The Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center’s fifth annual awards dinner was a toast to Chicago’s startups
With a new digital tech company launching every 48 hours in Chicago — a growth rate that has nearly doubled every year for the last four years — the Second City can now be dubbed the Start-Up City, said Kevin Willer, president and CEO of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center. On Oct. 24, 750 industry leaders, many of whom played a role in that growth rate, came together for the fifth annual Momentum Awards Dinner at Millennium Park. Braintree, an online payment platform, nabbed the prize (other finalists included Narrative Science and Trunk Club) for making the biggest impact after three years in business. Michael Ferro, chairman of the Sun-Times’ parent company Wrapports and founder of the Momentum Awards, was recognized with the Entrepreneurial Champion Award for his support of dozens of local start-ups; Glenn Tilton, Midwest chairman of J.P. Morgan Chase, received the Corporate Champion Award. Emcee Anna Davlantes introduced Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who took the stage to share a few inspiring words: “We’re the most dynamic city in which to start a business and build a business, and I believe you are the future of the city,” he told the crowd. The evening raised $1.5 million to benefit CEC programming and operations.
The Sun-Times was the media sponsor of this event.
Story by Katerina Bizios | Photos by Ramzi Dreessen