Chicago is without a doubt one the biggest business hubs in the world, with 35 of the fortune 500 headquartered in the city and a host of satellite offices for many of the world’s biggest tech companies. Government initiatives, veteran entrepreneurs, and venture capital firms in Chicago are building on this foundation to create a thriving startup ecosystem that has reached a valuation of $28.6 Bn thanks to numerous success stories such as Grub hub, Braintree, Venmo, Go Health, Sprout Social…
The number of incubators, accelerators, angels, angel groups and venture capital firms in Chicago has also shot up in recent years giving startup founders access to more funding and support as they build their businesses.
Hyde Park Venture Partners:
Hyde Park Venture Partners is an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in high-growth, mid-continent technology startups. They seek companies with an exceptional founding team and fast-growth potential, looking to raise first or second round of capital. With offices in Chicago and Indianapolis, their team is tenacious, responsive, and committed to adding value to each investment.
Notable Investments: G2 crowd, ShipBob, K4 Mobility, FOURKITES, Fixer…
Chicago Ventures is an early-stage venture capital fund launched in 2012 to fill an acute market gap. At the time, early-stage capital flowed as if innovation were restricted by geography. Venture dollars were raised and distributed all within a few select area codes.
They believed then, and know today, that enduring companies can be built anywhere, by anyone.
They lead seed rounds before it’s obvious, and serve as active, operationally-involved partners during a company’s earliest days.
Notable investments: G2 Crowd, Mac & Mia, ShiftGig, SpotHero, ItemMaster…
Pritzker group venture capital:
Pritzker Group Venture Capital helps entrepreneurs build market-leading technology companies at every stage of their growth. Since its founding in 1996, the firm has worked side-by-side with entrepreneurs at more than 100 companies, building partnerships based on trust and integrity. Its proprietary capital structure allows for tremendous flexibility, and their experienced team of investment professionals and entrepreneurs offers companies a vast network of strategic relationships and guidance.
Notable Investments: SinglePlatform, Zinch, Playdom, Lefthand Networks, and TicketsNow…
Lightbank VC is a $360M AUM venture fund that invests in early-stage consumer, enterprise, healthcare and fintech companies. It focuses on pre-seed, seed and series A opportunities where they write initial checks between $250k-$5m. They have invested in over 100 companies.
Notable Investments: Udemy, Sprout Social, Boom Supersonic, Fiverr, Tempus…
Origin Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm investing in software and marketplace businesses in the Digital Native economy. Founded in 1999, the firm focuses on investing ‘between the coasts’, with portfolio companies in 14 different markets. The firm has a unique distinction of having multiple funds in the top 5% on realized performance. Typical check size is $500K to $5M.
Notable Investments: Grubhub, Cameo, Teem, Ahalogy, Tovala, Tock…
OCA Ventures is an early stage (Seed, Series A, and Series B) venture capital firm focused on equity investments in companies with dramatic growth potential, primarily in technology as well as highly-scalable services businesses. The firm invests in many industries, with a preference for technology, financial services, education and healthcare technology. Founded in 1999, the firm is investing out of its fourth fund in companies spread throughout the United States.
Notable Investments: Snapsheet, Spot Hero, The mom project, Cleversafe, Genvid VersimLife…
Sandbox Industries, founded in 2003, is a Chicago-based venture capital firm with three main business lines: venture funds formed alongside strategic corporate partners, new business accelerator programs, in addition to an innovation consulting business.
The firm is the exclusive partner for Blue Cross and Blue Shield Venture Partners I and II, which connects entrepreneurs innovating in the healthcare space with 25 Blue plans across the country for strategic investment and partnerships.
The Cultivian Sandbox Food & Agriculture Fund II is a leading fund which invests in the foodtech and agritech space.
Healthbox, founded in partnership with BCBSVP, is healthcare accelerator with presence in several US cities as well as in London. Sandbox has also a partnership with TechStars Chicago.
Notable Investments: NaviHealth, Lumiata Health, FanGo, Software Systems.
Baird Capital makes venture capital growth equity investments in strategically targeted sectors globally. Since 1989, they’ve raised and managed more than $3.9 billion and invested in over 325 portfolio companies.
Their team partners with company management, founders, and entrepreneurs with the goal of building world-class companies across different sectors of focus such as Healthcare, Industrial Technology & Solutions, and Technology and Services.
Notable Investments: Apervita, Appcast, Datica, everdream, GoRemote, Synap…
Adams Street Partners:
For nearly five decades, Adams Street Partners has been recognized as one of the most respected and experienced private markets Investment managers in the industry. Adams Street manages $45 billion in assets for more than 450 institutional investors, including corporate and public pensions, foundations, family offices, and endowments.
Notable Investments: ARCTIC WOLF, Couchbase, Homeward, Lyra, Robinhood, Vacasa…
JK&B Capital is a Chicago-based venture capital firm with more than $1.1 billion under cumulative management which focuses on the Communications, Information Technologies and Healthcare markets. It has established a track record of generating exceptional returns through technology, operational expertise and a rigorous investment approach.
Notable Investments: Splunk, Commerce One, Openwave, Exodus, actiance, Neulion…
Arch Venture Partners:
ARCH invests primarily in companies co-founded with leading scientists and entrepreneurs, concentrating on bringing to market innovations in life sciences. They are undoubtedly a leader in the successful commercialization of technologies developed at academic research institutions and national laboratories.
ARCH has raised ten venture funds totaling over $3 billion and has invested in the earliest venture capital rounds for more than 150 companies. ARCH investors include major corporations, pension funds, endowment funds, in addition to financial institutions, and private investors.
Notable Investments: Illumina, Juno Therapeutics, Unity Biotechnology…
In conclusion, venture capital firms in Chicago are an important pillar of the startup ecosystem. In fact, these firms often play a crucial part in the success of a startup, by providing not only capital but also strategic assistance, introductions to potential customers, partners, and employees, and much more.