SOURCE: Illinois Technology Association (ITA)

Illinois Technology Association (ITA)

February 19, 2013 07:25 ET

Nominations Now Open for 2013 Illinois Technology Association CityLIGHTS Awards

New Program Strengthens Focus on Growth-Stage Companies in Illinois

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - Feb 19, 2013) - After a year punctuated by innovation and collaboration, the Illinois technology community is excited to honor the businesses and individuals contributing to its success. The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) is now accepting nominations for the 14th annual CityLIGHTS Awards that celebrate the growth and vitality of the Illinois technology community. Nominations close March 15, 2013.

Along with new award categories and criteria, the CityLIGHTS Awards Gala, to be held on May 9 at Union Station in Chicago, is taking on a new format that highlights the dynamic progress of the region's technology environment and the evolution of the ITA and the 650 member companies it serves.

"The ITA, the member companies we serve, and the Illinois technology landscape have undergone significant advances over the past 12 months," said ITA President and CEO Fred Hoch. "The ITA has a clearly defined mission with its focus on providing programs, resources and community to help growth-stage companies scale and become sustainable. The CityLIGHTS Awards recognize the accomplishments of these organizations, and there's no doubt we'll see tremendous success among this year's nominees."

Nominations can be submitted online from February 19 to March 15, 2013, for individuals and organizations in eight categories. Nominations are open to all technology companies and individuals whose innovation and success drives growth in Illinois. The 2013 award categories are:

1. ITA CityLIGHTS Award: Presented to the company or individual that actively and consistently supports the growth of the Illinois technology industry through leadership and/or collaboration.

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

3. ITA 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).

4. ITA CEO of the Year Award: Presented to the CEO who has led successful company growth through leadership, ability to attract and retain talented resources, financial accomplishments, and strategy.

5. ITA Outstanding Technology Development Award: New this year, this award recognizes the organization that utilizes or developed a technology tool, process or service that made a substantial improvement on business metrics.

6. ITA 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.

7. ITA Prominent Woman in Tech Award: A new category in 2012 that was received with great enthusiasm, this award is presented to a preeminent female who has championed a leading role for women by supporting their growth and prominence in the industry.

8. ITA Trailblazing Award: Also new in 2013, this award honors a company that has developed and/or introduced an ingenious, non-traditional, and innovative way of doing business or creating a culture that has produced significant value and growth.

The online nomination process for each award category entails three steps:

1. Provide a company profile or personal biography in 500 words or less

2. Address the specific criteria for the award in 500 words or less

3. Prepare a two-sentence summary of why the company or individual nominated should receive the award above all other nominees

Finalists will be determined by a panel of judges and announced April 8, 2013. Public voting on select awards then opens through April 22, 2013. Winners will be announced at the 2013 ITA CityLIGHTS Awards Gala May 9. The Gala, held at Chicago's Union Station, is the largest technology gathering in the state, bringing together more than 700 people from 400 organizations including leading executives, investors, legislators and thought leaders.

"It's an exciting time for innovation in Illinois. Don't expect what you've seen the last few years at CityLIGHTS," said Sarah Habansky, ITA Vice President, Programs. "We're doing something entirely different this year and have exciting format changes and announcements in the works."

The CityLIGHTS presenting sponsor is Grant Thornton. CityLIGHTS gold sponsors are kCura Corporation and Nokia, and event sponsors include Authentify and SurePayroll.

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About the ITA

The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) drives the success of technology companies through programs in development, talent and visibility. Through its focus on growth acceleration and sustainability, the ITA is a driving force behind the advancement of Illinois' vibrant technology industry. The ITA's 650 member organizations, reflecting a collective workforce of more than 50,000, benefit from resources, collaboration, networking and access to a curated network of experts. Member companies utilize the transformative nature of technology to differentiate their products and services across a broad spectrum of industries. For more information, visit, follow @ITAbuzz on Twitter, and visit the ITA's Facebook and LinkedIn pages.

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