Chicago Fest is the play hard for the work hard.

On Wednesday, August, 16th at Galleria Marchetti, we’ll be hosting Chicago Fest, our annual summer celebration of and for the city’s innovators, featuring lawn games, live music, cold libations, food trucks, tech talk, the Coolest Companies Competition (more on that below), and much, much more. It’s a fun, social fest that’s set up specifically for you, our readers. Learn more and grab your Inno Insiders here.

Leading up to the event, we’ll be running our 3rd annual Coolest Companies Competition. It’s a friendly challenge to find the Chicago startups and companies with the best culture. Ok, so what does that mean? Does it mean that your company holds awesome outings or events, or has an amazing roof deck or in-office bar, or has killer perks and policies, or has the best team, or all of the above? Maybe. But, really, if you love working for your company, then that’s cool. We just want you to tell us why so that we can tell everyone that, yes, you’re indeed the coolest.

Nominate Your Biz for ‘Coolest Companies’ Here

Nominations will close on July 13th and we will post the 50+ finalists on the 17th. This year, we will be mixing things up and announcing 5 winners “Superlative Style.” (The Inno team will determine what superlatives best fit the winners.) Then, the final 5 winners will be chosen by readers’ choice voting and all will be crowned live at the event. Categories include…

  • Best Perks – Most original and/or impressive perks. (Why are your perks the best?)
  • Best Office – Best, most unique/creative space. (Why’s your office so cool?)
  • Most Re-Tweetable – Best social media presence. (Why does your biz crush Facebook/Twitter?)
  • Most Giving – Best and most charitable initiatives. (How are you giving back?)
  • Wellness-est – Best and most wellness initiatives and programs. (How’s biz helping you stay healthy?)

Be sure to nominate your team here by July 13th! We have also added an optional video element to the nomination process with our partner, EditMate so make sure to follow the instructions on the form for a chance for your video to be featured on our social sites.

After we announce the list of finalists, we’ll open up Readers’ Choice voting on Chicago Inno from July 17 to August 9. The Coolest Companies Superlative Competition winners and the Readers’ Choice winners will be announced live at Chicago Fest on August 16.

Thank you to our event sponsors!

Want to align your brand with our events? Email us at for more information.

(Image via Chicago Inno)