Chicago Companies Take The Gold At Edison Awards

April 27, 2012


Chicago Entrepreneurs Recognized at Prestigious Edison Awards

Chicago startups win gold medals at America’s innovation awards.

Chicago, IL, April, 2012:  GiveForward and the 21st Century Youth Project have won Gold Medals at the Edison Awards, one of the highest accolades a company can receive.  Since 1987, The Edison Awards have recognized ideas at the forefront of new products, services, marketing, design and innovation.

GiveForward is honored to be recognized with the 21st Century Youth Project and the other 2012 Edison Award winners, including Ford, IBM, Apple, 3M and Dow, to name a few. 

It should come as no surprise that Chicago startups are joining the ranks of such well-known innovators. This award, called the highest honor a company can receive in the name of innovation and business, is yet another indicator of the explosive growth of the Chicago startup scene and its growing impact on innovation in America.

On April 26, 2012, Desiree Vargas Wrigley and Ethan Austin of GiveForward were honored for GiveForwards’ accomplishments in the category “Social Innovation” alongside the rest of the Edison Award winners in NYC. The ballot of nominees for the Edison Best New Product Awards were judged by a panel of more than 3,000 individuals, including America's top marketing professionals and academics.

Co-founded by two young entrepreneurs, Desiree Vargas Wrigley and Ethan Austin, GiveForward provides personalized fundraising pages and coaching that empower friends and family to answer the question "What can I do to help?" when a loved one is in need. Since 2008, GiveForward has helped people contribute almost $14 million to loved ones facing out-of-pocket expenses associated with everything from cancer treatments, to funeral expenses, to natural disasters.

The 21st Century Youth Project, founded by Emile Cambry, Jr., shares the honor of being recognized alongside fellow 2012 Edison Award winners.  The 21st Century Young Project was selected for a gold medal in the “Curriculum/Education” Category for its work with Chicago students.  A free after-school program that prepares students with next generation skills, while having fun, the 21st Century Youth Project couples students with entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts.

To learn more about these two innovative Chicago startups and how they are spurring the economy, contact Cate Conroy of GiveForward at 312-322-1200.