“Chicago’s startup scene is on fire.” – Forbes
A new generation of mentorship and venture capital is pumping through Chicago’s business veins allowing startups to thrive and bringing a new wave of talent. If ever you wondered how big the scene really is these days you needn’t look much farther than BuiltInChicago.org, a web-based watering hole for all things digital in the city.
It’s no wonder why tech titans like Google, Microsoft, and IBM employ thousands of people here. There’s a robust talent-pool for them to tap, often coming out of Chicago’s great universities, who then have the ability to cut their teeth in the various corners of Chicago’s innovation ecosystem.
Open-source Web framework Django, developed by Chicago’s own Adrian Holovaty is the foundation of websites like Instagram and Pinterest. Meanwhile, Ruby on Rails was developed by Chicago company Basecamp, and that framework went on to become the foundation of web-apps like Twitter.
These modern innovations come as no surprise given Chicago’s history of invention: the skyscraper, mail-order retail, the dishwasher, open-heart surgery, the vacuum cleaner, the zipper, the Ferris wheel, the cell phone… all Chicago-made.
Paving the way for open data apps and innovation, Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel has upended the status quo and injected a streamlined policy objective to realease as much publicly available data as possible in a digestable online format through the City of Chicago Data Portal. The developer community has been engaged to assist the city in its effort to draw new efficiencies from the data sets.
The Mayor has also installed a C-suite of digital stewards to ensure the city is in good hands as it moves forward into the next decade with technology at the forefront of Chicago’s economic aspirations.