One of the most exciting industries in Chicago is the tech scene. In recent years there has been incredible growth not only in the number of startups, but also in the companies that help make their success possible. With a robust community of incubators and investors, the future of Chicago tech is very bright.
Chicago’s most successful tech companies include giants like discount site Groupon, food delivery service GrubHub, and travel site Orbitz. Their successes helped inspire hundreds of startups, and in 2015 nearly 100 of them raised over a million dollars each in funding.
This funding is due in large part to the number of angel investors and venture capital firms, including Lightbank, Chicago Ventures, and Pritzker Group Venture Capital. The reason the investors are so active in Chicago is because there’s a strong foundation for growth. With the number of universities and colleges not just in the city but in the surrounding area, the talent pool from which these companies can pull is vast. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign alone graduates hundreds of engineers each year and has been ranked as having the sixth-best engineering program nationwide, according to U.S. News and World Report.
Startups are also part of an engaged community. Incubators like 1871, Catapult Chicago, Chicago Innovation Exchange, and TechNexus have fostered an environment of coworking and collaboration, which decreases the time from idea to implementation. There’s even a community dedicated to developing and supporting opportunities for women in technology. WiSTEM provides a curriculum-based program that connects aspiring female entrepreneurs with the resources and connections they need to create successful startups.
It’s an exciting time in the Chicago tech scene, with innovations and quickly developing companies whose reach extends far beyond the city and its suburbs. For more news about what’s happening in the local startup scene, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.