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Chicago, Illinois–Empower Illinois is excited to announce that its EmpowerXChange® platform is one of this year’s Top 100 Finalists for the 20th annual Chicago Innovation Awards, which recognize Chicago’s most innovative new products and services.

“We are proud to showcase the EmpowerXChange platform, which was built with our commitment to transparency and to empowering others by providing actionable information at the most local level possible,” said Anthony Holter, Empower Illinois’ President. “This new technology puts even more scholarships into the hands of families faster.”

EmpowerXChange is a patented, custom designed technology platform and scholarship management system that provides transparency to scholarship families and participating schools, making the scholarship-granting process as seamless as possible. Each family and school have an individualized portal, which allows them to track the entire scholarship process, including a student’s place in line for a scholarship, the award stage of the scholarship, and the final dollar amount of the scholarship. EmpowerXChange primarily serves students, families, schools, and donors participating in Illinois’ Invest in Kids Tax Credit Scholarship Program. The EmpowerXChange technology was built in partnership with Chicago-based software development agency LaunchPad Lab.

“Empower Illinois is making an incredible difference in the lives of children all over Illinois with the EmpowerXChange platform,” said Scott Weisman, COO & co-founder at LaunchPad Lab. “Thousands of families rely on this scholarship program to send their children to school each year and we couldn’t be more proud to help Empower build a scholarship processing application that gives families answers in minutes, instead of weeks.”

Since its creation in 2018, EmpowerXChange has reached the following milestones:

    • Received a United States Patent
    • Served more than 46,000 participants in Illinois’ Invest in Kids Tax Credit Scholarship Program, including schools, families, and donors
    • Awarded more than 16,000 scholarships
    • Processed more than $149,000,000 in scholarship donations



About Empower Illinois

Empower Illinois is a statewide education policy and research nonprofit and Scholarship Granting Organization created to serve Illinois’ children through the state’s tax credit scholarship program. Empower Illinois’ mission is to expand quality education options for low-income and working-class families of Illinois. Illinois’ Invest in Kids tax credit scholarship program was created in 2017 to benefit children whose educational options are limited by household income or ZIP Code. Empower Illinois serves as a conduit for processing donations, scholarship awards and program compliance for approximately 91 percent of all recognized private schools in Illinois.


About LaunchPad Lab

LaunchPad Lab is a Chicago-based software development agency that partners with businesses to transform their digital technology. Focused on using software to propel businesses forward, LaunchPad has helped hundreds of organizations unlock revenue and efficiency by transforming their technology. LaunchPad deploys small, cross-functional teams of in-house product builders to bring a deep level of collaboration and critical thinking to every project. This approach was designed to deliver outcomes, rather than just outputs, and is one of the core reasons why over 90 percent of LaunchPad’s clients work with them for the long term.


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