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:
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:
Thank you to everyone who has interviewed with Cronicle Press Tech News over the last 9 months since our launch out of Ann Arbor. We’re now putting together a series on growing tech industries around the broader Great Lakes region. If you have a growing tech company, incubator you’re getting started, or new fund to announce, we want to hear from you, and we want to hear the story of your community.
It’s been a while since we played a scavenger hunt, but these days augmented reality seems just the thing to make these old-fashioned games fresh again. Plus, on our phones we don’t have to get in trouble deciding if we should follow a clue like “find the oldest bones around” by taking forbidden photos in the dinosaur museum or asking an old guy crossing the street to take a selfie with us…. Closing out our summer series on Michigan-based gaming studios is Scavenger, another student launched out of the University of Michigan OptiMize program that has continued as the co-founders Kyle Zappitell (CEO) and Harry Stephens (CPO) and other team members moved to LA, New York, and Chicago. Co-founder Kyle Zappitell tells us his startup Scavenger is an augmented reality scavenger game app that allows users to combine augmented reality and real-world gaming to win cash prizes. For now, the testing zone for the game is based in Chicago, but other cities are coming soon.