kCura president and CEO Andrew Sieja accepts the 2014 Merrick Momentum Award
The best and the brightest in tech came out last night for the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center’s Momentum Awards at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel. Legal app developer kCura took home the night’s paramount award, accepting with a gracious and short acceptance speech.
“It’s a true honor to be nominated. It’s unbelievable to actually receive it,” kCura president and CEO Andrew Sieja said. “If anything, I think it just puts a tremendous amount of pressure on kCura to continue the momentum that we’ve been blessed to have.”
Other nominees included Centro, Coyote Logistics, ContextMedia, Jellyvision, and GoHealth.
The growing Chicago business award has gone to companies such as GrubHub and Braintree in the past. KCura won the award for “Best Enterprise Web Company" at the Moxie Awards in June.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel spoke briefly to introduce the event and praised Motorola Mobility, the winner of the night's "corporate champion" award, for choosing to move its headquarters back to its hometown of Chicago.
Crate & Barrel founders Gordon and Carole Segal with J.B. Pritzker
Perhaps the most invigorating speech of the night came from Gordon and Carole Segal, founders of Crate and Barrel, who were named “entrepreneurial champions” at the dinner. They spoke about their humble beginnings as 23-year-olds looking for “nice things” and eventually deciding to open their own retail store in the Old Town neighborhood.
Gordon Segal left the audience with some entrepreneurial advice:
“Forge forward, push beyond your beliefs, enjoy every day and you will create something wonderful and beautiful. And the lesson we’ve told our children, never do anything for the money, do it for the love and work hard at it and the guess what? The money will come.”
Attendees were also given a sneak peak via video of 1871's 25,000-square-foot expansion at the Merchandise Mart, which will open next week.