Guess what? We’re gonna chat about something super cool – Chicago startups! I’ve been keeping tabs on this, and trust me, it’s a rollercoaster of innovation. So, let’s jump in and see what the Windy City’s got up its sleeve!

Now, Chicago might be famous for deep-dish pizza and the Bean, but that’s not all it’s got going on. We’re seeing a surge in startups spanning industries like tech, fintech, and even food (yeah, beyond pizza). Get ready, ’cause we’re about to explore!

Have you wondered why Chicago’s becoming a startup hub? I’ve got some thoughts on that:

  • Diverse economy: Chicago’s not just a one-trick pony; it’s got a range of thriving industries, providing a fertile ground for startups.
  • Talent: With top universities like Northwestern and UChicago, the talent pool is deep and diverse.
  • Community: The city boasts a vibrant startup community, complete with incubators, accelerators, and co-working spaces.

Buckle up, my friends, as we embark on a thrilling journey through Chicago’s exciting startup landscape.


Tanium, the only company in the market to offer convergent endpoint management (XEM), is driving a paradigm shift in how complex security and technological environments are managed.

By combining IT, Operations, Security, and Risk into a single platform that offers thorough device visibility, a unified set of controls, and a common taxonomy for a single shared purpose—protecting critical information and infrastructure at scale—only Tanium protects every team, endpoint, and workflow from cyber threats.

Tanium is ranked among the Best Big Workplaces in Technology by Fortune and has been included on the Forbes Cloud 100 list for six years running.


The app AllBetterApp makes life simpler for property managers. Property managers and owners can publish a job and their budget on the startup’s website to request bids from pre-screened contractors.

The software is perfect for absentee landlords and property owners because contractors can upload images of the finished project and provide the invoice for the final payment. Payments can be safely handled through AllBetter as well. As one of the Top 5 Apps for Locating House Cleaners, it is also regarded as such.


With the use of cutting-edge technology, insightful analytics, and top-notch customer support, Avant is committed to giving the middle class access to credit. Almost 2 million customers have been connected by Avant to over $7.5 billion in loans and 1 million credit cards since 2012.

Avant is a rapidly expanding financial technology business that has raised over $600 million in equity funding and has been highlighted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, TechCrunch, Fortune, and Bloomberg.


The Rise Science team of sleep specialists developed RISE, a paid energy and sleep monitoring app. It enables you to get better sleep and experience more vitality every day. The sleep tracker, gentle alarm clock, and science-based sleep advisor are all included in the app. Based entirely on your own biology, it informs you when to do everything, from when to drink your last cup of coffee to when you should wind down for bed.

Additionally, it teaches you how to harness your daily energy cycle and anticipates it. Jeff Kahn and Leon Sasson founded Rise Science, the organisation that created the app. The two got their start advising top-performing sports teams and sales groups on how to maximise the benefits of sleep. They now offer everyone else the ability to use the RISE app to accomplish the same.


HighTower is a provider of financial services owned by advisors. Conflicts that are frequently present in conventional brokerage firms are absent from HighTower Advisors. Although they are completely independent, they receive full support in order to better understand and collaborate with customers’ financial lives.


Tegus is a Chicago-based startup that was established in 2016 and is still based there. The company has developed an investor-specific market intelligence platform that gives users access to a database of thousands of peer-led experience call transcripts. As a result, research can now be completed in a matter of hours rather than days.

The business has received startup investment twice since its founding, the most recent round taking place in November 2021. The business has agreements with two investors as part of these investment rounds.


A Catholic prayer software is being developed by Chicago firm Hallow, which was founded in 2018. The pandemic left many churchgoers looking for more in-depth methods to virtually find spirituality, which led to a tremendous increase in demand for the app, which was designed to assist bring together faith and meditation. In addition to its size and the fact that Silicon Valley investors have generally shied away from religious technology, the company recently received $40 million, which is noteworthy.


A new era of connectedness within commercial real estate structures is what Cohesion seeks to usher in. For property owners, managers, and tenants, the startup’s IoT platform links communities, integrates systems, and optimises operations. Access control, HVAC management, guest management, bookings for amenities, communications, and many other features are among the features.

The platform also has a digital twin with patent applications that replicates what is happening within a building using building data and variables like human behaviours and even the weather to provide the building with useful information.


Engineers can access a global network of manufacturing services on-demand with Hubs, formerly known as 3D Hubs, an online manufacturing platform. Consumers may easily upload their design, get a quote right away, and start manufacturing with only one click.

Hubs was established in Amsterdam in 2013 and was bought out by Protolabs in January 2021. Using a variety of production techniques, such as CNC machining, 3D printing, injection moulding, and sheet metal fabrication, Hubs has so far manufactured more than 7 million parts.


A clinical and molecular data library is being created by Tempus so that doctors can use it to make data-driven decisions about cancer treatment for their patients. Personalized treatment regimens are developed for patients after genomic tests using the power of artificial intelligence, which can examine a patient’s tumour at the molecular level. Patients gain from the information gained on the results of prior patients.


The goal of Project44 is to improve supply chains. They enhance the flow of goods around the world, providing customers with increased resilience, sustainability, and value. They run the most reliable end-to-end visibility platform, which tracks more than 1 billion shipments yearly for the top brands in the world, serving as the supply chain’s connecting tissue.

With operations in more than 170 countries and more than 20 languages, Project44 is the most comprehensive multimodal network in the world. Supply chain and logistics workers can follow inventory during their entire journey thanks to their approach to global and multimodal connectivity.


For Every New Normal, Kin’s goal is to rethink home insurance. Although other insurers find it difficult to adapt to a world that is changing quickly, Kin is designed for the future and ready to face its difficulties while assisting consumers in doing the same.

Their technology and direct-to-consumer business model enable them to offer reasonable prices without sacrificing coverage, especially in the regions most severely affected by climate change.

They are both fully licenced and rated A, Exceptional, by Demotech, Inc., which indicates that Kin Interinsurance Network and Kin Interinsurance Nexus Exchange have the financial wherewithal to support clients through routine claims and seismic catastrophes.


Chicago is the home of the American video-sharing website Cameo. Steven Galanis, Martin Blencowe, and Devon Spinnler Townsend developed Cameo in 2016. More than 30,000 celebrities have signed up for the website, which lets them give fans personalised video messages. Fans can connect with their preferred celebrities, sports, musicians, artists, creators, and social media influencers using Cameo.

Most users order Cameos as gifts for others because they make the ideal present and, as an added plus, don’t need to be wrapped. Yet, you are not required to wait for a unique event. You can purchase a video for your own use or as part of a marketing plan.


Chicago-based firm M1 was established in 2015 and is still operating there today. The business runs a platform for investing, a platform for loans, a platform for checking accounts, and a platform for rewards from debit and credit cards. Users of the app benefit from a high-value financial ecosystem created by this, and M1 has been entrusted with more than $6 billion in assets.

The business has received startup capital a total of seven times since its founding. The business has agreements in place with a total of eight investors for these investment rounds. The company has raised $323.2 million from these investors to support its continued growth and development.


ThreeFlow, a Chicago-based startup, is working to revolutionise the way businesses offer benefits while also developing a brand-new class of corporate software. Employers are given the information they need to make benefit decisions through ThreeFlow, which enables benefits brokers and insurance companies to manage the full placement process in one system.

The business just raised an additional $45 million in Series B capital, adding to its earlier $8 million Series A fundraising from this year.


When individuals are ill, Clearstep urges them to stop googling their symptoms and assume the worst. The organization’s AI-driven platform is intended to displace search engines and assist consumers in finding the assistance and care they require.

A chatbot that users use to explain their symptoms provides suggestions for over-the-counter medications as well as help with pricing comparison and appointment scheduling. One of the first participants in the Minneapolis-based, Techstars-run UnitedHealthcare Accelerator, Clearstep has raised $400,000 in funding.


A technological business called Prelude assists organisations in proactively querying their security systems to strengthen their defences. Their technologies, which are based on the idea of visibility, carry out continuous probing to get answers to inquiries ranging from basic health checks to vulnerability to the most recent attacks – across all environments.

Prelude provides comprehensive internal intelligence with which customers can detect, prioritise, and take action without any ambiguity by turning cryptic security definitions into specific queries.

FAQ on Chicago startups

What’s the startup scene like in Chicago?

Chicago has a vibrant startup scene, with a diverse range of industries such as technology, healthcare, and finance. The city offers a supportive ecosystem for entrepreneurs, which includes access to talent from top universities, a lower cost of living compared to other major cities, and a strong sense of community. Chicago’s central location also makes it an attractive hub for startups looking to grow their businesses and reach a broader audience.

How can I find Chicago-based startups?

You can find Chicago-based startups by exploring online resources like AngelList, Crunchbase, or local startup directories. Additionally, attending networking events, conferences, and meetups centered on the Chicago startup scene can help you connect with local entrepreneurs and discover emerging companies. Following local news outlets and social media channels will also keep you informed about the latest startups in the area.

Are there any success stories of Chicago startups?

Yes, there are! Chicago has been home to several successful startups, such as Groupon, Grubhub, and Tempus. These success stories demonstrate that Chicago is capable of fostering innovative startups that can achieve significant growth and make a lasting impact in their respective industries.

What kind of support is available for startups in Chicago?

Chicago offers a variety of support for startups, including accelerators, incubators, and venture capital firms. Organizations like 1871, Techstars Chicago, and MATTER provide resources, mentorship, and funding opportunities to help local startups grow. Additionally, coworking spaces and local universities offer resources and support to new businesses. Chicago is committed to nurturing a thriving and supportive environment for its startup community.

Can I find funding for my startup in Chicago?

Definitely! Chicago has an active venture capital scene with firms like Lightbank, Chicago Ventures, and Origin Ventures investing in local startups. You can also explore angel investors, crowdfunding platforms, and government grants to help fund your business. Attending networking events and building relationships with key players in the community is essential for securing funding for your startup.

Are there any startup incubators or accelerators in Chicago?

Yes, there are! Chicago is home to several incubators and accelerators, such as 1871, Techstars Chicago, and WiSTEM. These programs offer resources, mentorship, and sometimes funding opportunities to help startups grow and succeed. Participating in these programs can be an excellent way to accelerate your business and connect with valuable networks in the industry.

How do I network with other entrepreneurs in Chicago?

To network with other entrepreneurs in Chicago, you should attend startup-focused events, conferences, and meetups. You can also join local online communities and social media groups where entrepreneurs share their experiences, advice, and opportunities. Networking is vital for building relationships and finding potential customers, investors, and partners, so make an effort to connect with others in the community.

What are some challenges Chicago startups face?

While Chicago has a growing startup scene, there are challenges that startups may face, such as limited access to funding compared to larger startup hubs, difficulty in attracting top talent, and competition with established businesses. However, Chicago’s supportive ecosystem, lower cost of living, and a strong sense of community help offset these challenges and create a nurturing environment for startups.

How can I hire talent for my Chicago startup?

To find talent for your Chicago startup, you can attend local networking events, use online job boards, and connect with universities and colleges in the area.

Engaging with the local community can help you tap into a pool of skilled individuals who are interested in joining the startup scene. Additionally, leveraging social media platforms and reaching out to your network can help you find the right talent for your business.

Be sure to highlight the unique opportunities and benefits of working at a startup to attract the best candidates. Building a strong team is crucial for the success of your startup, so invest time and effort into the hiring process.

By focusing on finding the right talent, you’ll be better equipped to overcome challenges and make your startup a success in Chicago’s growing ecosystem.

Conclusion on these Chicago startups

The city also boasts a robust network of incubators and accelerators for early-stage businesses, which enables these businesses to expand and gives inexperienced founders access to mentoring opportunities that can help them build both their businesses and themselves as entrepreneurs. Currently, the city is home to more than 70 of these incubators.

With thirteen Chicago-based venture firms raising more than $100 Million each for a total of $5.7 Billion, local startup funds are also on the rise. A significant portion of this funding has gone towards advancing local startups, particularly in the fields of fintech, logistics, healthcare, and deep technology.

If you liked this article about Chicago startups, you should check out this article about Cincinnati startups.

There are also similar articles discussing Miami startups, Phoenix startups, Nashville startups, and Raleigh startups.

And let’s not forget about articles on Charlotte startups, Denver startups, Dallas startups, and Sacramento startups.


I'm the manager behind the Upcut Studio team. I've been involved in content marketing for quite a few years helping startups grow.