Chicago minted no fewer than 8 unicorn startups already in 2021, and the year is only half over, easily doubling last year’s count. Why is the Windy City suddenly a center of Midwest tech funding? The reasons are numerous why the Midwest, and Chicago in particular, is experiencing long overdue growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, but the basics boil down to this:
Leading biotechnology company Amgen announced recently that it plans to invest $365 million to build a new manufacturing facility in New Albany, Ohio, which is located near new insurtech/healthtech hub Columbus. This move will create 400 new jobs. The facility will feature Amgen’s advanced assembly and product packaging capabilities for medicines to be distributed in the U.S.
Chicago’s rise as a tech hub is still accelerating. According to World Business Chicago, the rapid growth of the Midwest city as a producer of unicorns, or tech startups valued at over $1 billion, has only increased through 2021, with 8 new tech companies being minted as unicorns only halfway through the year, double last year’s count:
State of Detroit’s Entrepreneurial Community: $800 million, 333% Increase in Capital, Attracted by Tech Startups
Nonprofit research institution EntryPoint recently announced the release of its 2021 Detroit Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Report, which shows a 333% increase in capital attracted to the Detroit, Michigan, region, due to the growth of the local tech community.
TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN: Ola Filter Corporation won the TCNewTech Pitch event with its easy-to-use, ultra-affordable water filter that uses proven ultrafiltration technology to remove bacterial contamination from drinking water in developing countries. Theresa Smith, Ola Filter’s co-creator, pitched in TCNewTech’s return to in-person Pitch Events, with an international online audience live streaming in on the TCNewTech Youtube Channel and Facebook Page. Ola Filter Corporation is a women-founded, triple bottom line social business focused on people, the planet, and profits to build true sustainability in a market of over two billion people worldwide in need of decontaminated drinking water. Ola Filter Corporation is based out of Ann Arbor, MI., Bend, OR., and San Marcos, Guatemala, where they’re currently implementing their filtration system.
Chicago has been minting unicorn companies, or startups valued at over $1 billion, at a brisk rate in 2021. New unicorn G2 is the fifth of the year. The B2B enterprise software marketplace and review platform startup just raised $157 million in a Series D round led by Permira, a London-based private equity firm. So far, G2 has raised over $250 million in total.
Detroit’s Donavan Wright was a residential real estate investor in several locations he had lived across the U.S., which he used “to help my community,” he says. He wanted to democratize access to real estate to compensate for a legacy in many areas of the U.S. that pushed minorities out of home ownership and made home ownership challenging on many fronts, from loan access to learning how to get a fair bid to renovate a property. “I realized how difficult that is,” he says. “There aren’t a lot of tools.” He had an idea. There is a gap in access to information about how to get fair bids on home renovation projects, especially for people who have been traditionally shut out of home ownership. How could an app solve that?
London, UK, May 17, 2021—Clarivate plc (NYSE: CLVT), a global leader in providing trusted information and insights to accelerate the pace of innovation, today announced a definitive agreement to acquire ProQuest, a leading global software, data and analytics provider to academic, research and national institutions, from Cambridge Information Group, a family-owned investment firm, and other partners including Atairos, for $5.3 billion, including refinancing of ProQuest debt. The consideration for the acquisition is approximately $4.0 billion in cash and $1.3 billion of equity. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, is expected to close during the third quarter of 2021.
Nicolas Théorêt is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Centri. Each year, propane distributors waste over $1.5B on unnecessary deliveries. Centri seeks to help these distributors eliminate the waste in their delivery operations by offering them a simple IoT solution, the CentriConnect platform. Centri’s solution helps propane distributors minimize their delivery costs, optimize their operations, and grow their customer base. The technology has been in the beta testing phase with a propane distributor since March 2020 and the company is preparing the business for a commercial launch in the coming months.