Last month, $205 million was raised in funding by technology companies in Chicago. This trend began back in August when $199 million raised and September figures was $182 million. Here we take a look at industries that are making these impacts.
A new initiative in Illinois is being launched for self-driving car technology. A human driver will have to sit in the car in case of emergencies but there will be a robot chauffeur “driving” the car. This new technology is however likely to seriously reduce traffic fatalities.
Another technology firm making an impact in Chicago is Rooam which is due to open before the end of the year. The company – which recently purchased Tally – gives users the ability to pay for food and drinks at various eateries via an app.
Deloitte and the Global FinTech Hubs Federation recently ranked Chicago among the top five global fintech hubs. FinTEx Chicago has been advocating strongly on its behalf and as such its fintech and financial services companies now comprise 14 percent of the 50 fastest-growing companies in the region.
Fintech – a double-sided industry comprising technology and innovation in an effort to compete with traditional financial methods vis-à-vis the financial services they offer – is a great way to bolster employment. Given that the financial sector has the capacity to positively affect job growth, Chicago is looking good in that area now as well. Indeed, according to a recent report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, year-over-year employment in the region’s financial sector encountered a 3.6 percent jump (which is more than double gains in the next highest industry).
When you see this kind of increase in jobs, it is also testament to the level of savviness among citizens. Startups need more than just one genius at the top. They require solid, committed workforce which is apparent in Chicago.
One example of this comes from Alain Glanzman and what he did with his startup, WalletFi, when he took it to Chicago’s second Financial Technology Accelerator program. He was told by executives in the financial industry (from banks and credit unions) at the FinTech accelerator that if he targeted financial institutions, the company would more likely be successful. As such, he changed the direction from it being a mobile app to a real company!
One aspect that makes Chicago’s fintech unique is that it features startups as well as veteran firms. And they are codependent with established firms relying on fresh out of college engineers.
This is what Chicago is doing. This is how fintech is revolutionizing the business world there.