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Why Chicago Is the Newest Entrepreneurial Hot Spot

CreativityNicolas ColeComment

In the past, entrepreneurial hubs were thought to be in places like California, Boston, Seattle, and Las Vegas. What few have yet to discover, however, is that the entrepreneur scene in Chicago is quietly growing--and growing quickly.

The story was cemented in 2012, when the entrepreneurial hub 1871 launched in Chicago's River North. 1871 is a community of designers, mentors, investors, developers, coders, tech entrepreneurs, and friends hell-bent on doing something big in the tech space. 1871 has created quite the stir in Chicago as the "go-to" spot when it comes to entrepreneurship, if for no other reason than the vast network of mentors and investors by which you are surrounded. 

Then, just a few years later (and right next door), Chicago took a leap and launched MATTER--an entrepreneurial hub solely focused within the healthcare industries. Aside from the fact that the 25,000-square-foot space is stunning, and includes workspaces, meeting rooms, and plenty of nearby recreation (Chicago's River North is beautiful after all), the brilliant minds that frequent MATTER are all driving towards the same mission--to drastically improve the healthcare industries and make a lasting impact for generations to come.

While Chicago might be cold for nine months out of the year, the city quietly goes on working. 

But let's not forget that just two years ago, the famed Soho House appeared in Chicago's budding West Loop. Soho House Chicago is another entrepreneurial hot spot, frequented by artists, designers, celebrities, investors, tech start-up founders, and plenty of other eccentric creatives. Soho House does not have the same formal offerings found at 1871 and MATTER, but the space lends itself to a wide range of industry know-how, and its events have a knack for attracting some of the city's best and brightest. Hang out at Soho House Chicago and you'll surely rub shoulders with someone working on something promising.

Next time you're in Chicago, I highly suggest stopping by 1871 or MATTER. Take a look around and you'll see plenty of inspiration.