This past Friday, American Public Media ran a radio segment highlighting Chicago’s push to retain tech talent and serve as an alternative to the west coast as an incubator for startups. To read the coverage and hear the segment, click here. Glad to see Chicago is getting recognition in this area.
The one part I took issue with was a discussion that Chicago is more conservative than “the valley” as “the valley” has an extraordinary tolerance for taking risk and accepting failure, which is not part of Chicago culture. (Forgive me, I’m paraphrasing here.)
I disagree with that perception. Chicago has been for years and continues to be a city of risk takers in many areas. From finance and trading, to real estate and manufacturing, the entrepreneurial history of Chicago makes it an ideal location for tech ventures.
Right now, though, it still comes down to a chicken and egg situation. Investors won’t fund efforts without good talent and good talent won’t stick around if they can’t get financial backing. As the perception of the situation changes, then progress can be made but it’s going to take more success stories. Perhaps that tipping point is here.