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1871 Names Seven Finalists For Annual Merrick Momentum Award

Annual Award Recognizes The Best And Brightest Companies In Chicago; This Year Two Awardees Will Be Recognized

CHICAGO, IL – The Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center Wednesday announced the seven finalists for the 2015 Merrick Momentum Award. The finalists include SpotHero, Uptake, Learnmetrics, Rise Interactive, Caremerge, Civis Analytics, and @Properties. The Merrick Momentum Award is sponsored by Merrick Ventures and is the showcase award presented at the annual Momentum Awards Dinner, held by CEC for the benefit of 1871. At this year’s 9th Annual dinner, two awards will be presentedthe Merrick Momentum Award and a new award, the Merrick Momentum Rising Star Award, designed to specifically recognize an exceptional company which is less than five years old.

“Each year, we present the Momentum Award to recognize a rapidly growing company that is on the cusp of becoming an established enterprise and one which will have a significant impact on the Chicago economy,” said Jim O’Connor, Jr., CEC Board Chair. “The nominees all represent the best of Chicago’s constantly expanding tech community and showcase the wealth of innovation and entrepreneurial success taking place throughout the city. We are thrilled to be able to recognize two companies, as it is a testament to the breadth and depth of Chicago’s entrepreneurial landscape.”

The Momentum Award is bestowed annually to a company in Chicago that is showing momentum and is on track to be one of the next great companies to emerge from Chicago. Past recipients of the award include Avant, SMS Assist, kCura, Braintree, Cleversafe, GrubHub, SitterCity, Eved, and SAVVO.

“New businesses play a critical role in fostering job growth and economic opportunity in Chicago and throughout the United States, and the Momentum Awards Dinner enables us to celebrate these businesses and continue our efforts to foster innovation and prosperity throughout Chicago,” said 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. “This year’s Momentum Award nominees are some of the most outstanding companies in Chicago and we are excited to recognize all of them at the event and to witness their continued success in the years to come.”

Information about each of the seven nominees is listed below.

The Merrick Momentum Awards are two of the five awards that will be bestowed at the coming event, including the Chicagoness Award, the Corporate Champion Award, and the Entrepreneurial Champion Award. The event, which will take place at the Radisson Blu hotel, will be attended by more than 750 of the top supporters of business and entrepreneurship in Chicago. Together it is the largest gathering of the tech community annually and the primary fundraiser for CEC, which supports the activities and operations of 1871.

Anyone interested in attending the Momentum Dinner can register at 1871 makes an effort to open up the dinner to entrepreneurs, and facilitates strong interactions between some of our best entrepreneurs and the attendees of the dinner.


About Caremerge

Caremerge forges meaningful connections among providers, families, and seniors seeking to improve communication in today's complex healthcare environment while meeting value-based care requirements. The easy-to-use cloud-based care coordination network connects entire care teams to streamline cross-enterprise workflows among providers, engage families and patients and improve overall wellness resulting in reduced costs, enhanced experiences and more positive outcomes. To learn more, visit or

About SpotHero

SpotHero is the nation’s leading parking reservation service, providing an easy way to find and reserve affordable parking. With SpotHero, drivers can book spots ahead of time online or from their phones, and enjoy the peace of mind of being in control of their transportation experience. Launched in 2011, SpotHero is led by founders Mark Lawrence and Larry Kiss. To date, the company has parked over 3 million cars and has raised $27 million in VC funding.

About Uptake

Uptake is a predictive analytics software company that captures new value for Fortune 1000 companies by connecting and analyzing massive amounts of untapped data. Uptake builds and commercializes products that generate new revenue streams leveraging our customer’s existing data. Uptake co-creates billion dollar businesses with our industrial partners by working directly with our customers, to understand the data and processes, and designs ways for predictive insight products to be implemented within an existing workflow.


About Learnmetrics

Learnmetrics is a data platform that brings the tools and frameworks from business intelligence to the world of education. With Learnmetrics, school districts can build their own data systems, make informed decisions, set goals, and decrease time spent on administrative tasks while increasing the range of teachable moments and supporting “next-generation” learning.


About Rise Interactive

Rise Interactive is a digital marketing agency, specializing in media, analytics, and customer experience. The agency is a strategic partner, helping marketing leaders make smarter investment decisions, grounded in data insights. Rise manages enterprise-level analytics and campaigns across all channels of digital marketing. An award-winning agency, Rise is a recognized leader in the marketing space and has received industry recognition for explosive growth, excellence in digital marketing, and company culture.


About Civis Analytics

Civis Analytics makes data-driven strategy possible for all organizations. Founded in 2013, Civis Analytics was born out of President Obama's reelection campaign in 2012. Today, it enables a fast-growing and diverse group of both public and private sector clients to benefit from the power of data. Whether with its services or the Civis Platform, Civis Analytics unlocks data science for organizations of all sizes and data scientists and analysts of all levels.

About @Properties

Established in 2000, @properties is the largest independent real estate brokerage firm in the state of Illinois and one of the top 12 residential brokers in the U.S. As a locally-owned, independent company, @properties offers local homebuyers and sellers the highest level of service for their real estate needs through our award-winning sales and marketing programs, industry-leading technology, and experienced, innovative brokers.

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