How Chicago Universities Provide Fertile Platforms for Entrepreneurship

Birbahadur  Kathayat

Chicago has a rich educational history ever since the city was founded on modern progressive ideals. The city’s present educational ecosystem is based on an enduring legacy that imparts education for people of all creeds, casts, hues, and backgrounds.

It was a gradual yet positive institutional up-gradation in Chicago’s system of public education thanks to the city’s rapid development and improved infrastructure. Universities in Chicago attract students and scholars from all over the world. These universities have become breeding grounds for refining talents and developing various skills.

Today, “Entrepreneurship” is the most talked buzzwords in the world and we are just witnessing how it has changed the face of the business world. We are fully aware of the fact that yesterday’s startups are today’s technological giants like Facebook, Google, Apple, etc. From Silicon Valley to Wall Street, entrepreneurs are leaving their mark everywhere because of this overpowering culture of entrepreneurship.

Chicago universities have also played a key role in providing a productive ecosystem for entrepreneurship to flourish. The city’s education system has experienced radical changes in the last several decades. It saw a profound demographic change followed by organizational modification and school reform. Multiplicity, innovation, research-based education, and interactive study are the hallmarks of Chicago universities. These have been the fundamental and necessary elements for entrepreneurial journey of several alumni. These universities provide a multidisciplinary hub for brainstorming ideas, PhD thesis writing, technological innovation, and healthy competition.

University of Chicago, given its long history of excellence in entrepreneurialism, has been a leading flag bearer of driving innovation in Chicago. The University alone has produced hundreds of entrepreneurs in the last decade. Only recently, University of Chicago has started a new program with an aim to boost campus entrepreneurship. This initiative, known as “UChicago Startup Investment Program”, is aiming to invest $25 million for entrepreneurship. “The UChicago Startup Investment Program is the next step in the University of Chicago’s commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation,” said University Spokesperson Marielle Sainvilus. As a result, students as well as entrepreneurship groups are hugely benefiting from this initiative.

There are many more such programs and initiatives that are paving way for further entrepreneurship and future employment generation. “Chicago Entrepreneurship Workshop” is one such attempt towards this direction. The objective of this program is to expose the University of Illinois Students to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Chicago. This program is immensely helping students in terms of availing opportunity to visit startups, accomplished alumni, and leading technology startup companies. This program is effectively helping in building an entrepreneurial community at Illinois.

Not just Chicago, the universities and educational institutions across the State of Illinois are spurring innovation and economic development. These Universities are producing innovative thinkers who are perfectly using the State’s resources to develop and deploy their valuable ideas. Due to this sustainable use of resources, there has been a strong surge in startup creation and retention in the State. The Illinois Science and Technology Coalition (ISTC) has recently provided very useful information regarding entrepreneurship. Some of its findings are:

  • Illinois universities produced more than 800 startups from 2012 to 2016
  • 76% startups founded from 2012 to 2016 are still active
  • Capital raised by University startups grew $630 million from $345 million between 2012-2016

Chicago Booth School of Business is also not far behind in nurturing entrepreneurship in its campus. The University has turned into a leader in providing a solid platform for digital ventures. Its students are developing innovative ideas even before they are stepping out into the market. The company, Groupon - one of the decade’s most successful Internet start-ups - was founded by the alumnus of this university.

Final Words

Chicago’s increasingly thriving tech eco system is creating many paths to digital entrepreneurship. The expert inputs being infused in the university ecosystem by the accomplished entrepreneurs are not just useful but also providing a level playing field for students who do not come from technical background.

Post a comment

or to post comments

Oh no!

You're fresh out of job post slots.

Upgrade your planmanage current jobs

Create an account

Let startups find you

Create a profile and upload your resume today.

Explore the local startup scene, find your
dream job and hang with fellow techies.

No sales pitches, just awesome original content.

Oh no!

You're fresh out of job post slots.