Market Trends


How Livongo Just Opened the Floodgate to a Digital Healthcare Wave

In the future, when we analyze moments in time when true innovation transformed an industry, we’ll remember an event that happened just a couple of weeks ago: Livongo’sIPO. By the end of its trading debut — which left the company valued at $3.4 billion — Livongo proved two things: that it’s possible to empower people to live healthier […]

August 12, 2019 By Pete Wilkins

Why Educating Startup Employees About Equity Is As Important As Giving It

This is the final article in a three-part series on the benefits of giving all startup employees equity. See the first piece here and the second one here. A year after I moved to Chicago, I attended a women’s networking event, where an employee of a recently-acquired startup entered the room. Folks were excited to see her, congratulating […]

August 9, 2019 By Heidi Craun

Why Michigan Could Become a Startup Powerhouse

The unicorns in Michigan demonstrate a fertile startup ecosystem with unlimited opportunities. A couple weeks ago, StockX became the state’s newest in a quickly-growing cohort of unicorns, which includes two other startups that also earned the elite status this year. In February, OneStream Software announced that it had not only become a unicorn but that it is profitable as well, an achievement […]


How Startup Equity Can Impact the Average Tech Employee

When the first startup I worked for was acquired in 2010, my equity—which I did not have full appreciation of up until that point—cashed out on the lower end of the four-figure range. That is not the level of value that we tend to get excited about when we talk about startup equity, but it […]

June 30, 2019 By Heidi Craun

Why Chicago Needs to Be More Vocal About Equity to Compete Nationally

This is the first article in a three-part series on the benefits of giving all startup employees equity. The next article will explore the opportunity Chicago has to leverage equity to create more founders and people capable of taking risks on very early-stage companies. Last month, Chicago Inno published an article on why some startups choose to bootstrap rather […]

May 25, 2019 By Heidi Craun
venture returns

Why The Midwest Drives Top Venture Returns

While startup and venture performance in the Bay Area is a valuable datapoint that provides meaningful insights into our industry, I recommend a different strategy for evaluating our respective ecosystems’ health. To get an actionable — not to mention less daunting — perspective of our performance, we must look beyond the Bay and across all […]

May 18, 2019 By Pete Wilkins
Hatchery Food Innovation

How Chicago Fuels Food-Focused Innovation

Today, Chicago’s newest food business accelerator, The Hatchery, will celebrate its grand opening. A non-profit incubator supported by companies like Conagra and Kellogg’s, The Hatchery will support entrepreneurs in growing successful food- and beverage-based businesses. The incubator’s launch marks the city’s newest development in a long history of food-based entrepreneurial support, the likes of which spans business development assistance, […]

April 21, 2019 By Pete Wilkins
Under-The-Radar VCs

11 Under-The-Radar Chicago VCs You Should Know About

In my most-recent Forbes article, I shared about 12 Chicago-based VCs that are behind hot startups both within our region, like G2 Crowd, and beyond, like SpaceX. These firms tend to get a lot of buzz and make national headlines, but they are far from being the only venture investors in Chicago that fuel entrepreneurs. There […]

March 22, 2019 By Pete Wilkins
Inclusive Entrepreneurship Detroit

These 10 Women are Driving Detroit’s Entrepreneurial Growth

Last week’s report about the state of women leadership in Chicago tech was a powerful reminder of where our successes are and where we can continue to improve. The data creates actionable opportunity for everyone — from individual contributors, to executives, to investors — to catalyze our city and industry toward fostering a more equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem for […]

March 17, 2019 By Heidi Craun
Chicago VCs

12 Chicago VCs You Should Know About

Chicago is quietly becoming a hotbed of venture capital that fuels technology startups — not just in Chicago but across the country and in a wide range of industries. For example, did you know that Calm, SpaceX, and Coinbase all received funding from Chicago VCs? There are dozens of top VCs in the area that […]

March 17, 2019 By Heidi Craun