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Partner Spotlight: JPMorgan Chase

Partner Spotlight: JPMorgan Chase

A key partner to WBC, JPMorgan Chase supports innovative business development programs

JPMorgan Chase is one of the oldest financial institutions in the United States. With a history dating back over 200 years, the company is a global leader in investment banking and financial services. As a key partner to World Business Chicago (WBC), JPMorgan Chase supports innovative programs that focus on small business growth, global civic and business relationship building, and workforce development.

JPMorgan Chase’s support centers around six WBC initiatives:

  • Making Chicago a national leader in exports
  • Supporting emerging sectors in innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Helping build a streamlined business environment
  • Promoting Chicago as a global business destination
  • Building programs for workforce development
  • Supporting business accelerators in healthcare and manufacturing


Chase is the primary funder of the Metro Chicago Exports Export Grant program to expand the region’s strong export base and meet rising demand in global markets. Metro Chicago Exports is a collaboration between the seven counties in Northeastern Illinois (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will) and the City of Chicago to increase exports from small and mid-sized enterprises and to support regional job growth.

“With 80% of global growth anticipated to happen outside the U.S. in the next decade, improved access to foreign markets is critical to the success of companies and workers in the region. We’re confident that the Export Development Grant Program will result in new growth opportunities for deserving Chicago-area businesses,” said Tony Maggiore, head of Chase Middle Market Banking in the Midwest and Canada.

The 2016 grant program builds on the success of last year’s program that provided 54 local companies with grants for reimbursing costs associated with exporting initiatives, including executive training, trade show participation, and international certifications. One of the companies that received a grant last year was Chicago-based Thank God I’m Natural, maker of small-batch, all-natural and organic beauty products.

“Last year’s grant enabled us to better navigate entry into European markets,” said Chris-Tia Donaldson, Chief Executive Officer of Thank God I’m Natural.  “Exporting has helped us to retain and create jobs, and also has generated incremental revenues of at least $100,000 in sales.”


Working with WBC’s ChicagoNEXT, JPMorgan Chase was lead sponsor of the Chicago Venture Summit, a gathering of nearly 150 investment firms and 230 venture capitalists at Google’s Chicago headquarters. This year, the Summit showcased 90 promising Midwest startups across technology, health, retail and digital industries to firms from across the country, representing more than $20 billion in venture capital.

The annual event has had a significant impact on the city and its tech community. The 2014 Summit raised more than $220 million of investment into Chicago area tech companies. Of the 30 participating startups in 2014, 23 have since received funding and two were acquired by larger companies.

“We are focused on driving growth in Chicago’s tech community and one of our primary goals is increasing access to capital for early-stage startups,” World Business Chicago’s technology council, ChicagoNEXT, Chairman Mark Tebbe said. “By bringing startup founders, established companies, university heads and Chicago’s tech community leaders together with venture capitalists from across the globe, we are making deals happen, and building a community that will prosper.”


JPMorgan also works closely with Chicago Sister Cities International (CSCI) to promote Chicago as a global business destination. CSCI promotes Chicago as a global city, developing international partnerships and networks, and sharing best practices through citizen-to-citizen connections. JPMorgan has assisted WBC and CSCI in hosting influential delegations of civic and business leaders from all over the world. Additionally, an executive of the firm serves on CSCI’s Advisory Board and has been a host at the annual Consular Corps Gala, honoring the consuls general’s service to Chicago and supporting the work of WBC and CSCI.


JPMorgan Chase helped host a group of nearly 50 business and government leaders from Mexico City, Mexico in 2014 to share economic development best practices and showcase Chicago as a premier global business destination. The Global Cities Economic Partnership, signed by Mayor Emanuel and Mexico City’s Mayor Mancera in 2013, is a first of its kind agreement designed to foster trade, an exchange of ideas, and sharing of business best practices, while also helping to develop new global trade and investment strategies.


Chase’s New Skills at Work (NSAW) initiative focuses on best-in-class training practices and data analysis to identify career opportunities for the unemployed and underemployed. World Business Chicago and the Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance received resources from JPMorgan Chase to advance these principles by aligning funders, employers and workforce partners. NSAW resources also provide an opportunity to support existing Industry Workforce Partnerships in manufacturing and information technology and to create new partnerships in the healthcare and transportation/distribution/logistics sectors.


MATTER and mHub are also initiatives supported by JPMorgan. MATTER is a community of healthcare innovators, an incubator of ideas, and a catalyst for change within the healthcare industry. mHub is a community of entrepreneurs and businesses fueling Chicago’s product development ecosystem. Both promote growth through physical product innovation, commercialization, and applied research. JPMorgan’s involvement helps MATTER and mHub develop programs, establish partnerships, and run initiatives that provide new and existing entrepreneurs in the healthcare and manufacturing spaces with the tools to build and grow sustainable businesses.

“The global marketplace is more complex, more challenging, and more receptive than ever. It’s critical that local governments and businesses work in partnership to build capacity to compete and succeed in today’s global environment,” said Melissa Bean, Chairman of the Midwest, JPMorgan Chase.

JPMorgan Chase is one of WBC’s many integral partners. To learn more about how to get involved and help drive Chicago’s economic growth, visit

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