Chicago’s impressive community of investors and businesses - both at the startup and enterprise level - are the backbone of our local innovation economy. There are several players ranging from angel investors, VC firms, incubators to accelerators, which can be overwhelming to a new entrepreneur or company looking to get a quick lay of the land. A network visualization tool was released today that starts to simplify Chicago’s investment and venture ecosystem. Designed to help professionals navigate the innovation economy, VentureMap Chicago is a data initiative from our partner VentureApp, which maps hundreds of investments into startups in the city.

Not only is it compelling to visualize the investor relationships in our city, it’s practical for founders, investors, and corporate innovators to trend spot and connect with one another. As a living and breathing visualization, we think it's crucial for folks in Chicago to be able to see how vast our tech ecosystem is, the current connections between investors and startups, and how those will evolve as Chicago continues to rise as a top U.S. tech hub.

Already launched in New York and Boston, VentureApp mapped Chicago startup and investor relationships to give professionals the ability to discover trends in their community and pathways to connect with investors in their extended network. Users can also use the map to connect directly with other users via the chat interface.

It demonstrates volume and connections between deals in the following startup investment sectors:

  • Angel investors and angel groups – Individual investors and groups of individual investors are driving a significant amount of deals into Chicago startups. VentureMap Chicago highlights close to 200 investments made by individuals and groups such as Hyde Park Angels, Eric Lefkofsky, Stuart Larkins, Ira Weiss, and more.
  • Venture capital firms – Driving a majority of startup investments in the city, VentureMap Chicago highlights more than 300 investments from VC firms like ours at TechNexus, Illinois Ventures, MATH Venture Partners, Chicago Ventures, Origin Ventures, Pritzker Group, Lightbank, and more.
  • Incubators and accelerators – Healthbox, Techstars Chicago, Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Elmspring Accelerator, and more, are active incubators and accelerators in the Chicago tech community. The map itself does a great job of visually calling out some of the key players in the Chicago landscape.

TechNexus Venture Collaborative:

Chicago Ventures:


Hyde Park Angels:

Pritzker Group: 

If you’re interested in exploring the map and getting involved with TechNexus and VentureApp, there are a few ways you can do that. Navigate and add yourself to the map. Also, as part of the launch of VentureMap Chicago, VentureApp has invited influential investors from M25 Group, MATH Venture Partners, Moderne Ventures, and our very own Brett Bivens to host online office hours on its chat platform. You can view the schedule and RSVP here for unique opportunities to get one-on-one access and advice, all from your desk or on-the-go with the VentureApp iOS app.