Market Trends

Cybersecurity Startup Duo Security's Co-Founders

The Midwest’s Best-Kept Secret is its Vibrant Cybersecurity Community

Cisco’s announcement this month that it intends to acquire Ann Arbor-based cybersecurity startup Duo Security for a whopping $2.35 billion shines a light on the Midwest’s increasing strength in the cybersecurity space. Given that Ann Arbor is relatively small compared to cities like Chicago and New York, such a large exit might come as a surprise to some. […]

August 16, 2018 By Pete Wilkins

Why Midwest Capital is Fueling Rockets, Electric Cars, and the Heartland

I’ve talked about how Midwest startups with coastal connections attract capital and why investors outside the Midwest want in. In fact, a recent analysis of PitchBook data shows that Chicago startups alone received $1.7 billion in venture capital funding last year through deals with at least one non-Illinois investor. While this is certainly noteworthy, what is perhaps more […]

July 30, 2018 By Pete Wilkins
Detroit, Michigan

Why Michigan is the Midwest’s Most Improved Startup Community

PitchBook’s recent report on the 3 critical factors for a strong venture ecosystem — density, resources, and talent — led me on a quest to find where, beyond the typical major cities discussed in the venture world, we see these factors crystallizing in emerging ecosystems. I didn’t have to go far; my research led me across Lake Michigan to the […]

July 16, 2018 By Pete Wilkins
Chicago success breeds more success

How the Entrepreneurs Behind Chicago’s Top Exits are Fueling the Next Startup Wave

In a Forbes article I wrote earlier this year, I analyzed why 2017 was a great year for Chicago exits and investments. Inspired by these recent successes, I traced the data back a bit farther and examined Chicago’s exits from 2012 to 2017. Using PitchBook data and SEC filings, I found that the following exits positioned […]

June 28, 2018 By Pete Wilkins
Sawyer Bengtson

Why Top VCs from Outside the Midwest Want In

As the Midwest startup ecosystem continues to grow, top investors from outside the region increasingly show that they are watching and want in — especially when a repeat entrepreneur is at the helm of a budding startup. To validate this assertion, my firm, Hyde Park Angels, decided to dig into the numbers. Between 2016 and today, coastal […]


How Chicago’s startup exits stack up against 4 other major cities

While 2017 was a strong year for Midwestern startup exits in general, a deeper analysis demonstrates that Chicago in particular is among the nation’s leading cities for top exits and IPOs over the past five years. This indicates the city has evolved and is now presenting a recurring pattern of startup successes that drive attractive venture […]

May 15, 2018 By Pete Wilkins

Why Midwest Startups With Valley Connections Attract Funding

A trend is emerging in venture capital that is good news for the Midwest startup ecosystem: Companies led by seasoned entrepreneurs who strategically opened major offices in both the Midwest and Silicon Valley attract funding from top-tier VC firms. While it is too early to determine whether this will be the next big wave in […]

April 30, 2018 By Pete Wilkins

Chicago’s strongest startup sector is online marketplaces

As an investment leader in Chicago, I get asked about startup trends on a regular basis. Most often the question I’m asked is, “What is the strongest startup sector in Chicago?” It’s a hard question because one of Chicago’s core advantages nationally is that we are consistently strong everywhere (except when it comes to finding […]

March 8, 2018 By Tina Wink

State of Midwest Investments Series: Chicago Edition

The State of Midwest Investments Series assesses top startup rankings culled from sources like award ceremonies, revenue growth lists, and holistic predictions to evaluate how Midwest startups are performing six months, one year, and two years out from being ranked. We specifically evaluate additional capital raised, new stage of investment, new hires, and current investors […]

July 8, 2016 By Alida Miranda-Wolff

Where the Alternative Finance Market Is Headed

As technology continues to disrupt, transform, and enhance established industries like finance, education, and healthcare, we have tracked the resulting intersections and developments to better understand the different market landscapes. Recently, we brought together leaders in the alternative finance market Al Goldstein (Founder and CEO, Avant), Rumi Morales (Executive Director, CME Ventures), Scott Rose (Leader, […]

June 17, 2016 By Alida Miranda-Wolff