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Israel Idonije to Receive Chicagoness Award at The 13th Annual Momentum Awards

Israel Idonije, founder of FBRK Impact House, to be awarded the Chicagoness Award at Momentum 2020 for exemplifying the values of the Chicago entrepreneurial community.


J Blaszczykiewicz
Director of Marketing, 1871

CHICAGO (September 2, 2020) – Israel Idonije, ex-Chicago Bear and Founder of FBRK Impact House, will be the recipient of this year’s Chicagoness award at The 13th Annual Momentum Awards. The Chicagoness Award is presented to an individual who exemplifies the values of the Chicago entrepreneurial community, including commitment to collective opportunity, civic leadership, mentorship and hard work.

“We share a passion with Israel – a love for Chicagoland, supporting innovation, and giving back to the community. From his hands-on approach in supporting more than 10,000 kids in Chicagoland with after-school programs, sports camps, and medical missions to his several philanthropic and entrepreneurial endeavors, and his unwavering commitment to ensuring that all of his ventures are mission-driven and impactful, Israel is the ultimate expression of Chicagoness.” – Larry Eppley, Board Chairman, CEC, and Sheppard Mullin Chicago Office Managing Partner

“I’m deeply honored to accept 1871’s Chicagoness Award,” said Israel Idonije. "I arrived in Chicago as a 21-year old with hopes of building a career as a Chicago Bear. With the support of incredible mentors and leadership, I was able to build, beyond my dreams, in both sport and business. That’s why helping to build others and strengthen communities has been an integral part of my life. It is incumbent upon us as leaders in the business community to provide guidance by visibly modeling the change we need to see. As we commit to lift and to provide opportunities for others, our entrepreneurial community will be elevated."

Past winners of this award include Don Thompson, Founder/CEO of Cleveland Avenue LLC, and Future Founders, a youth startup accelerator.

“Israel is a respected serial entrepreneur and civic leader, who has demonstrated over and over again his commitment to Chicago. Through FBRK Impact House, he has created a community and a shared home for granting organizations. I’m inspired by his career transitions from Chicago Bear to successful innovation leader. We couldn’t think of someone more worthy of this award.” – Betsy Ziegler, CEO, 1871

1871 will be presenting seven awards at The 13th Annual Momentum Awards. The Corporate Champion Award winner was announced on Monday, August 24th and awarded to Aon for their efforts to make IP protection accessible to entrepreneurs and their consistent support of the Illinois technology industry. The remaining award winners are to be revealed the night of the event on October 1st.

Several awards have been added or changed this year to reflect the merger between 1871 and the Illinois Technology Association (ITA) and the subsequent fusion of The Momentum Awards with ITA’s annual CityLIGHTS Awards.

The event will be attended virtually by Chicago’s best and brightest tech innovators, corporate leaders, and civic supporters. It is the largest gathering of the tech community annually and the primary fundraiser for CEC, which supports the activities and operations of 1871.


About FBRK Impact House

FBRK Impact House is the country’s largest innovation-focused philanthropy center dedicated to serving and supporting granting foundations and impact investors by bringing them together to collaborate, share ideas and resources, reduce redundancies and operate with greater efficiency. With the goal of connecting community needs to community resources, FBRK Impact House, home to many of Chicago’s leading philanthropic organizations, is a 40,000 square-foot hub located in the heart of The Loop.


About 1871

1871 is Chicago’s technology hub and the #1 ranked private business incubator in the world. It exists to inspire, equip, and support founders, growth-scalers and innovators in building extraordinary businesses. 1871 is home to ~450 technology startups, ~300+ growth stage companies, and ~1,500 members, and is supported by an entire ecosystem focused on accelerating their growth and creating jobs in the Chicagoland area. The member experience includes virtual and in person access to workshops, events, mentorship, and more. The nonprofit organization has 350 mentors available to its members, alongside access to more than 100 partner corporations, universities, education programs, accelerators, venture funds and others. Since its inception in 2012, more than 650 alumni companies are currently still active, have created over 11,000 jobs, and have raised more than $1.65 billion in follow-on capital.



Topics: Momentum

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