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My Journey Into Supporting Midwest Startups

I’m a few weeks into my role as Hyde Park Angels’ new Director of Platform, and yet I didn’t plan to be here. In fact, my start in tech was unintentional—avoided even. My master’s thesis chair convinced me to consider a contract tech writing role at a former student’s startup, Arbor Networks. Although I was…

Illinois nonprofits hope mentors and real-world projects will improve diversity in STEM classes

Illinois has the unique distinction of producing more top STEM talent than almost any other state, and it continues to produce a record number of STEM degrees each year. But when it comes to the diversity of STEM talent, it’s a different story. A report from the Illinois Science and Technology Association found that in computer science, 16.7 percent…

How Illinois Universities Power the Chicago Startup Ecosystem

Ten years ago, Chicago was not a major player in the startup ecosystem. Now, it’s one of the most important cities in tech. In fact, the overall Illinois rate of startup growth is 68.85%, and Chicago itself has been consistently ranked first for VC returns. It’s been named alongside Boston, Los Angeles, and Austin as one of…

Illinois tech companies working to retain local engineering grads

Illinois is the second largest producer of computer science graduates in the country. In fact, in 2016, Illinois produced a record 40,400 STEM degrees. Yet research collected by the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition shows Illinois still has room to grow. Specifically, while Illinois ranks 15th in the country for retaining computer science graduates, 45 percent of…

How female founders are faring in the Midwest

Women remain underrepresented in tech, even as the industry tries to address jaw-dropping statistics about their absence in tech’s upper echelon. Less than 3 percent of female founders raised venture capital in 2017, even though in the first quarter of 2017, 17 percent of startups reported having a female founder. On the venture capital side, less than…