Midwest Startup Tour

This isn’t a post highlighting all the data about the tech scene in “flyover states”… I don’t feel the need to justify our intent to target companies based in the Midwest. These markets are undervalued and filled with talent — so, Techstars Chicago heading out on a Midwest Startup Tour.

Starting next week (3/13), the Techstars Chicago team will be driving through Ann Arbor, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Cincinnati, Nashville, Indianapolis, and Champaign. We’re booking time in each market to meet with founders and:

  • be inspired by great entrepreneurs
  • hear your vision
  • learn about the problem you’re solving
  • offer help, in any way that we can provide
  • hopefully add real value in short order

Yes, we are actively recruiting for Techstars Chicago ’17 (shameless APPLY plug, applications open until 4/9) — but that is not a prerequisite for a meeting. If you (or a founder/team you know) is interested in connecting, but not interested in Techstars… cool. No worries. Still would love to meetup. We’re in this for long game — helping great founders and #givefirst.

Want to learn more about what we’re focused on at Techstars Chicago?

Investing in Bad Ideas in Chicago

We’re space/market/vertical agnostic, but if you are meeting to pursue a Techstars Chicago application for Summer ‘17, we lean toward:

  • teams (vs single founder)
  • early stage, raised <$2.5M
  • elite in either engineering, product, or design
  • markets that are bigger than others perceive
  • a vision that raises eyebrows w/ one sentence
  • execution or go-to-market that demonstrates scale
  • founding teams that turn us into fans

Interested? Sign up for Office Hours HERE.

Want to refer great founders or teams? You can do so HERE — or, email us (Chicago@techstars.com), post in comments, tweet at me, or yell super loud as we drive by in a rented mid-size sedan.

Reminder: APPLY by 4/9

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Note: Apologies, but this trip is entirely dedicated to meeting with founders and startup teams. We’d love to spend more time in each market, learning more about the community, working spaces, investors, and connectors — which we plan to do following the summer ’17 program… but this trip, just like our program, will be intensely founder focused.