Chicago is usually towards the top of the list when it comes to startup hubs in the United States. It's no surprise that Tech.Co had its first events in that city, (back when we were simply known as Tech Cocktail), providing demo space and networking opportunities for Chicago startups to connect with multiple kinds of resources, but most importantly, investors.
Some very successful startups have come out of Chicago. A few names that will likely be familiar to you include GrubHub, Belly, SitterCity, and Groupon. Aside from having innovative products and exemplary business chops, all of these companies had the help of VC firms to get off the ground and scale.
Built in Chicago recently posted a list of 23 VC firms in the city that are helping startups raise the capital they need. The list is pretty detailed including information on what kinds of companies they invest in, what stages they usually invest in, from seed to Series C, as well as a sampling of the companies in their portfolios.
The entire list is here, but here are 10 that really stand out:
Notes: Founded in 2003. Connects entrepreneurial talent with corporate resources. Three main business lines: venture funds, accelerator programs, and an innovation consulting business.
Exits: 5 acquisitions
Notable portfolio companies: NaviHealth, Lumiata Health, FanGo Software Systems
Notes: Focuses on equity investments in tech companies with significant potential to grow. They’re particularly interested in companies that do innovative work with technology, services, mobile commerce, and web 3.0.
Exits: 5 acquisitions
Notes: Venture fund that primarily invests in seed and early-growth technology companies in the Midwest. Founded in 2011, Jumpstart Ventures has invested in many of Chicago’s most promising tech startups.
Exits: 4 acquisitions
Notable portfolio companies: WeDeliver, Spartz Media, SwipeSense
Notes: They have over four decades of experience and have investments in companies in over 30 countries across the globe.
Exits: 10 IPOs and 21 acquisitions
Notable portfolio companies: Craftsy, Smule, Scytl
Notes: Baird Venture Partners is the US arm of Baird Private Equity. They invest primarily in early- and growth-stage companies in various industries, including business services, healthcare, and life sciences.
Exits: 2 acquisitions
Notes: Founded in 1996. Helps helped over 100 companies through every stage of growth.
Exits: 1 IPO and 14 acquisitions
Notes: They Specialize in software, IT, and communications markets, and have over $1.1 billion of capital under management.
Exits: 1 IPO and 15 acquisitions
Notable portfolio companies: Actiance, EarlySense, Viewfinity
Notes: Started on the campus of University of Illinois. They focus on seed and early-stage technology companies, specifically those that are research-derived in the IT, physical sciences, life sciences, and clean technology industries.
Exits: 3 acquisitions
Notable portfolio companies: Rithmio, Revenew, Persio
Notes: A syndicate of angel investors made up of former executives, entrepreneurs, and VC's looking to invest in seed and early stage businesses in the Midwest. They also provide strategy, coaching, and domain expertise to its portfolio companies. They mostly invest in business and financial services, consumer products and services, digital media and technology, and healthcare.
Exits: 6 acquisitions