The 2012 Chicago Startup Report

Maria Christopoulos Katris

The most innovative minds in Chicago launched 367 digital startups in 2012, up from 193 launched in 2011. 59 companies secured funding of at least $1M in 2012, an increase from 44 companies in 2011.

The activity in Chicago attracted more than 50 investors from outside Chicago to invest in the city’s digital startups in 2012. "Chicago has developed into a city that every investor must watch,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Our economy is thriving and the companies we are producing are among the nation’s leaders in many sectors, and this year’s data proves it.”

The largest growth in funding was in the healthcare technology sector, with 27% of the 2012 startup funding going to digital healthcare companies. GoHealth was the top recipient, raising more than $50 million to further develop its health insurance comparison site.

“We’re only in the beginning of transformational changes to the healthcare industry,” said Brandon Cruz, Co-Founder, GoHealth. “ Our funding provides GoHealth the ability to accelerate hiring, further enhance our technology platform and position ourselves as a change agent for the industry."

View our full press release here.

File 32320


More great analysis on the 2012 Chicago startup scene:

Forbes: Winds of Change: Chicago's 2012 Digital Startup Report

Crain's: Chicago tech's buzzworthy 2012 startup tally

The Next Web: Chicago startups’ 2012: $391M raised, 26 acquisitions, 1 IPO and $698M in exits

INC.WELL: New Chicago Startup Launches Every 44 Hours: Report



Post a comment

or to post comments


Marian Mangoubi
It would be interesting to compare this data against non-digital startups in Chicago. Crains and/or the SBA probably has information on non-digital startups. It would help to give more context to the health of the industry.
Alicia Cannon Mullen
Nice Job Maria/Adam... Congrats again to GoHealth!
Ross Gordon
Great post Maria! Thanks for putting this together. 2012 was a great year and we hope 2013 is even better! Let's go Chicago startups!
Maria Christopoulos Katris
Thanks Ross, and everyone! Adam Calica deserves the credit for the amazing Infographic and data collection--and all of the BIC member companies deserve the credit for taking the risk and investing it all to build great digital tech companies.
Keith Waxelman
Thanks, Maria, Adam, and the rest of the BIC team- this is a great overview of Chicago's growing entrepreneurial activity. Here's to the building momentum and recognition of Chicago's startup scene and its benefits to the community and beyond!
Bryan Jurewicz
Notice the funding focus on business industry related startups and the transition away from consumer web/social. Great information Maria!
Vladimir Fefer
Is there a way to get the actual data that formed this infographic?
Adam Calica
The data can be found using the links below (with the exception of a few companies that have asked we not make their funding info publicly available):
Daniela Bolzmann
great infographic Adam!
Adam Calica
Thanks Daniela :)
Vladimir Fefer
Awesome, thank you Adam!
Peter Bruce
Awesome! Maybe just as important as these numbers are the amount of jobs created by these companies.
Adam Calica
We're going to put out some data on that again later this year when we do our Top 100 Digital Companies list for 2013. Here's the 2012 list:
Neil Feuling
Fantastic report. Also not on the list is Built in Chicago member - Georama - an online travel start up that raised $300,000 in 2012,, launched in July, and already has 50,000 monthly unique visitors. They were featured in Crain's for the best use of Facebook - the only startup recognized in the top with nearly 20k likes and 400,000 Facebook engagement actions.
Bill Scheurer
This is a really valuable service for the community. Thanks BIC team for all you do!

Oh no!

You're fresh out of job post slots.

Upgrade your planmanage current jobs

Create an account

Let startups find you

Create a profile and upload your resume today.

Explore the local startup scene, find your
dream job and hang with fellow techies.

No sales pitches, just awesome original content.

Oh no!

You're fresh out of job post slots.