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PRESS RELEASE: 1871 and The Chicago Entrepreneurial Center Name BMO Harris Bank as Corporate Champion at 12th Annual Momentum Awards

1871 and The Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center to Recognize BMO Harris Bank as The 2019 Corporate Champion at the 12th Annual Momentum Awards.


CHICAGO (August 28, 2019) -- 1871 and The Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC) announced Tuesday that it will name BMO Harris Bank as Corporate Champion at the 12th annual Momentum Awards. The Corporate Champion award recognizes a corporation or business that has made an impact through community-focused efforts throughout the Chicagoland area. 

“As a leader in the financial services space, BMO Harris has set the example for other organizations in their industry with their long-standing commitment to community. BMO Harris’s initiatives have added tremendous benefit to the founders at 1871 and to the city of Chicago. We’re proud to present them with the Corporate Champion award for their community-focused efforts and impact on our city’s entrepreneur and innovation ecosystem.” – Betsy Ziegler, CEO, 1871

“At BMO, we believe that strong partnerships like the one we have with 1871, help multiply the power of innovation to create new ways of solving problems for all of our stakeholders. This recognition aligns perfectly with our Purpose of Boldly Growing the Good, in Business and Life.” – Daniela O’Leary-Gill, Chief Operating Officer, BMO U.S.

“Our partnership with 1871 has led to many benefits, including working with SpringFour,  a startup from our Innovation Program, on bringing financial wellness resources to BMO’s customers, and our communities.” – Leslie Anderson, Head, Workplace Experience Technology – U.S. & International, BMO Harris Bank.

BMO Harris has played a key role in the expansion of Chicago’s tech community, and its. commitment to innovation has led to growth and economic development in the Chicagoland area. BMO Harris has supported the city’s economy and evolution as a national tech hub through its community development, charitable giving and commercial lending efforts.

“We are privileged to honor BMO Harris with this year’s Corporate Champion Award. One of Chicago’s great fortunes is to have established institutions like BMO Harris fueling the Chicago economy and providing sustained civic leadership. Likewise, it is 1871’s great fortune to partner with BMO Harris to provide unique programming, mentoring, and financial resources that will pave the way for the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. We are grateful for their advocacy and dedication to Chicago’s tech community.” – Larry Eppley, CEC Board Chairman

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

About BMO Harris Bank

BMO Harris Bank provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through nearly 600 branches and fee-free access to over 40,000 ATMs across the United States. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the United States. For more information about BMO Harris Bank, visit the company fact sheet. Accounts are subject to approval. BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a highly diversified financial services provider with total assets of CDN$830 billion (as of April 30, 2019), and more than 45,000 employees.

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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