Chicago Meetup: Startup Sails Are Full In The Windy City

We did it Chicago. Thanks to you, we had a great meetup to close out our northern meetups series last week. People made the trek out to the Zhou B gallery on Chicago’s south side for a night of networking, complete with an impromptu pitch battle.

As with other cities on the tour, we spent one day meeting with local area businesses and entrepreneurs at office hours, and then the next at the big event itself. In general, I think we saw a lot more very early stage (read: idea phase) projects come across our temporary desks than in previous cities, and we seemed to attract entrepreneurs from farther afield, with people making the trek in from Iowa and Arkansas, for example, to show off their projects.

You might expect Chicago’s startup scene to resemble New York’s, and it did in that many businesses getting started there seem to place a priority on building sustainable revenue models early, unlike west coast startups that repeatedly seem to talk about building user numbers fast and worry about money coming in later.

Chicago’s startup community was no less enthusiastic than we’ve seen elsewhere, however, and that was obvious during the heated pitch battle. All in all, it was a fitting end to a great trip introduced us to a lot of smart, innovative companies we might not have come across otherwise. Thanks again, Chicago.

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