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Chicago Innovation’s mission is to empower the CHICAGO INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM by educating, connecting, and celebrating innovators.

36,000+ person community

9,000+ annual attendees

Community demographics:

  • 35% Founders, C-Level & Presidents
  • 31% VPs & Directors
  • 34% Managers, Associates & Others

United Around Our Vision

To solidify Chicago as a global leader in innovation and ensure that innovation is for everyone.

Discover What Fuels Our Passion


We host events year-round where people come together to share ideas, find opportunities, and build relationships with innovators in the Chicago region.


Women's Mentoring Co-Op
Kick-Off Event








Winners Reception

Celebrating Chicago’s Brand

Through the Chicago Innovation Awards ceremony, ringing the Nasdaq Bell and more, we share Chicago’s innovation successes with the world.

Supporting Women

Our Women Mentoring Co-op nurtures female innovators and our annual Celebrating Women in Innovation event shines a spotlight on their achievements.


The Chicago Neighborhood Awards promote innovation in Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods.

Experiential Learning

Through a partnership with IIT, our Innovation MBA gives students learning opportunities with real-world innovators and $10,000 academic scholarships.

Big Company/Start-up Collaboration

Our Corporate Start-up Matchmaking program connects big companies with start-up technologies, products, and services that can fuel innovation and growth.

Connecting the Generations

Ageless Innovators is the first reciprocal mentoring program that connects innovative leaders across generations and businesses to provide mutual learning.


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Organization Description

Chicago Innovation Awards LLC operates a year-round series of activities aimed at celebrating innovators in the Chicago region. The Chicago Innovation Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit that provides educational events and programs to people interested in learning about innovation and entrepreneurship. You can view the Chicago Innovation Foundation’s most recent 990 Form here. The Innovators Connection is a program of Chicago Innovation that fuels our connection-making activities.

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