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50 on Fire: 1871 Community Well Represented in ChicagoInno’s Annual Awards

They’re 50 of Chicago’s hottest tech companies, players and supporters, and many of them have something in common: They have deep connections to the 1871 community. The ChicagoInno 50 on Fire Awards wrapped Dec. 8, with a ceremony narrowing the 150 finalists to 50 companies who are among the hottest in Chicago.

As ChicagoInno puts it, the awards honor “the people and organizations, operating at every level and corner of the city’s ecosystem, that are heating up the Chicago innovation economy.”

With that, 1871 is proud to recognize some very familiar faces in every category -- including B2B, B2C, Civic, Education, Lifestyle, Marketing/Advertising/Design/Development and Supporters -- among the truly impressive group from this year’s honorees, including:

  • Peanut Butter: An 1871 member offering student loan repayments as employee benefits, honored in the B2B category.  
  • Dima Elissa, CEO and Founder of VisMed-3D: A member of 1871's neighbor Matter, Dima’s company uses 3D printing to offer rapid biomedical equipment prototyping. She was honored in the B2C category.
  • Pangea: An 1871 alumni focused on money transfers between the US and Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, El Salvador and Dominican Republic. They were honored in the B2C category.
  • SpotHero: An 1871 alumni company and 2016 Merrick Momentum Award finalist, honored in the B2C category.
  • BallotReady: An 1871 alumni company and frequent visitor to the University of Chicago partner space.
  • Sandee Kastrul, i.c. stars president and co-founder: Sandy is an 1871 partner whose organization frequently hosts events at 1871. She was honored in the Civic category.
  • Jimmy Odom of Intersect Illinois: Jimmy is the founder of We Deliver, an 1871 member company. He was honored in the Civic category.
  • Terri Brax, Founder of TeacherCare and Women Tech Founders: Women Tech Founders is an 1871 partner and frequently hosts events in the space. Terri was honored in the Civic category.
  • David Schonthal, Clinical Associate Professor of Innovation Entrepreneurship at Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management: David is a faculty member at Northwestern, a Matter board member and an 1871 university partner. He was honored in the Education category.
  • Graide Network: An 1871 WiSTEM cohort program alumni company and current member, Graide Network connects middle school and high school teachers with qualified teaching assistants to grade and provide feedback on student work. They were honored in the Education category.
  • LearnMetrics: An 1871 member providing data solutions for education, honored in the Education category.
  • Tovala: Makers of a smart oven geared toward preparing chef-cooked meals. Tovala spent time at 1871 developing their model, and were honored in the lifestyle category.
  • ConceptDrop: An 1871 member that connects clients with creative professionals for marketing material development. ConceptDrop was honored in the Marketing/Advertising/Design/Development category.
  • Signal.co: This 1871 member company was acquired by BrightTag, who adopted the name. They were honored in the Marketing/Advertising/Design/Development category.
  • Cayla Chambers, Partner, InvestHER Ventures: Cayla was honored in the Supporters category, and is a friend of 1871.
  • Glenn Eden, Executive Vice President of Weber Shandwick: Glenn was honored in the Supporters category and is a friend of 1871.
  • Kristi Dula, Network Relationship Manager at Pritzker Group Venture Capital: Kristi was an 1871 pioneer and member of the founding group of 1871 staff. Pritzker Group Venture Capital is a core 1871 partner and supporter. Kristi was honored in the Supporters category.
  • Michael Sachaj, Principal, Hyde Park Angels: Hyde Park Angels is a venture capital firm and an 1871 tenant, and Michael was honored in the Supporters category.
  • Nicole Yeary, Founder and President, Ms. Tech: Nicole is Co-Facilitator of 1871’s WiSTEM program, and was honored in the Supporters category.

The 1871 team wishes a warm congratulations to all winners, and is proud of the diverse representation of its friends, members and supporters in this year’s 50 on Fire.

Topics: News, Community