When VCs turned to Zoom, Chicago startups were ready for their close-up

Chicago’s startup scene is finally getting the attention it long felt it deserved.

By now it’s common knowledge that 2021 is shaping up to be a breakout year for the startup and venture capital worlds, surpassing years of strong results in a long-term bull market for tech-focused business upstarts. But no boom is equally distributed.

Different markets are seeing differing amounts of activity, driven in part by their startup ecosystem’s maturity and the ease with which external capital can be deployed. African startups will set fresh venture capital records this year, for example. But markets closer to the leading hubs of venture capital are seeing even stronger results, as Latin America demonstrates. China’s venture capital market, meanwhile, is easing as others accelerate.

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Even inside the United States, there is divergence in how individual markets are performing. Chicago is an outlying benefactor from accelerating venture capital activity and the rise of remote investing. Data collected by CB Insights, for example, indicates that Chicago’s ability to attract venture funds has risen to new heights in the first half of the year.

While we anticipated Chicago might do well in a generally warm environment for startup investment, its results were better than we expected. To more fully understand just what is going on in the Windy City, The Exchange corresponded with M25, a Midwest-focused venture capital fund; Moderne Ventures’ (Read more...)