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February 15, 2019

Mattoon in Motion wins Impact Challenge Illinois People’s Choice Award


Cross-County Innovation Center Receives $250,000 Grant from Google.Org in Ceremony Awarding $1 Million in Grants to Illinois Non-Profits as Part of Statewide Impact Challenge

CHICAGO (February 15, 2019)– After receiving the most votes in a hotly-contested weeklong public competition, Mattoon in Motion was announced the People’s Choice Winner and awarded a $250,000 grant from

Mattoon in Motion is an organization that works to further long-term community development goals for the city of Mattoon. With the Google grant funding, they plan to launch a

Cross-County Innovation Center that will be a sustainable, collaborative space where entrepreneurs of all ages will receive training, mentoring and coaching. The center will provide entrepreneurs and innovators 24/7 access to resources that they need to turn their ideas into reality.

“This was a true community effort and example of our rural community coming together to bring more opportunities to keep and grow our local talent,” said Ed Dowd, Executive Director, Mattoon Chamber of Commerce. “We’re excited that’s support will enable us to create a place for innovation in our area to help grow our community.”

Mattoon in Motion was one of Impact Challenge Illinois winners honored in a ceremony at Google’s Chicago office, where they each received $75,000 in grant funding and Google training.The winners, ranging from Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois to Chicago’s True Star Media, were selected from 167 entries from all parts of the state after applying to’s first statewide Impact Challenge with their boldest ideas to make positive change.

After a week of intense public voting during which50,000votes were cast, Mattoon in Motion was announced as the People’s Choice Winner at the Chicago ceremony and awarded an additional $250,000 in funding.

“Mattoon in Motion is a great example of the creative approaches nonprofits across Illinois take to solve local challenges and create economic opportunity,” said Karen Sauder, head of Google in Chicago. “We’re excited to see Mattoon’s vision become reality with Google’s support.”

The Impact Challenge Illinois winners were chosen by an all-star panel of advisors including former Illinois governor Jim Edgar, former Chicago Bear and founder of the of the “What’s Your Forte?” charity Matt Forte, and former chief of staff to former first lady Michelle Obama, now partner at Buckley Sandler Tina Tchen.

Since 2011, Google has awarded more than $14.7 million in grants to Illinois nonprofits and schools in the area that reflect its mission and values. Impact Challenge Illinoisceremony also included Google’s announcement of its decision to expand its Chicago office by locating its finance team in the city. Google currently has over 1,000 employees working out of its Chicago office. With the addition of the expanded finance team and an additional office in Chicago, Google will have the capacity to double the company’s workforce in the city by the end of 2019.

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