The 9th Annual Momentum Dinner at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel was an enormous success, bringing together the best and brightest in Chicago to once again to celebrate the past, present and future of the Chicago entrepreneur. Hosted for the benefit of 1871 by the CEC, the 2016 Momentum Awards welcomed more than 800 guests to celebrate “Impact and Purpose” -- a theme that recognized the leaders in the community who embody the unique and unselfish spirit of the entrepreneurial community in Chicago.
Winners for the night included Comcast being awarded with the 2016 Corporate Champion Award, Impact Engine receiving the Chicagoness Award, and Jai Shekhawat accepting the Entrepreneurial Champion Award. Additionally, @properties received the 2016 Merrick Momentum Award, while Civis Analytics received the 2016 Merrick “Rising Star” Momentum Award — a new honor which recognizes a company less than five years old.
Guests also heard remarks from Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, 1871 CEO Howard Tullman, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of the Pritzker Group J.B. Pritzker, WeSolv Co-Founder and CEO Stella Asholu, 1871 COO Tom Alexander and CEC Board Chair Jim O’Connor Jr. Spoken word artist Marshall Davis Jones also gave a surprise performance for the audience.
Those in attendance were treated -- literally -- to a celebration of the night’s theme of Impact and Purpose with table favors curated by Packed with Purpose, an 1871 member company. Favors from Chicago small businesses included Ruckus Entrepreneurs Lip Balm, Sweet Beginnings Honey, Bright Endeavors Soy Candles, The Floured Apron Cookies, Text Ninja’s car adapter and Blue Sky Bakery Sweet and Spicy Nuts.
At the conclusion of the program, guests were invited to an afterparty that included cocktails, dessert, dancing, a game room complete with a mini-golf course and digital caricature artist Ellen Lustig.