Startup Institute gets $3 million, wants to build startup ecosystems

This article originally appeared in Chicago Tribune. The Startup Institute announced late Monday a $3 million funding round, allowing the company to expand efforts to build startup ecosystems in cities seeing entrepreneurial growth.

The immersion-based program aims to develop startup skills for career-changers. It was founded in 2012 in Boston, and since has expanded to New York, London, Berlin and Chicago.

“This is particularly exciting for Chicago because the number of startups is growing exponentially faster than the number of people with startup experience,” said Chicago-based Startup Institute managing director Jason Henrichs. “This sort of investment helps fill in the talent gap and will also bring others from around the region here to learn and stay.”

The investment round comes from Silicon Valley Bank in response to internal studies that showed innovation companies were describing challenges finding workers with the skills and metabolism the companies needed to grow, Henrichs said.

The Series A funding round follows a $1.3 million initial seed investment the company received in January.

Rather than target only founders for mentorship, Henrichs said Startup Institute was “building great teams from the ground up.”

“It is a longer play,” he said. “But ultimately the right way to build a startup ecosystem.”