News & Content: ITA Take Aways

New Format, Additions & Name for CityLIGHTS

Tuesday, July 21, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Abbey Kwiat
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Hello, ITA community!

My name is Kaylin Berg, and I am Senior Manager, Marketing & Events. I have had the pleasure of interacting with many of you during my tenure at the ITA, and some of you more recently as we’ve expanded our reach to include the 1871 community.  

As many of you have likely seen and heard, we have made some adjustments to the historical CityLIGHTS Awards program, which ITA hosted from 1999-2019. As a part of our acquisition by 1871 Chicago in February, CityLIGHTS has been fused with the Momentum Awards! I had the joy of planning the CityLIGHTS Awards in 2018 and 2019, and this year, have been part of the planning process for the new combined program.  We’re so excited to introduce this new format and the “new” awards to you this October. 

We’ve been getting a lot of questions around what’s changed, what hasn’t and what to expect, and wanted to share more with you. It was important to the entire team that we find a way to merge the events while honoring the spirit and “je ne sais quoi” that the CityLIGHTS Awards exemplified. Woven into the fabric of this year’s virtual Momentum Awards are familiar CityLIGHTS elements - community judges to help determine finalists, public voting to determine winners, and an overall focus on recognizing and celebrating the extraordinary achievements of the Chicago tech community.  However, in the spirit of this year’s theme - FUSION - we have made some adjustments to the awards you can nominate for: 

  • Industry Disrupter Award (legacy CityLIGHTS award)

  • Outstanding Tech CEO Award (fusing legacy CityLIGHTS CEO of the Year & Outstanding Company Culture awards)

  • CityLIGHTS Award - for companies with $25MM+ in revenue (legacy CityLIGHTS Lighthouse Award; renamed)

  • Momentum Award - for companies with $3-$25MM in revenue (legacy Momentum Award; very similar to legacy CityLIGHTS Rising Star Award)

  • Rising Star Award - for companies with $1MM+ in revenue (legacy Momentum Award; focused on early stage companies)

*More information on the specific descriptions and criteria for each award can be found here.

Nominations are open now through EOD Wednesday, July 22, and we certainly hope that you consider submitting your CEO, your company or a company that you work with for this year’s program. It’s been a strange year, for sure, filled with a lot of change. However, what we recognize in our community is the focus on resilience, building each other up and celebrating the accomplishments of our community. Submit at

We’re hopeful that the virtual 13th Annual Momentum Awards will bring a bright spot of hope and excitement to this year, as well as a renewed focus on the future and the success of Chicago tech moving forward. We can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to. 

Please reach out to me,, with any questions. 

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