Illinois VC funds to get $220M infusion from government to grow tech sector

January 26, 2016

Illinois venture funds will soon see a $220 million infusion from the State of Illinois, Treasurer Michael Frerichs said at a conference at 1871 Tuesday morning.

That’s the aim of the Illinois Growth and Innovation Fund, which will divvy up the capital amount in as many as 20 venture funds with the end-goal of charging the state’s growing (but still young) tech sector with enough money to continue bolstering revenue and creating jobs.

Frerichs said that no more than 15 percent will be allocated to any one fund, with the money coming from funds already set aside for investments.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the state’s first Technology Development Account was instituted in 2002, ultimately leading to investments in top-tier Chicago tech companies like Diagnostic Photonics,

, and — each of whom were present at Tuesday’s announcement.

"The investment from the Illinois Growth and Innovation Fund played a key role in allowing SpotHero to grow into the company it is today," said Mark Lawrence, co-founder and CEO of SpotHero said in a statement. "When we first received the investment, we were a team of less than 10. Today we have over 80 employees and are hiring for an additional 33 positions. The support from the State of Illinois shows a commitment to the future of job creation in the technology sector and is helping to put Chicago on the map as a technology and innovation hub internationally."

The second iteration of TDA funding was technically approved in 2011, Crain’s said, but that funding had yet to be reauthorized due to budget concerns. Now, the funding is set to begin flowing later this quarter.

Images via Shutterstock.

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