We’re so excited to announce that Joe & Bella has been named one of the winners of the 21st annual Chicago Innovation Awards. Joe & Bella received the “Up & Comer” award for being the most exciting startup of the year.
The winners were announced at this year’s event held on Wednesday, November 16. The annual Chicago Innovation Awards is the region’s foremost recognition of the most innovative new products and services brought to market each year.
Joe & Bella's Innovation
Joe & Bella’s adaptive clothing is already transforming the marketplace for older adults. Joe & Bella’s clothing features innovative closures that make dressing and wearing their clothes easier, safer and simpler for older adults. Style and aesthetics are also a priority in their designs. “It’s so important that older adults can show the world who they are through the clothes they wear,” said Joe & Bella CEO Jimmy Zollo. “What we wear is tied to our identity, and older adults shouldn’t have to wear clothes they don’t like simply because those are the only options that work for them.”
“The Chicago region continues to be a global leader in innovation” said Tom Kuczmarski, co-founder with Chicago journalist Dan Miller of the awards. “The 2022 winners, like Joe & Bella, are solving unmet needs impacting the environment, education, workforce development, healthcare, big data, consumer products, restaurants, logistics, marketing, food, water, finance and even zoology.”
“After spending years helping my family provide care for my grandmother and watching her struggle to dress, we searched all over for clothes that are appropriate for an aging body,” said Zollo. “But she hated all the options because they were simply, as she would say, ‘ugly.’ She preferred her old clothes, even though it was painful to get dressed. We’ve been on a mission ever since to create clothes that she would have loved to wear and that would make her life easier and more pain-free.”
A Crowded Field of Startups
Joe & Bella, along with the other winning organizations, will receive a variety of honors including the opportunity to ring the Nasdaq Bell in New York City, and meetings with the Mayor of Chicago, Governor of Illinois, and Cook County President.
“Three-hundred and sixty-five organizations nominated for this year’s awards,” said Luke Tanen, President and CEO of Chicago Innovation. “As a group, these nominees are responsible for generating over $6.2 billion in new revenues, 11,933 new jobs, and 360 patents from their nominated new products and services. The winners represent the best from this very impressive group.”
Joe & Bella's Future
“We’re honored to be recognized by Chicago Innovation for transforming adaptive wear into stylish clothes that older adults want to wear, including our award-winning first two products – CareZips®,” said Zollo. “And we’re even more excited for what’s ahead for Joe & Bella in serving older adults and those who care for them.”
Joe & Bella will be releasing a full line of apparel, including tops and bottoms for men and women, over the next several months.
The complete list of this year’s Chicago Innovation Award winners can be found at www.chicagoinnovation.com.
The Chicago Innovation Awards are supported by Diamond Sponsors Wintrust, Accenture, SMS Assist, Molex, Walgreens, Dell Technologies and Intel, along with Gold Sponsor Comcast Business, and other organizations.