These 23 Venture Capital Firms Are Shaping the Future of Chicago Tech

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What elements do you need to create a successful tech ecosystem?

One of them includes capital investment - to help fund big, audacious ideas.

Today at Dare Mighty Things, we'll be highlighting some of the venture capital firms helping to transform the future of Chicago tech.

Adams Street Partners

Image source: Adams Street Partners

Since 1972, Adams Street Partners has a large portfolio of nearly 100 companies and 150+ investments.

In it's history, over 50 companies have exited including RetailMeNot, LogRhythm and ComScore.

Apex Venture Partners

Founded in 1987, Apex Venture Partners, has a track record of more than $140 million in investments into nearly 50 companies over its 30-year existence.

Portfolio companies include Bloom Energy, Envestnet, Trunk Club and more

Arch Venture Partners

Founded in 1986, Arch Venture Partners backs disruptive science companies that impact humanity.

They take the long term view when it comes to building companies - which makes them flexible in deal size, which can range from from $50K - 150M.

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Baird Capital

Baird Capital is the direct private investment arm of Robert W. Baird & Co.

They make venture capital, growth equity and private equity investments in strategically targeted sectors globally including healthcare, industrial and technology companies.

In 30 years of operation, they've invested in over 300 companies and have 150+ exits.

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Ceres Venture Fund

Ceres Venture Fund seeks to provide funding for high-growth companies in the Midwest.

Ceres Managing Directors bring over 60 years of experience in investing, managing, and developing early stage businesses.

They invest in heartland companies, because they see the region as an untapped pool of potential deserving of more opportunity.

Chicago Ventures

Image source: Chicago Ventures

Launched in 2012, Chicago Ventures seeks to invest in seed stage companies in cities like Chicago, Austin, Madison and Denver.

With 100+ investments, 50 portfolio companies and 3 dozen exits, its impact is crystal clear.

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Corazon Capital

Image source: Corazon Capital

Founded in 2014, Corazon Capital is a venture capital firm focused on early-stage opportunities.

They've made 50+ investments, with 8 exits including Bonobos and Authy.

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Energize Ventures

Image source: Energize Ventures

Energize Ventures is a pre-growth stage, female-led, venture fund located in Chicago providing early and growth stage capital.

They also help their portfolio companies by providing expertise in engineering and operations.

Energize Ventures has thus far made 10 investments across: cyber security, mobility, data analytics, operational efficiency, and distributed energy.

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Energy Foundry

Image source: Energy Foundry

Founded, Energy Foundry has provided funding for its 16 portfolio companies in the clean tech and energy sectors, including Digital H2O.

Their approach merges venture capital with the perks of partnership and includes an arsenal of essential tools and relationships to help bring great ideas to market.

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First Analysis

Investing more than $780 million over four decades, First Analysis uses its extensive research model to identify rapid-growth companies in tech, security, healthcare and more.

Out of its 46 portfolio companies, some of its notable investments include Yello and UniversityNow.

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Hyde Park Venture Partners

Image source: Hyde Park Venture Partners

As an early stage venture fund, Hyde Park Venture Partners looks to take on startups with high growth potential.

Its 66 portfolio companies include successes like Geofeedia, Avant, ParkWhiz and Fourkites, and the firm has raised more than $400 million in follow-on capital for its portfolio with 7 exited companies.

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JK&B Capital

Founded in 1996, JK&B investments in software companies, specifically in communications, IT and healthcare markets.

Over the years, they've made 150+ investments, with 70+ exits.

Jump Capital

Image source: Jump Capital

With 84 investments and 51 portfolio companies to its name, Jump Capital provides expansion and growth stage capital for software companies.

Founded in 2012, the firm provides advocacy and support through a platform of institutional-level resources for entrepreneurs.

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Hyde Park Angels

Image source: Hyde Park Angels

A syndicate of angel investors comprised of former executives, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, Hyde Park Angels provides seed funding to midwestern companies.

From businesses in financial services to digital media and tech, the firm boasts a portfolio of over 50 companies in the midwest like Clearcover, Farmer's Fridge and FourKites.

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Illinois Ventures

Image source: Illinois Ventures

A early-stage tech investment firm, Illinois Ventures has brought in 29 research-based companies in IT, physical sciences and life sciences into its portfolio.

Born from the campus of the University of Illinois, the firm combines leading researchers with innovative ideas and high growth companies coming out of the school.

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Started in 2010 by serial entrepreneurs Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell, Lightbank is a top performing early stage venture capital firm headquartered in Chicago.

They've made investments in 144 companies, including Clearcover, SpotHero and Sprout Social.

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MATH Venture Partners

Image source: MATH Venture Partners

Founded in 2014, MATH Venture Partners is an early-stage venture capital fund managed by an experienced team of hands-on technology investors and operators.

With over 30 portfolio companies, the fund invests in digital technology companies demonstrating a competitive advantage in acquiring and retaining customers across a variety of sectors including software, e-commerce and analytics.

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MK Capital

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Founded in 2003, MK Capital invests in companies within the software and cloud spaces.

Companies among its portfolio include those in digital media, data center automation, software and edtech.

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OCA Ventures

Since 1999, OCA Ventures has funded 60+ companies with seed, series A and B capital.

They focus on investing in sectors that include tech, financial services, education and healthcare tech.

OCA Ventures has invested in companies like SpotHero, Cleversafe, Snapsheet and more.

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Origin Ventures

Image source: Origin Ventures

Founded in 1999, Origin Ventures typically invests in Series A rounds, with an initial check size of 500k - $4m.

Origin focuses on funding software and marketplace companies in both B2B and B2C markets.

Investments include companies like GrubHub, Cameo, Tock and Tovala.

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Pritzker Group Venture Capital

Image source: Pritzker Group Venture Capital

Founded in 1996, Pritzker Group Venture Capital employs an investment strategy focusing on series A / B funding for companies in the consumer, digital health, enterprise and emerging technologies space.

With a massive 200+ investments across a variety of sectors, their notable recent exits include Dollar Shave Club, Cleversafe, Fleetmatics and Viv Labs.

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Sandbox Industries

Image source: Sandbox Industries

Founded in 2003, Sandbox Industries, is a Chicago-based venture capital firm that invests in across multiple sectors including IT, healthcare, agriculture and more. Their current portfolio includes 40+ companies.

In addition to venture investing, Sandbox Industries also leads accelerator programs as well as innovation consulting.

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Valor Equity Partners

Founded in 1995, Valor Equity Partners, is an operational growth investment firm focused on control and non-control investments in high-growth companies across various stages of development.

With over 70 investments and 28 portfolio companies, they partner with leading companies and entrepreneurs who are committed to the highest standards of excellence and the courage to transform their industries.

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