1871 and the CEC announced Tuesday that they will honor Jai Shekhawat, the founder of Fieldglass, for his dedication to the entrepreneurial community at the ninth annual Momentum Awards. The Entrepreneurial Champion Award will be presented to Shekhawat at the Momentum Awards Dinner. Shekhawat is a successful entrepreneur, mentor, and civic-leader who sold Fieldglass to SAP in 2015 in one of Chicago’s largest tech exits.
“Jai is the ultimate example of an entrepreneur, a leader, a friend, a business colleague, and a Chicagoan,” said James J. O’Connor, Jr., chairman of the board of CEC. “He leads every day with his actions, his resources, and his energy, and the city is better for his efforts.”
Jai Shekhawat founded Fieldglass, a software platform that offers a Vendor Management System to manage large contingent workforces through cloud-based technology, growing it to the largest in the world with users in 25+ languages in 120 countries. He ultimately sold Fieldglass to SAP for over $1 billion in 2014, and stepped down as the CEO in 2015.
Currently, Mr. Shekhawat serves on the Boards of Semantify, Health Engine, Fleet Complete, SomRus, Highground, OfficeLuv, Signal, Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, and Utopia. He is on the board of advisers for Madison Dearborn Partners, StarVest Partners and KDWC Ventures. He is a Trustee at the Field Museum of Chicago and a former board member at Metrosquash. Jai is also a Founding Member of the Firestarter Fund and an active angel investor in more than 40 startups.
“I’m honored and humbled to receive this award,” Shekhawat said. “I love being a part of this community and I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to give back and help lay the groundwork for the next generation of successful entrepreneurs. I look forward to continuing this work for many years in the future.”
The Momentum Awards Dinner, which will host over 750 entrepreneurs and community leaders from the Chicagoland area on October 6, is Chicago’s largest annual event celebrating entrepreneurial accomplishments. The Entrepreneurial Champion Award is an honor granted each year by the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, along with the Corporate Champion Award, the Chicagoness Award, and the Momentum Award.
“The Entrepreneurial Champion award is a great reflection of the spirit of entrepreneurship in Chicago,” said CEC and 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. "I’ve known Jai for decades since he was a student of mine at Kellogg. He, like the others who have been recognized before him, is a wonderful example of all that is happening in this community and the way that individuals are stepping up to shape our collective future. We are very proud of him and appreciative of his efforts.”
Last year the Entrepreneurial Champion Award was presented to Jeff Aronin for his contributions to the healthcare industry while serving as the CEO of Marathon Pharmaceuticals and his leadership as the co-chair of MATTER. J.B. Pritzker, Richard Melman, Tom Ricketts, Gordon and Carol Segal, Michael Ferro, and Brad Keywell and Eric Lefkofsky have all been honored with the Entrepreneurial Champion Award in the past.
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. To learn more, visit www.1871.com/momentum.