The Nurturing Spirit of the Chicago Entrepreneurial Environment

Over the years, Chicago has grown to be a haven for entrepreneurs and startup companies. It provides an environment whereby Entrepreneurs can make a living and a life too. The Windy City was ranked highly by PMG as one of the most cost effective cities to do business; this might be one lure that brings them to this city. Chicago also has a highly differentiated economy encompassing sectors such as Manufacturing, Information technology, risk management and health services. Together they rake in a GRP of over $575 billion. These statistics have lured in top enterprises who call the Windy City home.

One such entrepreneur who took advantage of this city’s favorable economic climate is Majeed Ekbal. Having studied International business and Marketing at American University in Washington D.C, Ekbal set up an individual specialty grocery business called Expresso. The platform took on the responsibility to search and procure rare and uncommon food items for clients that are then delivered in good time.

Currently, Majeed exerts his skills as a Rainmaker (Relationship Management), Digital Marketer, Social media marketer, SEO analyst, health care marketer at Razorfish.
Another entrepreneur is Matt Unger, who founded Roompact, a software that helps University Administrators to predict and prevent roommate clashes. This idea was nurtured and developed by one of the City’s support structure called The Think Tank program.

The program receives support from amongst others Howard Tullman the CEO of1871 a non-profit startup hub situated in Merchandise Mart in Chicago, Illinois. The building houses over 325 digital startups. Tullman and his team aim to provide Chicago entrepreneurs with education, and inspiration by aiding access to countless mentors, lectures, seminars, classes, and panels.

Another beneficent of the think-tank program is Allison Bedell an engineer and human-centered designer focusing on the medical device industry. Allison received a BS in Biomedical Engineering and after that an MS in Engineering Design and Innovation from Northwestern University. It exposed her on how to cultivate innovation and thus went on to design user-centered health and end user solutions for companies like Samsung and Procter & Gamble after she went on to set up her medical device startup. Allison was recognized by the James Dyson Foundation for work on this device and attributes her accomplishments to the attentive fusion of ideas and effective collaboration with other teams. She aims to continue aiding in the innovations in medicine and making a substantial change in the lives of patients, either by improvements in medicine or patient experience.

This generation of mentorship and venture capital is allowing startups to flourish and with it exploiting talent from a large number of graduates from the cities universities and others from other states. However, experts say that the City has a long way to go in retaining all of this human capital, especially in the Technology field.