Women Win in Every Category for RedEye’s Big Idea Awards 2015

RedEye Chicago Seond Annucal Big Idea Awards

It was a big win for young, female entrepreneurs in Chicago, who won in all four categories at RedEye’s Big Idea Awards on Thursday, November 5, 2015, at Morgan Manufacturing (401 North Morgan Street) in the west loop.

The Big Idea Awards hope to foster entrepreneurship and help progress ideas in Chicago through the categories: Art & Design, Technology, Food and Drink, and Community Development and Civic Involvement.

RedEye’s Big Idea Awards event was open to the public with a $30 ticket in advance or $35 at the door. In a science fair set-up, the top 14 finalists pitched their ideas throughout the three-hour event from 6:30 – 9:30 pm. Each attendee received four chips to cast their vote for winners, who were announced at the end of the night.

Big Idea Award Winners:

RedEye Chicago tweeted, “Who run the world?” with a photo of the four female entrepreneur winners. All winners were under the age of 35.

Art and Design Award Winner:

Emma Robertson created something more than a hostel when she envisioned, Troubadour Hostel, Chicago’s premiere artist hostel with boutique amenities. Robertson created a hub for creative ideas and collaboration in Chicago neighborhoods and amongst global budget travelers. Robertson won the Art and Design Award.

Technology Award Winner:

Marylynne Schwartz, a mother, developed an idea, ClassCrasher to help fellow parents schedule classes for their babies and toddlers with little planning in advance.  Schwartz won the Technology Award.

Food and Drink Award Winner:

Nikkita Randle created a catering service for a variety of unique and traditional egg rolls, Twisted Eggroll, which opened January 2015. Randle won the Food and Drink Award.

Community Development and Civic Involvement Award Winner:

Nicole Vasquez, Founder and Community Connector at The Shift, a coworking space on the north side of Chicago opened in 2014 as a place for meetings, networking events, and as a workspace for entrepreneurs. Vasquez won the Community Development and Civic Involvement Award.

The winners not only walked away with the clout of being Big Idea Award winners, but they also won resources to help them further meet their business needs as new companies. RedEye will be connecting the winners with a personal mentor, such as Chris Taylor, general manager of Uber Technologies Chicago, and supplying them free advertising to promote their idea.

Immediately following, the winners and attendees celebrated at the after party held at 10pin bowling lounge (330 N. State Street).

1871 Keynotes:

The Chief Operating Officer at 1871, Tom Alexander was the keynote speaker and RedEye’s Senior Video Editor, Sean Ely, was the host for the Big Idea Awards.

Congratulate Winners:

Share some love to your fellow entrepreneurs and congratulate and connect with them as they grow their big ideas to make Chicago better.

Congratulate Nicole Vasquez:

The Shift: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

Congratulate Nikkita Randle:

Twisted Eggroll: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

Congratulate Marylynne Schwartz:

Class Crasher: Twitter

Congratulate Emma Robertson:

Troubadour Hostel: Facebook, Twitter


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