Fourth Annual Summit to Take Place Oct. 2 and 3 to Highlight Chicago as a Leading, Global Hub for Investment, Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and World Business Chicago today announced that the 2018 Chicago Venture Summit will be held October 2 – 3, 2018, with events held at Google’s Chicago headquarters and innovation hubs throughout the city. Organized by ChicagoNEXT, World Business Chicago’s council of technology leaders, the fourth Chicago Venture Summit offers firms one-on-one access to entrepreneurs, investors and leaders of Fortune 500 firms.

“With one of the most diversified economies in the U.S. and thriving ecosystem of entrepreneurs and tech talent, Chicago’s tech sector is a global destination for investment and innovation,” Mayor Emanuel said. “I look forward to again welcoming firms from across the country to the Chicago Venture Summit as we highlight the unique strengths of our world-class startup community.”

The invitation-only event provides two full days of industry-specific networking and programming featuring Chicago’s leading innovation hubs; pitch sessions and panels from Chicago-based entrepreneurs and startups; insights from local and national venture investors; and forums highlighting Chicago’s global leadership in talent development, its leading industries, and its focus on innovation.

The 2018 Chicago Venture Summit also builds on the growing momentum of the local technology ecosystem in 2017. Technology companies in Chicago raised $1.73 billion in 2017, with rounds from 188 companies representing one of the city’s best-ever years to date for venture funding, according to a recent report from Built in Chicago. A total of 34 companies raised $10 million or more, and 43 companies had exits over the past year.

“Chicago is consistently ranked as one of the leading cities in the world to build a business, hire fresh talent, and generate return on investment in the technology sector,” said Mark Tebbe, chairman of ChicagoNEXT. “The Chicago Venture Summit celebrates these successes and provides investors face-to-face connections with the startups and entrepreneurs making Chicago a global technology leader.”

The 2017 Chicago Venture Summit welcomed more than 400 investors, startup founders and business and community leaders to Google’s Chicago headquarters and several of its leading innovation hubs visits for a half day of startup showcases and a full day of programming and networking. The event built on the success of the first two summits in 2014 and 2016, which featured 30 companies that have collectively raised at least $431 million since participating in the Chicago Venture Summit. Additionally, investors at the 2017 Venture Summit represented more than $20 billion in investment capital.

Google, JP Morgan and William Blair return as lead sponsors for the 2018 Chicago Venture Summit.

For more information on sponsorship opportunities, media inquiries and up-to-date event details and news, visit

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