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Buy tickets to RedEye's Big Idea Awards

The RedEye Big Idea Awards are back.

On Oct. 13 at Ravenswood Event Center, we’ll crown winners with new business ideas in four categories.

Categories:

  • Food & Drink
  • Arts & Design
  • Technology
  • Community Development & Civic Involvement

Winners receive awards including a $1,000 cash prize, ads in RedEye's print edition and a one-year small business membership to the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce plus a gift certificate to apply toward event registration, to help get their idea to that next level.

Check out the 2016 finalists and their ideas here.

Submissions are now closed.

Finalists will be headed to the finals at Ravenswood Event Center to pitch their big idea to the public (in person) with one goal in mind: Tally the most votes from attendees in their category. The event will feature meet-and-greets with each finalist, beverages, appetizers and more.

RedEye's Big Idea Awards will be hosted by Improve it! founder Erin Diehl. Diehl is a graduate of The Second City Chicago Training Center, i.O. Theater, and The Annoyance Theatre. You may have seen her performing improv as an ensemble member at Under the Gun Theater, especially improvising as host "Christina Harrison" in the long running show "Will You Accept This Rose, An Improvised Parody of The Bachelor" — a show she created and co-directs. You can also find her hosting the online video series "Erin on the Street" for RedEye.

The Big Idea Awards will feature a keynote from Raaja Nemani. Nemani is the co-founder and CEO of Bucketfeet where he oversees the company's growth and development. Founded in 2011, Bucketfeet is a footwear company that collaborates with a global community of artists to design limited-edition shoes with the goal of sparking meaningful conversations to create a brighter world. Alongside co-founder Aaron Firestein, Nemani is focused on empowering a community of 40,000 artists from more than 120 countries to share their stories and perspectives using the universal language of art and the shoe as their canvas. Nemani is a frequent speaker at many conferences and universities and is an angel investor, primarily supporting other Chicago-based entrepreneurs.

Check out the winners' ideas from last year.

Buy your tickets below, or click here.

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