OK, it is high time we erase a common myth held by many about Chicago, the Windy City. Chicago earned the nickname Windy City, not because it is windy. That’s right. In fact, Chicago isn’t even in the top 10 of large cities and not even in the top 100 among cities with a population of 50,000 or more!
Now there is some debate as to exactly when the name originated, but there is no debate as to when the nickname stuck for good. During the battle to host the World’s Fair in 1893, a famed New York editor referred to Chicago as the Windy City, because our politicians and city boosters were blustery braggarts full of hot air. OK, Chicago myth debunked. By the way, all that hot air won the right to host the World’s Fair.Another common myth is that O’Hare is the only place where tech startups touch Chicago, as a layover while traveling to and fro the coasts. Oh, Chicago outsiders have no idea:
- 77 startups funded in 2011
- $1.5 Billion in funding in 2011
- 62 tech startups launched through Q2 2012
- 42 startups funded in 2012
- 16 exits/acquisitions in 2012
- Excelerate Labs, top 5 accelerator
- 1871 – 50,000 square foot incubator
And, these are just the highlights. I personally meet with two tech startup founders each and every week and I barely scratch the surface of startup activity in our great city. Chicago is bursting at the seams with passion, inspiration, aspiration and a wealth of innovation, which is why I am very proud to announce that Startup Grind Chicago.
It’s an amazing opportunity to learn from the best, network with other members of the startup community, and improve your chances of entrepreneurial success. As is tradition in Chicago, we are starting off big hosting crowdSPRING co-founder Ross Kimbarovsky.
In 2007, Ross left a successful 13-year career as a trial lawyer to pursue his dream of founding a technology company (in part so that he could wear shorts and sandals to work every day) by co-founding crowdSPRING - the world’s #1 marketplace for crowdsourced graphic design, industrial design and writing services. crowdSPRING is helping to re-shape advertising and marketing around the world by giving clients of all size access to 122,000 talented designers and writers. crowdSPRING (winner of numerous national and international awards) has helped tens of thousands of buyers from 100+ countries (including some of the world’s best Brands and agencies) meet their creative needs.
Ross mentors entrepreneurs through Founder Institute and Excelerate Labs, and frequently speaks to entrepreneurs, small business owners and marketers about crowdsourcing, marketing, and entrepreneurship. There will be other surprises as well, so come join us!