2016 Venture Summit to be Held at Google’s New Chicago Office


Summit to bring venture capital firms, startups and Fortune 500s together to collaborate

Photo credit: Keri Wiginton Blue Sky Chicago

Google Chicago office: photo credit Keri Wiginton, Blue Sky Chicago

World Business Chicago recently announced that it will hold the 2nd Chicago Venture Summit at Google’s new Chicago office in the city’s West Loop April 20-21, 2016. The summit will not only feature venture capital firms and startups, but will also focus on the innovation needs of Fortune 500 companies and provide matchmaking among the parties. The work of Chicago’s women entrepreneurs will also be highlighted.

“Chicago’s tech community is thriving,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “We’ve seen a record high amount of venture capital invested in Chicago startups in 2014, and the second highest number of companies included on Inc. 5000’s latest list of fastest growing companies. The Chicago Venture Summit builds on this environment, allowing our companies to continue to grow and create jobs throughout Chicago.”

The summit is organized by ChicagoNEXT, WBC’s council of technology leaders who are dedicated to driving growth and opportunity in science, technology, and innovation and entrepreneurship to impact new venture growth.

“We’re proud to bring the strongest local, regional and national venture companies to the city to converge with our area’s brightest entrepreneurs and industry leaders,” said ChicagoNEXT Chairman Mark Tebbe. “The Chicago Venture Summit provides one of the most unique networking opportunities and creates tangible investment in our city and its companies.”

Last year, WBC welcomed more than 300 attendees to the first Venture Summit, where it featured guests including Uber CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick, Paypal founder Peter Thiel, Cisco Systems chief technology officer and strategy officer Padmasree Warrior and investor and former AOL executive Ted Leonsis. Since then, nearly two-thirds (19) of the 30 startup companies that presented at the Summit have raised a combined $127M and there have been two exit events (Rocketmiles and Shoutlet).

This year, the Summit will be held at Google’s new Chicago office at 1000 W. Fulton Market (1K Fulton). The 300,000 square-foot office in the 10-story building houses more than 650 Google employees.

Chicago’s tech economy employs more than 54,000 people (an 11 percent increase over 2014), and there are now more than 3,200 digital technology companies in Chicago according to Built In Chicago. Nine percent of the largest companies were founded in the last five years. Chicago is home to more than 90 tech accelerators, incubators and co-working spaces (including 1871, which recently ranked 1st in the U.S.) and ranks as the 7th best startup ecosystem in the world.

More information is available at ChicagoVentureSummit.com.

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