Lena Gaede

Chicago is proving to be a leading global tech startup hub: The city vibes show that early stage startups are gravitating to the ‘Windy City’

The US continues to lead the field in attracting tech startups as we reviewed in our previous article  “Pros and cons of promising tech startup hubs worldwide: Europe vs. US”. Digging a little deeper, Illinois, specifically the Chicago land area, is growing rapidly and has a hugely dynamic and supportive business environment suited especially well to tech startups.

Chicago is more than a world-famous musical title! Business friendliness, coupled with the fast-paced lifestyle, strategic location, relatively low cost of doing business, and healthy economic growth make Chicago an ideal city to start a new business.

What are Chicago’s biggest strengths from which startups can benefit?

Tech startup hub Chicago – strength #1: Connected Tech Ecosystem

Chicago’s tech scene mirrors the city’s “big city, small town” reputation – relationships often have one or two degrees of separation, which is a unique and valuable condition for startups. Overall, Chicago possesses an impressive community of both investors and entrepreneurs – both at the startup and enterprise level, which form the backbone of a world class innovation economy. The connectivity of the third largest US city is compelling for founders, investors, and corporate innovators to identify trends early and network extensively.

Tech startup hub Chicago – strength #2: New Business Support

The city’s business infrastructure is perfectly set up to connect you with on and offline financial, legal and startup resources designed specifically for startups. Its exclusive online tools can assist you at every stage of starting a business in Chicago and connects you with your relevant business partners along the way.

Tech startup hub Chicago – strength #3: Support from Successful Mentors

Successful mentors are vital assets for any ambitious company. Therefore, it’s more than pleasing that Chicago made an effort to encourage experts from a variety of different verticals to support up-and-coming companies.

What are the weaknesses of Chicago that could be an – admittedly stereotypical – downside for startups?

Sounds like heaven, but it seems that Chicago doesn’t show any business-related weakness. Nonetheless we found some `handicaps` which should be taken into account when starting a business there. Even if we must admit that they are kind of stereotypical.

Tech startup hub Chicago – weakness #1: High Crime Rate

Drugs and homicide make Chicago one of the most dangerous US cities to work and live in. Such conditions need to be considered when setting up a business in Chicago.

Tech startup hub Chicago – weakness #2: Cold Weather & Snowy Conditions

On the whole Chicago has excellent weather, especially around fall and summer months. However, residents endure a very long, harsh winter. Several inches of snow are almost guaranteed to be dumped across the city. Snow boots are a must!

 

What are Chicago’s special startup powers?

Tech startup hub Chicago – specialty #1: Surrounding Conditions

Chicago is home to eleven Fortune 500 companies, while the rest of the metropolitan area hosts an additional 21 Fortune 500 companies. Meaning: Chicago offers convincing frame conditions for businesses and leaving plenty of margin for upcoming startups.

Tech startup hub US in Chicago – specialty #2: Top Tech & Startup Events

With several Top Tech & Startup Events hosted in Chicago, there’s every chance you will be kept up-to-date when located in the city. Since networking and constantly gaining experience is an essential part on the road of growing a company, you’ll no doubt benefit from the extensive list of events on your doorstep every month.

Merken

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