(CHICAGO) – March 22, 2022 – Today, World Business Chicago, the city’s economic development agency, announced fintech as its fifth priority industry of focus. In launching this new area of focus, World Business Chicago has released a special Chicago Business Bulletin, “Fintech in Chicago,” providing a comprehensive insight into the sector’s growth, talent pool, geographic hub, and opportunities within Chicago’s diversified economy. [Link to report]
“Tech in Chicago is transforming business overall, and certainly accelerating growth in key industries such as health care, life sciences, food and agriculture, manufacturing, transportation and logistics,” said Michael Fassnacht, president & CEO, World Business Chicago, and first-ever chief marketing officer, city of Chicago. “Tech is also transforming and propelling Chicago’s financial industry into its next generation as an industry. Let our focus on fintech as delineated in our research center’s report, makes clear the value of our city’s financial and fintech ecosystem. We have tremendous opportunity to see Chicago become a hub to the world through growth and expansion.”
Today, fintech represents a major part of Chicago’s business ecosystem, with over 800 fintech companies that have raised $4.58 billion in growth capital in 2021, an increase of 112 percent since 2020. As a city that is among the top ten urban centers in the world for GDP, Chicago plays an outsized role in the yet-to-be-written future of fintech. By elevating fintech to its index of focus sectors, World Business Chicago is recognizing the monumental impact it plays in the city’s economic success today and in the future.
“The long-term theme of e-commerce, digital payments, cryptocurrencies and online banking is strong and growing,” said Samir Mayekar, deputy mayor, city of Chicago. “Today, Chicago’s finance and insurance industry generates over fifty billion annually and employs over two hundred thousand people. In focusing on this sector, the opportunity to grow this is exponential.”
Among the conclusions in the World Business Chicago, The Research Center, Chicago Business Bulletin, “Fintech in Chicago,” includes:
“We applaud World Business Chicago for recognizing and highlighting the crucial role that emerging technology firms and the entire financial services sector – from banks to fintechs – play in helping drive economic development in all of our neighborhoods,” said David Casper, U.S. CEO, BMO Financial Group. “My colleagues and I at BMO have had the opportunity to partner with some exceptionally strong fintech firms, and the innovative digital solutions we’re delivering together are very impactful in helping people make real financial progress.”
As a long-standing powerhouse of finance on the world stage with a deep pool of talent, Chicago has become a fertile ecosystem for fintech to take root and thrive. Most recently Site Selection magazine awarded Chicago with the distinction as the No. #1 Top Metro, for the ninth consecutive year, for business expansion and relocation, as covered by Chicago Inno. For more information on Chicago’s business landscape, visit Chicago Business Bulletin, Year in Review.
“Our study of fintech revealed that not only is this a high-growth tech sector in Chicago, but Chicago outperforms the national average for access to finance and insurance industry talent,” said Robin Ficke, Vice President of Research, World Business Chicago. “We see that this talent is driving innovation in fintech and the broader tech ecosystem in Chicago as nearly half of the hires made by leading fintech companies come from the finance industry, who then go on to work for larger tech firms. Other cities with mature tech ecosystems, like Boston and Seattle, don’t have the same deep finance talent pool that Chicago does, which may be why Chicago has been able to outperform those cities for investments in fintech.”
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About World Business Chicago
Today World Business Chicago serves a critical role in driving inclusive and equitable recovery throughout the city’s 77-neighborhoods, focused on high-growth areas of Transportation, Distribution & Logistics, Manufacturing, Life Sciences & Healthcare, Technology, Venture Capital and Innovation. As the city’s economic development arm, World Business Chicago leads business acquisition, workforce and talent, community impact and equity, support of our business community and promotion of the city as a leading global metro. Follow World Business Chicago on LinkedIn and Twitter for news, announcements and insight on Chicago’s expanding business and industry.