The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Mesirow Financial, launched the James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award to recognize and encourage local entrepreneurs and small businesses to continue to grow and create jobs for the Chicagoland region. First prize will be awarded to a fast-growing Chicago business with philanthropic values. And, this year, the pot has been doubled to $50,000!
Red Caffeine and 11 other semi-finalists were invited to pitch their company’s story, in only three minutes, to a panel of judges and a live audience. While Kathy was the lady to hit the stage, many other Red Caffeiner’s attended to make up a cheering section and to intimidate the competition (just kidding). The pitch was followed by a reception made up by two of our favorite things: free food and booze. The evening then closed with the judges announcing the top two vote-earners (although the top six move on to final round). Since we'd heard so many amazing companies present that night, and were honored to learn we made top two!
More than anything, we were also shocked that anyone at Red Caffeine was able to wrap up a presentation in only three minutes. Kathy, we applaud you.
The final six for the 5th Annual Tyree Award are:
John Griffin Jr., AGB Investigative Services, Inc. David Gardner, ColorJar Steven Dyme, Flowers For Dreams Kathy Steele, Red Caffeine, Inc. Eileen Murphy, ThinkCERCA Sophie Evanoff, Vanille
So, what’s next? The final six contestants will be reevaluated and the winner will be announced June 7 and the Chicagoland Chamber’s 112th Annual Meeting. So until then, rub your lucky rabbit foot for us because we’re up against some tough cookies (literally).