2011 ITA CityLIGHTS Awards Nominations Open

Comeback Entrepreneur of the Year Award Added by Community Write-In

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - February 28, 2011) - ITA is pleased to announce the opening of nominations for the 2011 ITA CityLIGHTS Awards. 

The ITA CityLIGHTS Awards are Illinois' annual celebration of the growth and vitality of the local technology community. Celebrating its 12th Year, CityLIGHTS provides an opportunity to recognize leading technology companies and individuals in our community whose innovation and success are driving growth in Illinois.

This year, ITA invited the community to determine an additional award. The final award developed as a result of a write-in campaign -- "Comeback Entrepreneur of the Year" -- was chosen by the community. The award will celebrate the interminable spirit of entrepreneurs, honoring the learning of failure.

"The Comeback Entrepreneur of the Year Award is a great way to honor what often precedes the success we celebrate in the other Awards," said Fred Hoch, President, ITA. "Leveraging the learning of past failures, and not giving up, has led to some of the most successful companies in our industry. It's a great addition to the successes we already recognize."

The 2011 ITA CityLIGHTS Award Categories, described below, includes three new awards:

  • Comeback Entrepreneur of the Year: Presented to the individual who has persevered following a fruitless effort. This award celebrates the positive side of failed efforts, focused on the interminable entrepreneurial spirit!
  • New Concept Award: Presented to the company or individual regardless of size and status of the company with the best new technology-focused concept of the year.
  • Best Strategic Use of Technology Award: Presented to the non-tech organization who has leveraged technology to provide a differentiated product or service, or has transformed the norm in their industry. 

Continuing awards include:

  • CityLIGHTS Award: Presented to an individual or business that actively and consistently supports the growth of the Illinois technology industry through demonstrated collaborative involvement, driving awareness of the community on a national level.
  • CEO of the Year Award: Presented to the CEO who has led extraordinary business growth of their technology company over the past year. 
  • 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.
  • Newcomer Award: Presented to the company that has the strongest potential to emerge from its start-up phase to become a leader in the technology industry.
  • Rising Star Award: Presented to the company, which, through innovation in products, services or business approach, has grown to become a serious competitor in the marketplace.
  • Lighthouse Award: Presented to the company who has taken a leading role in the national industry while attracting national attention to the Illinois technology industry.

To find out more about the full list of awards, visit http://illinoistech.org/page.aspx/citylights

To submit a nomination, visit http://ita.cx/hdDAx6.

Nominations open today, February 28, 2011 and close on March 28, 2011. Finalists will be determined by a panel of judges and will be named on April 14, 2011. Public voting on select awards will open on April 14, 2011. Winners will be announced at the 2011 ITA CityLIGHTS Awards Gala on May 12, 2011.

To join in our efforts to celebrate the Illinois technology industry, contact us at headquarters@illinoistech.org. For sponsorship opportunities, table, and ticket purchases, visit http://www.illinoistech.org/event.aspx/4147. Follow the discussion on Twitter at @itabuzz, and visit www.illinoistech.org to find out more about how ITA is supporting the growth of the local industry.

About the ITA
The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) is a driving force behind the growth of Illinois' vibrant technology industry. We are relentless in championing the development and application of technology, from start-up companies to industry leaders, leveraging the transformative nature of technology to revolutionize industries. ITA uniquely capitalizes peer-to-peer collaboration, networking, and access to experts across the breadth of business to cultivate the Illinois technology industry. The unique and powerful integration of these valuable and experienced resources differentiates the ITA as a source of accelerated growth for the technology industry of Illinois. For more information about ITA, please visit www.illinoistech.org.

Contact Information:

Dorothy Radke
Marketing & Communications