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Top 100 Finalist Chicago Innovation

Noel Peel

Written by

Noel Peel


September 20, 2018

It is our pleasure to announce the great news that Smokeball is once again being recognized for its innovative initiative. Smokeball is pleased to be one of 100 finalists for the Chicago Innovation Awards. Smokeball has been racking up the awards this summer for various aspects of its workplace culture and leadership, so it is a wonderful honor to have Smokeball now recognized as a superior legal technology product. Smokeball submitted its groundbreaking Auto:Time feature for the annual awards. Auto:Time’s impact on legal billing, timekeeping, and business intelligence obviously resonated with the judges. Stay tuned to hear if Smokeball wins in October, and help us get there by using the People’s Choice voting link within the Press Release below:

Smokeball is Named One of the Top 100 Finalists for the 17th Annual Chicago Innovation Awards

Chicago, IL — Out of 519 nominees, Smokeball has been selected as one of the Top 100 Finalists still in the running for the 17th 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. 1500 business and civic leaders will come together to honor the winners when they are announced on October 29th at Chicago’s Harris Theater.

Smokeball submitted its innovative Auto:Time feature for consideration. Auto:Time automatically tracks time spent in the Smokeball practice management system and associated Microsoft Word and Outlook documents and emails. Auto:Time takes legal billing and timekeeping to a new reliable level. Besides helping attorneys and their staff more confidently track their most valuable asset, time, the innovation tangentially helps clients and courts by providing accurate rundowns of time spent on matters.

“Chicago continues to rise as a global hub of innovation due to the breadth of organizations in our region that introduce a stream of new products and services into the market each year,” said Tom Kuczmarski, co-founder with Chicago journalist Dan Miller of the awards. “This year’s nominees generated a combined total of $3.44 billion in revenues through their new products and services alone.”

As one of the Top 100 Finalists, Smokeball will receive a $2,500 scholarship to attend The Practical Innovator, a day-long executive education course on September 26th 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 at

Out of the Top 100 Finalists, the judges will select 10 winners of the Chicago Innovation Awards, as well as 10 winners of the Up-and-Comer Awards representing innovation in the start-up community, the Social Innovator Award, the Collaboration Award, and 3 Neighborhood Award winners, which will showcase innovation occurring in Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods. The winners will be invited to ring the NASDAQ Bell in New York City, invited to separate meetings with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Governor Bruce Rauner and Cook Count President Toni Preckwinkle, and receive widespread media recognition.


Josh Taylor

Chicago Innovation:
Luke Tanen

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