In an earlier blog post, we highlighted an organization that we worked with this summer. Excelerate Labs. We encourage you to explore their website. Look at the quality of mentors that were involved. Ten companies spent 90 days in the summer getting instruction, pointers, tips, and help on developing their business. At the end of the 90 days, those ten companies presented to a group of angel investors and funds to try and get capital. This occurred at the House of Blues in Chicago. Post meeting, many of those companies are in the process of getting funding.
After the summer. HPA sponsored an angel boot camp. There were legendary speakers there, and some really great tips on what it means to be an angel.
The point of this post isn’t to pat ourselves on the back. Things are happening quickly in the Chicago area. Northwestern has started an angel group, and we congratulate them. The University of Illinois debuts their own mentor/accelerator lab this Thursday. Chicago is going to become a hot bed of entrepreneurial activity. The only question is how long it will take.
If you are a person that has a lot of business experience, along with some money to invest. It is high time you got involved. The reason other areas of the country are successful isn’t their climate. It’s because the existing successful businesspeople take the time to nurture new companies along. They also make strategic investments in them. Pretty soon, an ecosystem develops that is self sustaining.