CHICAGO, Dec. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot joins ChicagoNEXT, an initiative of World Business Chicago, and P33 to announce Chicago’s continued lead in venture capital (VC) return on investment the 2020 Chicago VC Ecosystem Report, released today. Among the reasons cited are:

  • $7.8B invested in Chicago since 2017
  • A record number of 302 deals closed in 2019
  • 2000 active tech startups supported by a deep roster of seed stage companies and incubators, including 1871 recognized by UBI Global as the #1 private incubator among university-affiliated business incubators in the world.

“This announcement only confirms what everyone in Chicago already knew,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “When it comes to supporting entrepreneurship, driving innovation, and—above all—delivering results, there is no better city in the nation than Chicago thanks to our vibrant ecosystem, diverse economy, and wealth of homegrown talent. Our city’s strength has especially shone through during this challenging year as we’ve worked together to apply that same prowess toward developing solutions for our businesses and communities, and laid the groundwork for even greater resiliency and dynamism citywide for years to come.”

Today’s announcement follows the recent launch of Startup Chicago, a new startup growth program connecting local startups with regional and national investors. Startup Chicago is supported by lead sponsor J.P. Morgan and William Blair, and sponsors Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and the Toronto Stock Exchange & TSX Venture Exchange.

The data in 2020 Chicago VC Ecosystem Report curated by ChicagoNEXT and P33, analyzed recent venture capital and investment data provided by PitchBook. Chicago’s top ranking is based on a statistic that measures VC returns by using “Median Multiple On Invested Capital” (MOIC); MOIC is calculated as the ratio of exit value to amount of capital raised.

“For the past several years, we shared with investors across the country why Chicago leads as the nation’s best destination for startup investment,” said Mark Tebbe, Chair of ChicagoNEXT. “And we’ll continue to say: if you’re looking for the best place to deploy your capital, come to Chicago.”

“This latest PitchBook report highlights Chicago’s status as a top city where innovative startups thrive and grow,” said Andrea L. Zopp, President and CEO of World Business Chicago. “Today’s announcement adds fuel to our ongoing efforts to support and drive inclusive growth and opportunity throughout Chicago’s tech and innovation ecosystem.”

The 2020 Chicago VC Ecosystem Report was made possible through a collaboration between PitchBook, ChicagoNEXT and P33, a private sector-led nonprofit. P33 was formed to catalyze collaborations needed to make Chicagoland a global tech hub and innovation leader where all people thrive. One such initiative is P33 Company Connect, a use case catalogue of tech solutions from growth stage companies that are then matched to enterprise companies looking for solutions to their hardest business challenges.

“The report continues to motivate our collective work to advance the city’s national and global technology leadership,” said Brad Henderson, CEO of P33. “Helping growth stage companies find better access to enterprise customers and capital through P33 Company Connect, will close a critical gap in our startup ecosystem.”

The report also illustrates a record tally of 302 venture deals closed in 2019 for an aggregate of $2.2 billion in VC invested. Even during this tumultuous year, Chicago reports 190 deals closed for $1.6 billion through the end of September 2020. You can access the report here.

About World Business Chicago & ChicagoNEXT
World Business Chicago (WBC) is a public-private, non-profit partnership that drives inclusive economic growth and job creation, supports business, and promotes Chicago as a leading global city. Launched in 2012 and supported by a council of 250+ tech community leaders, ChicagoNEXT is WBC’s dedicated initiative driving inclusive growth and opportunity for Chicago’s technology economy and innovation ecosystem. Their flagship programs include Startup Chicago, the Chicago Venture Summit, and ThinkChicago. Learn more at

About P33
P33, a private-sector led nonprofit, is catalyzing the collaborations needed to make Chicagoland a global tech hub and innovation leader where all people thrive. Based on an extensive body of research, P33 closes gaps in the innovation ecosystem and strengthens the connective tissue across the economic landscape. Officially launched in 2019, P33 is co-chaired by Penny Pritzker, former Secretary of Commerce and founder and chairman of PSP Partners; Chris Gladwin, CEO and Co-founder of Ocient and Cleversafe; and Kelly Welsh, President of the Civic Committee of The Commercial Club of Chicago. Learn more at


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