World Business Chicago's dedicated initiative driving inclusive growth and opportunity for Chicago’s tech economy and innovation ecosystem.

Areas of Focus

CAPITAL: attract capital for tech entrepreneurs

TALENT: attract and retain STEM talent for local companies

INNOVATION: foster innovation through industry, university, and national laboratory partnerships

COMMUNITY IMPACT: build a more inclusive tech community

GLOBAL: promote Chicago's tech community globally

The ChicagoNEXT Council

Since the council’s founding in 2012 by J.B. Pritzker, the ChicagoNEXT Council represent a cross-section of the city’s tech and innovation community convened by the Mayor. Council members collaborate on shared interests and collectively influence ChicagoNEXT programs, projects, and initiatives.

Today, the council includes 250+ tech and community leaders who are mobilized to support various ChicagoNEXT-led efforts. Learn more here.


Blackstone Inclusive Entrepreneurship Challenge

From 2017-2020, the Blackstone Challenge provided $3M in grant funding to innovative organizations that effectively recruited and supported diverse entrepreneurs and scale startups in Chicago.

Chicago Venture Summit

The city’s flagship VC conference, connecting venture funding to Chicago entrepreneurs.


Connecting top-tier diverse talent with career building opportunities in Chicago.


Startup Chicago

Connecting the city’s most promising startups with regional and national investors to accelerate their growth.

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