FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 3, 2019
MAYOR LIGHTFOOT, WORLD BUSINESS CHICAGO & CHICAGONEXT ANNOUNCE 2020 CHICAGO VENTURE SUMMIT
Chicago’s flagship VC conference will connect the city’s most promising startups with investors from across the country and around the world
CHICAGO – Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, Andrea Zopp, President & CEO of World Business Chicago and Mark Tebbe, Chair of ChicagoNEXT, today announced the 5th Annual Chicago Venture Summit, April 22-23, 2020 at Google’s Chicago offices. Hosted by ChicagoNEXT, World Business Chicago’s council of technology leaders, and featuring investors, startup founders and business leaders from across the country, the 2020 Venture Summit will highlight Chicago as a leading, global technology hub for investment, entrepreneurship, innovation, and talent.
“Chicago’s tech sector is among the most dynamic and fastest growing in the country thanks to our incredible entrepreneurial ecosystem that encourages innovation and allows talent to develop and thrive,” Mayor Lightfoot said. “From our innovation centers to world-class universities, Chicago is a global startup hub and I’m excited to see the Chicago Venture Summit’s efforts to promote our city’s most promising ideas and startups.
Chicago continues to be the epicenter of the Midwest, providing the most robust return for investors in the U.S. For example, Chicagoland startups raised more than $1.8 billion across 140 deals, according to a MoneyTree report from PwC and Chicago surpasses every other city in the nation in return on investment (ROI) for venture capitalists. According to PitchBook, nearly half of Chicago investments (45%) have provided a 10x ROI, compared to 25% of investments in California’s Bay area.
Chicago’s tech industry is the City’s fastest-growing industry sector with over 4,000 digital companies – a more than 270% growth in just 10 years. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, tech jobs have grown 38.6 percent since 2010, employing more than 143,000 people.
“The 2020 Chicago Venture Summit will be one of the largest Venture Capital conferences in the Midwest,” said Mark Tebbe, Chair of ChicagoNEXT. “We know that investors are looking beyond the coasts for investments and are discovering what Pitchbook has already published – that Chicago and Midwest startups offer the highest venture capital returns out of any other U.S. city.”
Google and JP Morgan are returning as lead sponsors for the 2020 Chicago Venture Summit. Additional sponsors will be named in the coming weeks and months. For more information, visitwww.chicagoventuresummit.com.
“Now in its fifth year, the Chicago Venture Summit is the city’s premier venture capital conference where startup businesses incubating bold and innovative ideas, and solutions connect with engaged investors and industry leaders,” said Andrea Zopp, President and CEO of World Business Chicago. “This event demonstrates why Chicago’s vibrant tech economy is a global hub for investment.”
As evidenced by a number of recent announcements, Mayor Lightfoot is committed to partnering with businesses and organizations that will tap into the diverse talent found across the entire city, as well as highlighting support and resources for entrepreneurs and small businesses that can revitalize communities and create jobs. Recently, the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund announced an additional $3.6 million investment to support entrepreneurs and small businesses on the South and West Sides. Uber will be bringing its new freight headquarters to Chicago along with 2,000 jobs, and Amazon will also double its Chicago workforce with an additional 400 jobs and a 70,000 square-foot expansion over the next three years. Chicago is also North America’s leader in Foreign Direct Investment for the last seven consecutive years.