Chicago’s Startup Community – New Reasons To Live In The Windy City

Troy Henikoff, one of the founders of Excelerate Labs and one of the leaders of Chicago’s startup community sent me an update on what’s going on in Chicago. It’s pretty awesome and is a great example of what happens when entrepreneurs take a long term view to building their startup community. Here are a few of the things going on that Troy mentioned.

BuiltInChicago – just over a year old and has over 6,000 entrepreneurs and 15 – 20 blog posts a day on what is happening in Chicago

Technori Pitch – sells out a 500 seat auditorium each month to hear 4 – 5 startups pitch

TechWeek Conference – a week-long festival celebrating the technology, web and interactive communities

Entrepreneurs Unpluggd – Awesome event each month to hear from 3 entrepreneurs on a variety of topics

CodeAcademy – a 90 day intense in person curriculum that teaches people to be coders

1871 – a new 50,000 sq ft co-working space opening next month it is totally entrepreneur focused and is a 501(c)3

FireStarter Fund – 42 successful digital tech entrepreneurs start an innovative fund to help early stage Chicago companies with capital and access to mentorship

Excelerate – Forbes ranked us the #3 accelerator in the country this year – applications are open until March 16th

The BuiltInChicago site has a great summary of 2011 along with a list of Chicago companies. It seems like it’s time for me to get my butt to the airport, hop on a United flight, and spend a few days in Chicago.


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