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ITA to Recognize Local Technology Stars in 15th Annual CityLIGHTS Awards

Nominations Accepted for Individuals & Companies Through June 27

CHICAGO, IL -- (Marketwired) -- 06/02/14 -- Attention, local technology companies: the Illinois Technology Association (ITA) is now accepting nominations for the 15th Annual ITA CityLIGHTS Awards, celebrating the best and brightest in the Illinois tech community. The competition has previously recognized local companies ranging from Groupon to Sprout Social -- frequently years before they became household names, went public or sold for millions of dollars -- helping bring them to the attention of the technology world at large.

"Chicago and Illinois are filled with technology talent. In just the past few years, we have seen Braintree acquired by PayPal, Initiate Systems purchased by IBM, Model Metrics sold to Salesforce, and Fieldglass acquired by SAP and IPOs from Gogo and GrubHub; and last week's merger of OptionsHouse and TradeMonster to create an options technology powerhouse," said ITA President and CEO Fred Hoch. "All of these companies are previous CityLIGHTS winners, it's important to bring together the local tech community and showcase our community as a major tech player."

Nominations can be submitted at through June 27, 2014. Winners will be announced September 18 at the 15th Annual ITA CityLIGHTS awards event, the largest technology gathering in Illinois and Chicago with more than 600 people. The event -- formerly held in May -- will take place at the new Morgan Manufacturing event space opening this summer in Chicago's West Loop. The 2014 award categories are:

Company Awards

  • Lighthouse Award: Presented to the growth-stage company, which through innovation in products, services or business approach, has grown to become a serious competitor in the marketplace (greater than $25 million in revenue).

  • Outstanding Technology Development Award: Presented to the company or organization that utilizes or developed a technology tool, process or service that made a substantial improvement on business metrics.

  • Rising Star Award: Presented to the company that has the strongest potential to emerge and become a leader in the technology industry ($5 to $25 million in annual revenue).

  • Trailblazing Award: Presented to the company that has developed and/or introduced an ingenious, non-traditional and innovative way of doing business or creating culture that has produced significant value and growth for the company.

Individual Awards

  • CEO of the Year Award Presented to the CEO who has led successful company growth through leadership, ability to attract and retain talent, financial accomplishments and strategy for continued company growth.

  • Prominent Woman in Tech Award: Presented to a preeminent female in the local industry who has championed a leading role for women by supporting their growth and prominence in the industry.

  • Technologist of the Year Award: Presented to the individual whose talent has championed true technology innovation, either through new applications of existing technology or the development of technology to achieve a truly unique product or service.

Individual OR Company Award

  • CityLIGHTS Award: Presented to the company or individual who actively and consistently supports the growth of the Illinois technology industry through leadership and/or collaboration that brings the spotlight to the community.

The 2014 ITA CityLIGHTS presenting sponsor is Grant Thornton and platinum sponsor is CDW. Event sponsors include Authentify,, Crain's Chicago Business, HERE, KPMG, kCura, Lantern Partners and SurePayroll.

About the Illinois Technology Association
The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) powers tech growth in Illinois. Through vibrant programs, services and strategic consulting, the ITA drives our dynamic industry by working to grow, build and elevate our members. Visit ITA at or @itabuzz or contact ITA at [email protected] to find out more about how ITA supports the growth of Illinois technology.

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