FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The CEC Names Cleversafe the 2013 Momentum Award Winner & Scenetap the First Annual Coolest Startup Winner
Chicago’s Business Community Celebrates at 6th Annual Momentum Awards; CEC Raises $1.8 million to Support City’s Burgeoning Entrepreneurial Community
CHICAGO – October 2, 2013 – The CEC, the non-profit organization committed to supporting, promoting and growing the startup community in Chicago, today announced that Cleversafe was awarded the prestigious 2013 Merrick Momentum Award and Scenetap was crowned the first annual Coolest Startup. The Momentum Awards gala brings together Chicago’s established business and startup communities to celebrate the city’s entrepreneurial community. 900 of the city’s business, civic and entrepreneurial leaders attended the event that raised over $1.8 million to support CEC programming and economic development efforts for the coming year.
Merrick Momentum Award
The Merrick Momentum Award is named after Merrick Ventures, LLC. Merrick Ventures has sponsored the award every year to recognize startups with innovative services, disruptive business models and talented management teams. Finalists are selected based on the companies’ revenue traction and near-term growth plans.
Cleversafe, the Momentum Award winner, has created a breakthrough technology that solves petabyte and beyond big data storage problems. Their solution drives up to 90 percent of the storage cost out of the business while enabling secure and reliable global access and collaboration. The world’s largest data repositories rely on Cleversafe.
“The CEC is thrilled to honor Cleversafe, one of the city’s leading growth companies, with the 2013 Merrick Momentum Award,” said Jim O’Connor, Jr., the interim CEO and co-chairman of the CEC Board of Directors. “Cleversafe is creating a strong economic impact on Chicago and they are fast becoming a recognized leader in the community. We hope that the Momentum Award acknowledgement helps to broaden recognition of their incredible accomplishments to date and plays a small part in their future growth and success.”
Coolest Startup Award
The Coolest Startup Award was introduced by the CEC for the first time this year to shine a spotlight on some of the city’s brightest early-stage startups. Following a multi-round elimination competition that consisted of community nominations, voting and pitch night, the three finalists – Caremerge, PrettyQuick and SceneTap – were invited to pitch on the Momentum Awards main stage to the 800+ attendees. The audience honored Scenetap as the winner via a live-vote.
“We are thrilled by the incredible response we’ve had to the Coolest Startup award competition,” said James O’Connor, Jr. interim CEO and co-chairman of the CEC Board of Directors. “We congratulate Scenetap on this very exciting win that was determined not by the CEC, but by the city’s entire entrepreneurial community who so enthusiastically participated in this competition through their nominations, votes and support.”
The CEC’s Sixth Annual Momentum Awards Dinner took place on October 2nd at Millennium Park. At the event, Tom Ricketts, Chicago Cubs Owner and Chairman was honored with the CEC’s 2013 Entrepreneurial Champion Award, PNC Bank and regional president of PNC Bank in Illinois, Scott Swanson were honored as the CEC’s Corporate Champion. BrightTag, Guaranteed Rate and SMS-Assist and were the other finalists for this year’s Momentum Award.
About the CEC & 1871
The Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (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. 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 the Momentum Awards
The Momentum Awards Dinner is the most important night of the year for entrepreneurship in Chicago, and the biggest celebration of the thriving community of Chicago entrepreneurs. By bringing together Fortune 500 CEOs, leading Private Equity and Venture Capital investors, successful entrepreneurs, educational leaders, and entrepreneurs starting out, the Momentum Awards is a meeting place for the entire community to share success stories and set the tone for the future, all while benefiting the ever-important entrepreneurs that make Chicago great. All proceeds benefit CEC programming and economic development efforts.