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Blog Post
Title Chicago
Author Diana Carranza
Series Emerging Ecosystems
Content status Draft
Publication date
Notes With research assistance by Eliza Martin
©, 2016


  • Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center was the first entrepreneurial focused center for Chicago. TiE Midwest and IVCA followed in the early 2000’s
  • 2004—Illinois Technology Association and Heartland Angels
  • 2006—Increase in the number of resources available—I2A Fund, Hyde Park Angels, Tech cocktail, Tech Nexus
  • 2008-present—continued expansion of funding and support

Resources (map of Chicago resources:

Chicago companies

  • Groupon, Mu Sigma, GrubHub, centro, mediabank

Universities—Future Founder’s U.Pitch and Student Startup Madness are venture/pitch competitions open to students at any university

  • The University of Chicago
  • No school of engineering, but has become a leading startup university (Groupon, GrubHub, Braintree Financial)
  • Space in 1871
  • Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship
  • New Venture Challenge
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • DePaul
  • “DePaul is planning to open a space in 1871, joining a half dozen of the area’s universities already in the entrepreneurial hub” (
  • Coleman Center
  • Northwestern
  • Space in 1871
  • The Farley Center for Entrepreneurship, The Garage
  • Venture Challenge
  • Funding resources—NxtFund/Northwestern Start Fund
  • Loyola
  • Space in 1871
  • Quinlan School of Business & Loyola Limited
  • University of Illinois
  • Space in 1871
  • Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies
  • Startup Challenge, Cozad New Venture Competition, Illinois Innovation Prize
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Space in 1871


  • New World Ventures
  • Excelerate
  • Apex Venture Partners
  • FireStarter Fund
  • Iza Fund
  • Oca Ventures
  • Hyde Park Angels
  • Lightbank
  • Corporate HQ
  • Sears
  • Walgreens
  • Motorla
  • State Farm
  • Kraft
  • Allstate

Accelerators/Incubators/Co-Working spaces (complete list:

Coworking Spaces

  • Grind, The Shift, WeWork, 2112, Polsky Exchange & more

Accelerators, incubators & fellowships

  • Future Founders Startup, Northwestern Wildfire, iCorps, Techstars, Chicago Fashion Incubator, Helathbox

Venture Capital

Need to pull data, not consistent reports of VC

Chicago Now

  • Nearly $500 B gross regional product, 4.3 million employees, 260,000+businesses, 400+ major corporate HQs (27 Fortune 500), 2 major *global financial exchanges, 60 public and private post-secondary educational institutions

Looking to the Future

  • Continued VC investment
  • VC investment from larger, nationwide VC funds