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The Second Annual Moxie Awards

Moxie Awards 2013Entrepreneurs need a level of ambition and perseverance that outshines the norm to climb to success. They gotta have moxie.

The Second Annual Moxie Awards, hosted by Built In Chicago, celebrated digital startup leaders whose force of will and spirited drive propelled them to the top of the city's current startup scene.

Farley Center director Mike Marasco served as a judge of the awards along with nine other leaders in Chicago's entrepreneurship community. Weighted votes from the judges and the public determined the awardees.

The ceremony kicked off with a video highlighting some of last year's awardees and the impact of Chicago startups in the past year. Northwestern alums Mike McGee and Neal Sales-Griffin appeared in the video to discuss the growth of their company The Starter League since their win for Best Startup Co-Founders in the 2012 Moxie Awards. The Starter League also received an honorable mention from Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a video greeting for bringing coding courses to Chicago community colleges.

Deputy Mayor Steve Koch appeared in-person and reiterated the mayor's praise of Chicago startups with a message to keep innovating, keep hiring and "keep being a part of Chicago."

The spirit of being a part of something pervaded the ceremony. Winners were sure to acknowledge the work of their teams above their own, cueing cheers and ovations from their sections of employees and friends in the audience. And, many winners talked up Chicago as a place they love to work and play in.

ContextMedia's Shradha Agarwal, a Northwestern alumna, took home the award for Tech Woman of the Year.

Northwestern-bred startups SwipeSense and JiveHealth were nominated for Best Healthcare Startup but fell short of GiveForward, an online fundraising tool to help with medical expenses.

Check out the Moxie Awards Twitter stream to get a play-by-play of the night and view the full winners list.

Built in Chicago founder Matt Moog lauded all the entrepreneurs among the 800 attendees. "You're doing the hardest job in the world," he said. "You're creating something from nothing." He also shared quotations that captured the character and hope of Chicago's burgeoning startup community:

"None of us is as good as all of us." - Ray Kroc

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

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