If anyone was wondering if Chicago is really serious about tech and innovation, look no further than last night’s Built in Chicago Moxie Awards. More than 80,000 individual nominations were received and over 360,000 individual votes were submitted for the 16 award categories. Even though there wasn’t a cash prize–just a red horse trophy and industry respect–the competition was fierce.

“We saw everything from YouTube videos being created to promoted Facebook ads, to email signatures being utilized,” said Built in Chicago CEO Maria Katris to the 800+ attendees at Park West. “I think everyone went all out to garner the public vote this year, and congratulations to all of you, and I’m thrilled that so many incredibly enthusiastic people are in the Chicago tech community.”

Since last year’s Moxie Awards 175 tech companies have been founded in Chicago, according to Built in Chicago founder and PowerReviews CEO Matt Moog. Today, 85 tech companies have 100 or more employees, 60 companies have raised more than $20 million, and there are nearly 40,000 people employed in technology in Chicago.

“The size of this room tells the the story of what’s happened in 3 years time in the city of Chicago in the tech scene,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has spoken at each of the three Moxie Awards. “The tech scene is now growing at leaps and bounds. No other sector has grown as much as you have … 40,000 people now work in the digital economy. In the next five years, the city of Chicago will have 80,000 people working in the digital economy. New businesses. New employees. New ventures. New ideas. That’s how you build a constantly growing economy. I’m proud tonight of all the recipients of awards, but more importantly I’m proud of what you’re contributing to the city of Chicago.”

Here are your 2014 Moxie winners:

Best Consumer Web Startup


Best B2B Startup 


Best New Startup 

Civis Analytics

Best Startup Co-founder(s)

Jimmy Odom, Daniela Bolzmann and Kirk Lashley (WeDeliver)

Best Service Provider 

VineSprout Public Relations

Digital Agency of the Year

Rise Interactive

Mentor of the Year

Chuck Templeton (Impact Engine)

Investor of the Year 

Stuart Larkins (Chicago Ventures)

Tech Woman of the Year

Kristi Ross (CEO & President at dough)

CTO of the Year 

Aaron Rankin (Sprout Social)

Best Software Company 


Startup of the Year

Sprout Social

Best Company Culture 


Best Enterprise Web Company 


Breakthrough Digital Company of the Year 


CEO of the Year 

Amanda Lannert (Jellyvision)

Photo by Jim Dallke