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PRESS RELEASE: 1871 and The CEC Announce 9 Finalists for 12th Annual Momentum Awards

Nine Robust Tech Companies Nominated for 12th Annual Momentum Awards; Four Finalists Selected for the Category of Momentum Rising Star Award; Five Finalists Selected for the Category of Momentum Award; Winners to be Announced at the 12th Annual Momentum Awards on September 19th.

Momentum and Rising Star Awards Nominees 

CHICAGO (August 19, 2019) -- 1871 and The Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC) announced Monday the nine finalists for the 12th Annual Momentum Awards. The Momentum Awards are separated into two categories; the Momentum Rising Star Award, which recognizes a company that is early in its progression, but has a proven track record and the potential to grow into a leader in its industry, and the Momentum Award, which honors a seasoned company that has demonstrated significant growth, received external funding, and has made a substantial impact on Chicago’s tech and startup community.

Four finalists have been selected for the category of the Momentum Rising Star Award and five finalists have been selected for the category of the Momentum Award. Finalists were chosen from a list of 85 nominees during a public nomination process. The winners for both the Momentum Rising Star Award and the Momentum Award will be announced at the 12th Annual Momentum Awards on September 19th. 

“The finalists for this year’s Momentum Rising Star Award and Momentum Award reflect Chicago’s extraordinary community of founders and innovators. I’m honored to recognize all of our finalists for their achievements and commitment to our city’s tech and entrepreneurial ecosystem. Each one of these companies serves as proof that Chicago is one of the best cities in the world to build a business.” – Betsy Ziegler, CEO, 1871

Nominees for the Momentum Rising Star Award include:

  • Proxfinity | Proxfinity uses hardware and software to build social hardware, for business - a new type of wearable technology and SaaS platform for the enterprise. Proxfinity's digital smart badge, software and data provide an end-to-end solution that focuses in-person interaction and increases the commercial value of live events.

  • EX3 Labs | EX3 Labs is an experience design and digital innovation firm that helps the world's largest organizations deliver impactful experiences to their customers and workforce. We specialize in building immersive solutions that leverage augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and IoT. 

  • Rheaply | Rheaply has created the best, easiest, and most robust platform for an organization to manage its pricey assets and resources called an Asset Exchange Manager (AxM). Rheaply's award-winning AxM brings about better management, tracking, visibility, and utilization of an organization's assets/resources and is easier to use than an online marketplace which is helping all organizations - from Fortune 1000 companies to leading universities - make better procurement and operational decisions while diverting unnecessary waste from landfills.

  • Avail | Independent landlords are confident when they use Avail, an online platform with the tools, support and education to manage rental properties easily. Today, over 150,000 DIY landlords and 350,000 renters rely on Avail for a better renting experience.

“This year’s finalists for 1871’s Rising Star and Momentum awards are emblematic of Chicago’s role as a destination for starting, growing, and nurturing cutting-edge technology companies. In true Chicago fashion, these companies create jobs, mentor the next generation of entrepreneurs, and give back to the community civically and charitably, further cementing Chicago’s reputation as a global beacon lying at the crossroads of innovation and entrepreneurship. It’s a privilege to recognize their efforts and achievements.” – Larry Eppley, CEC Board Chairman

Nominees for the Momentum Award include:

  • Vivid Seats | Since 2001, Vivid Seats has helped over 50 million fans experience live events across sports, concerts, theater and more. With tens of millions utilizing the platform each year and official partnerships with brands and teams including ESPN, Rolling Stone, Groupon, Caesars Entertainment, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Chicago Bears and more, Vivid Seats is one of the largest and most trusted online ticket marketplaces. 

  • Cameo | Cameo is a marketplace where fans can book personalized video shoutouts from their favorite people

  • Narrative Science | Narrative Science creates software that writes stories from data to drive understanding and results. Narrative Science empowers customers to understand and act on key business metrics, make better decisions, and focus talent on higher-value tasks -- all through the power of data storytelling.

  • G2 | is revolutionising the way businesses discover, buy and manage software and services. More than three million users per month rely on G2 to help them find and buy the best software for their businesses. 

  • Built In | Built In helps an audience of 1 million tech professionals monthly stay on top of trends and news, expand their networks and carve out futures at companies they believe in. By connecting talented professionals with companies over their shared sense of purpose, Built In is home for people who live for tech, thrive on community and seek fulfillment at work.

FourKites, a supply chain visibility platform, was the recipient of last year’s Momentum Rising Star Award, and Reverb, an online marketplace for music gear, was the recipient of last year’s Momentum Award. 

In addition to the Momentum Rising Star Award and Momentum Award, several other honors will be presented at the 12th Annual Momentum Awards Dinner on September 19, including the Corporate Champion Award, the Entrepreneurial Champion Award, and the Chicagoness Award. The event will be attended 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 the CEC, which supports the activities and operations of 1871.

About CEC

Founded in 1999, the CEC is a non-profit organization that supports entrepreneurs on their path to building high-growth, sustainable businesses that serve as platforms for economic development and civic leadership. Its flagship project, 1871, fulfills CEC’s vision of a central address for entrepreneurs in Chicago. The CEC runs and operates the workspace, develops programming, organizes events, and ensures that the culture of 1871 allows entrepreneurs the greatest opportunity for success

About 1871

1871 is a not-for-profit organization that exists to inspire, equip, and support founders to build great businesses. It is the #1 ranked university-affiliated business incubator in the world, and the home of ~500 high-growth technology startups and ~1,500 members supported by an entire ecosystem focused on accelerating their growth and creating jobs in the Chicagoland area. Located in a 140,000 square-foot space in The Merchandise Mart, 1871 has 350 current mentors available to its members, as well as more than 100 partner corporations, universities, education programs, accelerators, venture funds and other organizations that make its extensive matrix of resources possible. Visit for more information.

Yun Tai, Director of Communications
(910) 391-9496

Topics: News

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