Illinois Growth & Innovation Fund Summit Meeting – July 27, 2017

Leading Chicago venture capital firms gathered on July 27, 2017, to discuss the state of venture capital in Illinois.  Michael W. Frerichs, the Illinois State Treasurer kicked off the conference followed by J.B. Pritzker, of The Pritzker Group, and keynote speaker Steve Case, CEO of Revolution, and founder of America On-line.  Panelists including leading Chicago area Accelerators and early stage venture capital firms.  The Illinois Growth & Innovation Fund (“ILGIF”) makes targeted investments in technology funds that invest in Illinois businesses and job creation.  The fund aims to invest over $222 million over a three year investment period and hopes to create over 18,000 Illinois jobs. Approximately 51% of the Fund’s investments will be in venture capital, 25% private equity, 16% private credit, and 8% buyout.  The tone of the conference was upbeat and positive despite the negative press that Illinois has received recently related to its budget crisis.  J.B. Pritzker commented that Illinois has the opportunity to be the “Best of the Rest” when it comes to venture capital outside of the coasts.  Other speakers commented on how the presence of several Family Offices in Chicago could help inspire future venture capital investment.  Handler Thayer, LLP, recently hosted an educational conference that discussed how family office’s invest private capital including private equity, venture capital, and direct investment transactions.

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