The Chicago Tech Scene
The Chicago tech scene is growing at a rapid pace, but retains its intimate vibe. In recent years, the city’s tech talent growth rate overtook Silicon Valley’s by nearly five percent, the sector currently employing more than 54,000 people—an 11 percent increase over 2014. Funding raised by startups in Chicago increased by nine percent in 2015, with over $1.7 billion in venture capital invested, and dollars from exits rose by 15%—making it Chicago tech’s biggest year yet. And, between 2011 and 2015, Chicago had one of the highest rates of successful exits in the country. This influx of cash and quickly growing market means there are more opportunities than ever for those wanting to advance their careers.
For aspiring innovators who want to make an impact, there’s no shortage of industries. Chicago has six diverse sectors, with talent and investments spread broadly across marketing and advertising, health tech, fintech, edtech, consumer web, e-commerce, and enterprise software. For third year in a row, Chicago is recognized for having the most corporate investment in the nation, as innovation sweeps into enterprise-level companies like GE, Allstate, Beam, Kraft, and BMW, all setting up offices alongside tech giants like Google, Facebook, Yelp.
Many former leaders of tech companies like GrubHub, Avant, and Groupon have begun to move to newer, early-stage companies—which means startups are being run by experienced founders who know how to scale. Chicago is the tech center of the Midwest, making our students uniquely positioned to join innovative companies, from early stage all the way through enterprise.