • Meeting with Governor Quinn

    The winners will be invited to meet with Governor Pat Quinn for the opportunity to present their innovation to state leaders and discuss ways to advance innovation in Illinois.

  • Ringing the NASDAQ Bell

    The winners will be invited to ring the NASDAQ bell in New York City to gain recognition on a global stage.

  • Business and Innovation Training from Disney Institute

    The 10 Chicago Innovation Award winners will be invited to a 3.5 day business and innovation training program in Orlando, Florida provided by Disney Institute, including hotel accommodations for the winner’s family.

  • Featured in Crain’s Chicago Business

    Each winner will be profiled in a special innovation section of Crain’s Chicago that runs the week after the Chicago Innovation Awards ceremony.

  • Featured in a CTA Advertising Campaign

    Each winner will be featured in a CTA advertising campaign in 2014-2015.

Top 100 Finalists Receive:

The top 100 finalists will each be awarded a scholarship to “The Practical Innovator” at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management ($2,500 value). This day-long education course teaches the practical skills of innovation at its internationally known executive education facility.

These top 100 finalists are also profiled on our website during the People’s Choice Award voting, in which thousands of Chicagoans will view their innovation and vote for their favorite innovation. Over 30,000 votes were received in 2013.

All Nominees Receive:

All of those who work toward building the innovation community in the Chicago region should be recognized. For this reason, we invite all nominees of the Chicago Innovation Awards to the Nominee Reception.

This event will celebrate all nominees of the 2014 Chicago Innovation Awards and provides a great opportunity to connect and network with other innovators and resource providers.

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
"Winning the Chicago Innovation Award has helped to provide different resources and different connections, networking opportunities that we wouldn’t have in the past." Mark Bozik, Vice President of Rescue Vac Systems, Inc., 2009 Winner
"Winning a Chicago Innovation Award really kick started us… We were small and this recognition is so important to the small guys. We used it in every proposal. When you write to the government, any publicity that you have helps, and that Innovation Award was the breakthrough that we needed to get Ferrium S53 out there." Ray Genellie, VP Operations, QuesTek Innovations, 2002 Winner
"It was a big deal winning the award… I think it made people here think about what we were doing differently. We weren’t really thinking about the whole innovation aspect of it." Janet Attarian, Project Director for the Streetscape and Sustainable Design Program and Sustainability Coordinator for the Chicago Department of Transportation, 2007 Winner
"The visibility from the Innovation Award has a big impact on general awareness of our organization, especially from organizations of the Chicago area." Alex Bratton, Founder and CEO of Lextech Labs, 2010 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
"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
"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