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NextGroup Is Named One of the Top 100 Finalists for the 22nd Annual Chicago Innovation Awards

Out of 344 nominees, NextGroup of Evanston, IL has been selected as one of the Top 100 Finalists still in the running for the 22nd Annual Chicago Innovation Awards.  The awards celebrate the most innovative new products and services in the Chicago region across all organization sizes, sectors, and industries.  Over 600 business and civic leaders will come together to honor the winners when they are announced on November 16th at the UIC Forum.

Women continue to be significantly underrepresented in leadership positions.  Just 25% of C-suite executives are women and a mere 5% are women of color. The persistent “broken Rung” obstacle at the first step up to management further exacerbates this issue.  For every 100 men who were promoted from entry-level to manager, just 87 women and 82 women of color received comparable promotions.  NextGroup’s business innovation targets this pervasive problem and shifts the paradigm of how a traditional search firm operates.  NextGroup provides a comprehensive support system to job seekers and partner employers alike. Grounded in creating a community of diverse talent versus seeing talent as our product, the NextGroup mission is to empower diverse, qualified professionals in their employment search and enable employers to find diverse, local talent to meet their employment needs.

“Chicago continues to rise as a global hub of innovation that cuts across industries, large corporations and startups, for-profits, and non-profits,” said Luke Tanen, President and CEO of Chicago Innovation.  “The impact that this year’s nominees generated is profound – their new products and services generated $3.8 billion in revenues and created over 10,000 new jobs.”

As one of the Top 100 Finalists, NextGroup will receive a $2,500 scholarship to attend The Practical Innovator, a day-long executive education course on October 3rd led by top faculty who teach innovation at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.

Each of the Top 100 Finalists is also in the running for the annual “People’s Choice Award,” selected through online balloting.

Out of the Top 100 Finalists, the judges will select 20 winners of the Chicago Innovation Awards.  In addition to being celebrated at the Chicago Innovation Awards on November 16th, the winners will be invited to ring the Nasdaq Bell in New York City and receive widespread media recognition.


NextGroup LLC:
Candance Chow, Managing Director & Cofounder

Chicago Innovation:
Luke Tanen, President & CEO