CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - Apr 16, 2013) - The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) Board of Directors is proud to announce the finalists for the 2013 ITA CityLIGHTS Award. The finalists include:

  • Troy Henikoff, Managing Director, TechStars Chicago
    TechStars is consistently rated the #1 startup accelerator in the world and operates an intensive 90 day, mentorship-driven program for entrepreneurs. The selection rate for a TechStars program is more competitive than an Ivy League school at one percent. Chicago's program begins this summer.

  • i.c.stars
    i.c.stars provides a rigorous technology-based workforce development and leadership training program for low-income adults, developing Chicagoland's most promising information technology talent with leadership goals and connecting them with career opportunities through their social enterprise and partner organizations.

  • The Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge
    At The Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge, an event organized by interactive development firm The Nerdery, volunteers form teams of ten web pros that show up not knowing what nonprofit they'll serve, pro bono, for the next 24 hours.

  • J.B. Pritzker, Founder, New World Ventures
    J.B. Pritzker is a leading proponent of entrepreneurship and a stronger technology sector focus in the Midwest. He chairs ChicagoNEXT, the mayor's council on innovation and technology, and founded 1871. He played an important role in the creation of the Illinois Venture Capital Association, the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, the Illinois Innovation Accelerator Fund, Excelerate Labs (now TechStars Chicago) and Built in Chicago.

"We are thrilled to recognize the CityLIGHTS Award Finalists who do so much to help the local technology ecosystem thrive," said Fred Hoch, CEO & President, ITA. "The efforts of this group of finalists truly support the local technology industry to grow, provide much needed talent, and shine a national light on the local tech industry. The ongoing work of these nominees has a direct impact on our mutual success."

Winners of all 2013 ITA CityLIGHTS Awards will be named at the Gala on May 9, 2013, at historic Chicago Union Station. Tickets are available and the public is welcome to attend. The event is an opportunity for the industry to connect with entrepreneurs, industry and civic leaders, company executives and investors in the region for an evening of dining, socializing, and celebration. This diverse group comes together annually for ITA CityLIGHTS with a focus on the role of technology in Illinois and the expansion and support of breakthrough technology not only as a stand-alone business but also within established companies.

CityLIGHTS is the largest gathering of technology executives in the state of Illinois and is now in its 14th year.

Award categories include the Rising Star Award, the Lighthouse Award, the Technologist of the Year Award, the CEO of the Year Award, the Trailblazing Award, the Prominent Woman in Tech Award, the Outstanding Technology Development Award and the CityLIGHTS Award.

ITA thanks the 2013 ITA CityLIGHTS Sponsors including Presenting Sponsor, Grant Thornton, Gold Sponsors Chicago Board of Trade Building, kCura, Nokia, and KPMG, and Event Sponsors Authentify, Lantern Partners, Marketwired, and SurePayroll for their continued support and making the event possible.

About the Illinois Technology Association
The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) is the driving force behind Illinois' vibrant technology industry. ITA's extensive lineup of curated member programs and services address three key critical areas: growth, talent, and visibility. By leveraging the connections and expertise of its more than 600 member companies representing a workforce that is 50,000 strong and growing, the ITA provides the ecosystem growing technology companies need to succeed. For more information, visit, follow the ITA on Twitter at, and view the ITA's Facebook profile at

Contact Information:

Dorothy Radke
Illinois Technology Association