Chicago Innovation Blog

Chicago Innovation Award winners come together to showcase power of Midwestern innovation by ringing Nasdaq Closing Bell for 10th year

by | Jul 15, 2022

On Friday, July 15th in New York City, winners of the 2021 Chicago Innovation Awards will be coming together for the 10th time to celebrate the regional impact of innovation by ringing the Nasdaq Closing Bell.  Either founded, headquartered, or developed in the Chicago-region, these organizations represent some of the fastest growing and most impactful companies in the world, developing innovations across sectors such as over-the-counter crypto trading platforms1, a fintech platform providing exclusive tools to fund retirement plans2, or garbage-eating fungi3.

Below is a list of the 2021 Chicago Innovation Award winning companies attending the bell ringing, along with a brief description of their work. Of the past 356 Chicago Innovation Award winners, 98% are still in business, and 66 have been acquired for exit values of over $118B.


  • ADA Practice Transitions – A platform that helps retiring dentists transition their practices to the next generation
  • Chicago Furniture Bank – The second largest furniture bank in the country, diverting furniture from landfills to the homes of impoverished Chicagoans
  • Clearcover – Mobile car insurance app that offers instant claims processing and payments in as little as 30 minutes
  • 1CoinFlip – Over-the-counter trading platform that allows users to buy and sell over 40 cryptocurrencies in minutes
  • Forty Acres Fresh Market – Social impact grocer that increases fresh food access, nutrition education, and quality jobs in underserved neighborhoods
  • 2Halo Investing – Technology company disrupting and democratizing the $3T global market of structured notes, providing all investors access to investment products that protect against market declines
  • 3Mycocycle – Technology that leverages fungi to biodegrade and transform waste into usable byproducts
  • New Era ADR – Advanced dispute resolution platform that saves litigators up to 90% in time and costs
  • Oja Express – On-demand grocery delivery platform providing access to ethnic foods not found in mainstream grocery stores
  • ReloShare – Safe Stays, a simplified, instant hotel booking portal for survivors of crimes like domestic violence and human trafficking
  • Songfinch – “Cameo for music,” a platform where people can hire artists to write and record personalized songs
  • TERA-print – Nanotechnology company that unlocks rapid prototyping and fabrication of next generation wearables and drug delivery devices
  • The Chicago Help Initiative – Collected and distributed over 5,000 meals per week during Covid to businesses suffering from lockdowns
  • The Equal Opportunity Book Box – Subscription service for children’s books featuring underrepresented characters of color, LGBTQ+ orientation, or with disabilities

Key Events:

Ringing the Closing Nasdaq Closing Bell

151 W. 42nd Street, New York City, NY, 10036

July 15, 2022 – 4:00pmEST

Winners of the Chicago Innovation Awards will come together at the Nasdaq Market Site to ring the closing bell.  Chicago is the only city that brings together its top innovators to ring the closing bell and celebrate its rise as an international hub for innovation and economic growth.

Interviews are available with Chicago Innovation Co-founder Tom Kuczmarski and leaders of the Chicago Innovation Award winning organizations.

Chicago Innovation Media Contact:

Jake Sherman

Public Relations and External Affairs

(847) 875-6748


About Chicago Innovation:

Chicago Innovation, established in 2002, has grown from a single awards ceremony to a year-round series of events and programs designed to celebrate innovation in the Chicago region, educate people and organizations about the principles of innovation, and connect the corners of the economy by building relationships that strengthen companies, grow the economy and create jobs. The organization’s expansion has included:

  • The Women Mentoring Co-op to support female innovators
  • The Chicago Student Invention Convention which inspires innovation and creative problem-solving in Chicago’s students age K-8
  • Ageless Innovators, an intergenerational co-mentoring program
  • The Ladder to support Black and Latine innovators
  • The Innovation MBA in partnership with the Illinois Institute of Technology to provide experiential learning and scholarships to students


For more information, visit

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