Chicago's Startup Resources
Grow Pipeline of Companies

The Midwest startup scene is growing, and Chicago is bursting with resources to help them.

Silicon Valley might get the TV shows and the hype, but Chicagoland and the rest of the Midwest are quickly proving that they aren’t just fly-over areas for VC’s looking for innovative startups. One of the big reasons is the burgeoning network of resources that are popping up for startups to take advantage of.

Support these cleantech startups in-person at the final Clean Energy Trust Challenge event on May 9th!

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mHub is Chicago’s latest innovation center, helping technology entrepreneurs develop products and speed up manufacturing. On March 2nd, mHub celebrated their grand opening. Product development and particularly manufacturing have often been a costly stumbling block for early stage startups. The mHub innovation center will help reduce cost and time for startups.

1871, founded in 2012, has become a thriving hub for technology startups in Chicago. On March 30th, 1871’s CEO Howard Tullman announced that 1871 will be expanding to create more room for a new Internet of Things incubator, Chicago Connectory. The new 18,000 square foot space will be on the 5th floor of the Merchandise Mart close to 1871’s existing space on the 2nd and 3rd floors.

Not to be outdone, the University of Chicago recently established the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The Polsky Center is designed to increase opportunities for startups and entrepreneurs by unifying previously separate UChicago venture creation initiatives. The Center is supported by a $50 million gift from Michael Polsky, the CEO of Invenergy LLC, the largest privately-held wind company in North America, and Co-Chairman of Clean Energy Trust’s board.

Among the startups utilizing Chicago’s entrepreneurial resources are Lotic Labs and Switched Source. As two of eight 2017 Clean Energy Trust Challenge Finalists, they are leading cleantech innovation in the Midwest.

Lotic LabsChicago, IL | Finance & Natural Resources

Lotic Labs develops financial products and risk management solutions for industrial and natural resource-intensive businesses facing the threat of volatile environmental conditions. The first product is focused on helping water and wastewater utilities manage financial stresses due to droughts, extended wet periods, and unplanned maintenance.

Switched Source – Chicago, IL | Advanced Grid Technology

Switched Source has developed a suite of solutions that offer a new level of control over energy supply, enhancing the last mile of electricity delivery. This technology leverages the existing distribution infrastructure to provide a more efficient and reliable electrical grid. With this operational flexibility comes an unparalleled ability to tie more distributed renewable energy resources into the distribution system.

By Alex Foucault | April 10, 2017