CHICAGO, Oct. 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Mayor Brandon Johnson launched the inaugural Chicago Venture Summit Future-of-Climate-Tech, underscoring a pivotal moment for the city’s advancement in the climate tech space. The Chicago Venture Summit, originally founded by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker in 2014, and annually orchestrated by World Business Chicago, has consistently been a magnet for tech and innovation leaders throughout the Midwest. Today’s summit, focused on climate tech, has garnered immense attention and sold-out weeks in advance. Over 800 climate tech enthusiasts, founders, investors, and business leaders are gathered at the iconic 167 Green Street in the Fulton Market District, a convening that epitomizes the strength of the Chicago region’s dynamic and burgeoning climate tech landscape.
“I’m pleased to welcome the more than 800 startup founders, investors, and innovators to the Chicago Venture Summit Future-of-Climate-Tech, showcasing our city’s commitment to climate technology, sustainability, and renewable energy,” said Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson. “As one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing venture summits, today’s inaugural climate-tech edition showcases the essential role our vibrant startup community plays in advancing environmental justice and sustainability.”
According to World Business Chicago’s Research Center, the Chicagoland region’s green economy produced over $18 billion in economic output in 2022, growing by nearly 180% between 2016 and 2022. With over 65,000 in employment, Chicagoland is ranked fifth out of the top ten metro areas for employment in the green economy. Nearly 25% of all growth capital deals in Chicagoland were investments in climate and cleantech startups, the highest proportion when compared to total deals across the Midwest, U.S., and the world. The Chicago Business Bulletin’s “Chicagoland’s Green Future, Issue 6,” a publication produced by World Business Chicago’s Research Center, delves into the region’s role today and in the future in climate tech innovation and the green economy, examining the current market size, trajectory, the importance of talent and capital, workforce availability, public and private investment trends including grants, and innovation driven by research, technology transfer from Illinois universities, commercialization, and patent trends.
“The Chicago Venture Summit continues to be one of our nation’s most exciting events which connects the startup, growth capital, and corporate communities,” said Mark Tebbe, Innovation and Venture Council Chair at World Business Chicago. “Because we believe our world-class business ecosystem must be deeply invested in our local entrepreneurs, the Chicago Venture Summit is the perfect platform to drive inclusive growth and opportunity for our startups.”
Chicago Venture Summit Future-of-Climate-Tech attendees represent more than 450 unique corporations, startups, financial and investment firms, universities, national laboratories, and other business and innovation entities. This includes more than 80 financial, investment, and venture capital firms, and more than 10 countries represented via Consulate Generals, trade offices, and other international participants. The summit’s startup portfolio includes 149 startups, more than half led by a founder of color, 55 percent headquartered in Illinois, and 45 percent headquartered outside of Illinois—demonstrating the summit’s continued resonance as a national event.
Among the highlights of the Chicago Venture Summit Future-of-Climate-Tech, include:
“The Chicago Venture Summit stands as the Midwest’s premier gathering, drawing in over 1,500 forward-thinking entrepreneurs, investors, and innovative startups in just the past year,” said Michael Fassnacht, CEO and President of World Business Chicago, and the City of Chicago’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Today’s climate tech focused venture summit underscores the Chicagoland region’s commitment to directing investments and innovation towards robust climate solutions that not only generate jobs but also catalyze inclusive economic advancement.”
Visionary Ecosystem Leaders & Business Titans Champion Chicagoland as the Next Global Climate Tech Nexus
The Chicago Venture Summit is proud to announce the support of 40 unique sponsors, including the valuable contributions from its presenting sponsors: 1871, CBRE, ComEd, Crowe, Current, Energize Capital, Evergreen Climate Innovations, J.P. Morgan, mHUB, Microsoft, S2G Ventures, Shapack Partners, UL, and Verizon. The summit’s presenting international partner is the Consulate General of Canada in Chicago.
World Business Chicago recognizes that the success of the Chicago Venture Summit Future-of-Climate-Tech, the region’s flagship venture summit, is due in large part to the generous support of its partners and sponsors. Innovation Sponsors include all seven members of the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership (Cook County, Choose DuPage, Kane County, Kendall County, Lake County Partners, McHenry County Economic Development Corporation, and the Will County Center for Economic Development). Additional Innovation Sponsors include Cooley, GET Cities, Illinois Science and Technology Coalition, TechNexus Venture Collaborative, and SRS Acquiom. Startup Sponsor include Amazon, Clique Studios, Mycocycle, and Wynndalco Enterprises. Venture Partners include All Raise, BLCK VC, Chain Reactions Innovations at Argonne National Laboratory, Chicago:Blend, Earth Foundry, Gen Z VCs, Hyde Park Venture Partners, and Lofty Ventures, and SomosVC.
For the fifth time since 2021, the Chicago Venture Summit returns to 167 Green in Chicago’s Fulton Market District. The 640,000 square foot office building, developed by Shapack Partners and Focus and owned in partnership with Walton Street Capital, is a testament to its location and design. Recently, CCC Information Services, Foxtrot, and others have announced their headquarters’ relocation to the building, joining Kroll and other innovative companies located at 167 Green in the Fulton Market District. 167 Green features one of Chicago’s largest town hall spaces, which doubles as a full-size basketball court on the top floor of the building, along with a rooftop terrace, sitting room, game room and gym.
ABOUT WORLD BUSINESS CHICAGO:
World Business Chicago serves a critical role in driving inclusive and equitable recovery throughout the city’s 77 neighborhoods, focused on high growth sectors: transportation, distribution, & logistics; manufacturing; healthcare & life sciences, and our local innovation, startup, & venture ecosystem. As the City of Chicago’s economic development agency, World Business Chicago leads corporate attraction & retention, workforce & talent, community impact, and promotion of Chicago as a leading global city. Supported by a council of 300+ local leaders, World Business Chicago’s portfolio of innovation & venture programs include: the Chicago Venture Summit series, Startup Chicago, ThinkChicago, and Venture Engine with the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition (ISTC). Follow World Business Chicago on LinkedIn for daily news and announcements on company relocation and expansion, industry and ecosystem growth, U.S. and world rankings, and more about Chicago’s economic progress.
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