FourKites has built the largest, most intelligent network of supply chain partners that provides real-time visibility and the most accurate data to help companies improve on-time delivery and optimize operations.
ReloShare is an instant booking technology company that powers custom hotel and corporate housing reservation systems. In June 2021, ReloShare launched Safe Stays, a custom hotel booking site -- the only one of its kind -- that provides social service agencies like domestic violence shelters and human trafficking response agencies the ability to book rooms at national hotel partners with complete anonymity via alias check-ins and no credit card or ID requirements.
Not only does Double Good fulfill dreams by giving 50% of every dollar sold back to causes, we also created a Popcorn Donation Program for supporters to send bags to essential workers. In addition to its fundraising platform and donation program, the company amplifies inspiring stories and social issues facing today's youth through its content production arm, Double Good Studios. The Double Good Kids Foundation is our non-profit dedicated to providing equitable experiences for children with special needs.
DeepWalk’s scanning technology creates 3D models allowing officials to assess adherence to ADA requirements, a hugely untapped market in dire need of a scalable solution. This data is being used to plan construction projects to improve sidewalk wheelchair accessibility, as the Department of Justice requires every city and university to inspect their sidewalk system for accessibility issues, then create a Transition Plan to address those issues -failing to do this often leads to multi-million dollar lawsuits: Seattle ($294M), New York ($1.4B), Los Angeles ($1.6B).
Rivet is a women and black-led company founded by an all-MIT team and they are solving a personal struggle from the founder's experience as an active recording and performing artist, with both the creative credibility, and technical expertise with advanced degree specialization in machine learning to execute on their vision. They’re taking a unique approach by leveraging the existing creator platform ecosystem to create more value, and given this grand vision and strong team, this company should stand out amongst other nominees.
Poker Power is empowering women and girls to build life skills and play life differently - at work, at home, and everywhere in between - through the game of poker. Poker Power’s expert instructors, proprietary curriculum, and first of its kind gender neutral poker app create a safe, fun, and supportive environment for women and girls to learn how to take risks, compete, and win, at any table they choose to sit at.
Songfinch has created a seismic shift in the music industry by elimiating all barriers to entry, enabling hundreds of thousands of users to create their own custom song using its prepriatary technology and artist community - resutling in nearly a half-million custom songs produced and over $30,000,000 earned by indepenedent artists.
Marshall Sied, co-founder and CEO, of Ashling Partners stands out as a tech CEO for his relentless pursuit of innovation and continuous improvement, while pushing the boundaries in the art of the possible for both automation and digital transformation. His unique ability to bridge the gap between cutting-edge technology and real-world business applications sets him apart, as he consistently delivers tangible results and high value to his clients.
A 20+ year, 5X SaaS entrepreneur, Godard is an expert at effectively scaling companies that attract and retain top talent. He is an avid believer in and practitioner of Conscious Leadership – and has even hired a Conscious Leadership coach to train not only himself and the C-suite, but all leadership at G2 on this philosophy that has helped to create a top workplace culture.
Parker Dewey is transforming the college-to-career journey for students and recent graduates from all backgrounds with Micro-Internships: short, paid, accessible projects. These Micro-Internships create equitable pathways to professional employment for all learners, while overcoming the barriers tied to lack of social capital, academic pedigree, and other inherent biases
Certiverse is founded on the belief — and first-hand experience — that certifications change lives, but a lack of innovation and competition in the testing industry have made it harder to create and access new, relevant exams. To solve this, we built a transformative online system that reduces the time and cost of developing and delivering high-quality exams by an average of 80%, allowing organizations of any size to start or streamline their certification programs and creating more opportunities for learners.
While the media industry is struggling with layoffs, strikes, and growing distrust from the public, 1440 is a profitable media company that is committed to delivering an impartial product to its subscribers. By delivering fact-based news to readers without motives and empowering individuals to form their own opinions, 1440 is proving the market for unbiased news.
Earlier this year, Fast Company ranked NuCurrent #7 in Consumer Electronics for its MP-A24 Qi Design Specification in the PopSockets PopPower 2 wireless charger. Development of a new Qi wireless charging standard 1) means that any of the 318 Wireless Power Consortium member companies (and their employees) are able to leverage that technology and 2) customers (like PopSockets) can lessen the environmental impact (by reducing heat, size, and cost) of their consumer electronics.
Ludex has leveraged years of work with it’s all Chicago-based workforce led by Brian Ludden, CEO and Founder, and Heather Denniston, COO and Co-founder, utilizing visual AI technology to enhance the physical collectible ecosystem in a digital world. Our platform is dedicated to celebrating and honoring the shared pastime of collectibles while innovating for the future, spanning across sports, Pokémon, comic books, and more.
YCharts should be an award-winner because of its unwavering commitment to empowering investors and finance professionals with an intuitive and affordable platform that facilitates smarter investment decisions and enhances client communications. What sets YCharts apart is its remarkable dedication to customer support as well as continuous innovation, evidenced by frequent (weekly) tool enhancements, and integrations that address the evolving needs and pain points of its users, setting it apart from obtuse competitors in the wealth management technology space.
In a world where privilege and access dictate the opportunities that one is afforded, WeSolv automates sourcing more diverse candidates and objectively assessing skills and competencies through real mini-projects. The platform allows companies to select the role(s) they're looking to hire, share company-specific details, and automate scoping and crowdsourcing real projects to engage and assess candidates based on research-based skills and data models. WeSolv not only helps companies increase pipeline diversity and reduce bias, but also democratizes access for diverse candidates to showcase skills and perform better in a company's hiring process. Addressing the inequity in hiring is the single most important way to address the wealth gap we see today.
SpotHero deserves to win the CityLIGHTS award because it has continuously transformed a formerly low-tech industry into a digital marketplace, equipping drivers with an easy-to-use platform that takes the hassle out of parking and enables drivers to spend more time with people and moments that matter more. With SpotHero’s continuous innovation in the parking industry, it has shown that such digital transformation serves the interests of drivers and parking operators, allowing the industry to re-envision mobility while making an environmental impact as it helps reduce congestion by helping drivers more efficiently get to their destinations.
Rheaply is building transformative technology so that every workplace resource can find its next, best use, turning the outputs of one organization into the inputs of another. With 200+ ecosystem partners, Rheaply is disrupting an industry that is limited by inventory management systems of old, built entirely for the take-make-waste linear, extractive, and simply put – wasteful economy.
Wheeler Coleman founded EC-United and successfully scaled his company into one of the fastest-growing Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) IT consulting firms in Chicago through his exceptional leadership, commitment to innovation in the IT industry, and success in leveraging existing and emerging technology. Beyond his business success, Wheeler’s commitment to community improvement, education, and philanthropy sets him apart as a transformational leader dedicated to making a positive impact.
In furtherance of ongoing commitment to support the growth of minority businesses in the U.S. cannabis industry, Cresco Labs partnered with 1871 and Grown In for the first-ever Cannabis Lab featuring 2 distinct cohorts of more than 40 startup organizations, some of which were recently licensed Illinois retailers, infusers, craft growers and transporters, as well as minority-owned businesses. Throughout the four-month program, Cresco Labs provided education, insights and one-on-one support, contributing over 20 subject matter experts in corporate social responsibility, public affairs, investor relations, corporate development, technology, retailing, wholesaling, product development and more for public panels and small private mentoring sessions. It also hosted a training at the company's Illinois Cannabis Education Center which features a fully functioning dispensary, hosted an infused products workshop at the company's R&D Lab at The Hatchery Chicago, and had its Board Director Michele Roberts give a morning keynote at the April 20 Cannabis Innovation Summit.
Maria Katris deserves the Outstanding Tech CEO award for her exemplary leadership in guiding BuiltIn to remarkable achievements, fueling its growth and establishing it as a prominent player in the tech industry. She masterfully navigated her team through the pandemic, and now the impending recession. Her strategic vision, commitment to innovation, and dedication to fostering a diverse and inclusive work culture make her a standout candidate for this prestigious recognition.
1. Globally, humans consume 1.2 million plastic bottles per minute; 91% of these are not recycled and the carbon emissions of our plastic water bottle addiction are staggering. 2. Kadeya provides sustainable hydration solutions to the workforce that needs it most - construction, industrial manufacturing, military bases, and more.
Anthill is a team committed to partnering with organizations to unlock opportunities for their frontline workforce. For every team member, our first and most important goal is good, family-sustaining jobs for more frontline workers. This is evident in our product, our partner experience, and our strategic decisions. And it's also good business. We've found that there is a strong business case to drive the impact we drive in this workforce. We enable companies to retain and upskill the most marginalized segment of their workforce. Across all of our corporate partners, over 97% of workers invited to use Anthill adopt the platform and stay involved over a year later. Because of this, employers are able to provide inclusive access to support for their workers in a way they couldn't before. Our founders, Muriel Clauson, PhD and Young Jae Kim, PhD, built the product based upon years of behavioral science and artificial intelligence research and we see the principles in our product have a real impact. We are very proud of our technology (and that we have been Anthill AI from the beginning) but we are even more proud of the impact this technology has in people's lives. We know employers need to be an employer of choice for the frontline workforce and we help companies realize this through an employee relationship management platform that removes barriers, provides inclusive access, creates economic mobility opportunities, and drives trust.
Joanne and the team at Mycocycle are disrupting the trillion-dollar waste management industry through their proprietary process that uses mycelium to transform waste into valuable new products that can be used in construction. They are executing this mission with several large clients and this technology has the potential to revolutionize waste management.
Foxtrot has created a first-of-its-kind omni-channel experience that seamlessly marries e-commerce technology, the feel-good community of neighborhood stores and an expertly curated assortment for today’s modern consumer. With its innovative technology and a commitment to supporting local makers, Foxtrot is on a mission to connect people to better convenience through a love for food and culture, so that everyone can feel good about what they buy, everyday.
Crafty, a disruptor in the workplace food & beverage industry that challenges giants like Aramark and Sodexo has emerged as a strong contender with a tech-enabled approach that improves work culture and helps employers stay competitive. Crafty's innovative technology allows clients to budget, filter products by DE&I and dietary needs, and manage spending and inventory across multiple office locations while creating hospitality-driven in-office experiences, which have aided in bringing communities back into the office to work, socialize, and perform their best.
Science On Call is positioned the transform the restaurant industry by providing more affordable 24/7 restaurant support for clients like Popeyes, Protein Bar, and Plant Power. The team has deep Chicago roots with involvement in 1871, the GET Cities Tech Equity Working Group, and TechStars Chicago and has raised $1.6MM to date, with their most recent round taking place in August 2022 with an investment from LongJump.
Since co-founding Paladin in 2016, Kristen has become a force in the Chicago tech community. Paladin has a team of 16 and has raised over $12M in capital. Under Kristen’s leadership, Paladin’s mission to empower legal teams worldwide to serve more people in need has led to first-of-their kind portals for global disaster relief and relief efforts for Ukrainians affected by the war. As one of two Latina founders in Chicago to have raised over $1m in VC funding, she’s committed to paying her success forward and works tirelessly to expand the opportunities of those coming after her. serving as a committed mentor within the ecosystem and co-founder/General Partner at LongJump, where she has led investments in a number of sectors including women’s health, web3 and GovTech.
Estimates suggest misapplied drug discounts cost manufacturers more than $10 billion annually, a revenue drain that makes drugs increasingly unaffordable for consumers. The Kalderos Drug Discount Management Platform provides a transparent solution for drug manufacturers, Covered Entities, and Medicaid to quickly and efficiently resolve inaccurate discount requests, thus minimizing revenue leakage, reducing administrative complexity, and enabling providers to focus on patient care.
The first vendor of its kind, Trajektory was built by former execs who actually worked for teams, leagues, agencies, and brands and has become the premier sponsorship analytics & revenue platform that’s solving the burden of sponsorship reporting. Trajektory is changing the way teams and brands measure sponsorships and is in a unique position to be the leader in the sponsorship valuation industry with continued growth and brand awareness.