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Top 30 Accelerators and Incubators in Illinois in 2024

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If you are looking to start your business in Illinois, it is never a bad idea to join an accelerator or incubator.

These organizations are designed to help startup businesses by providing them with office space, advice and access to potential partners, investors, and customers.

In this article, we have collected the 30 most popular accelerators and incubators from Illinois.


The 30 Best Accelerators and Incubators in Illinois

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2,189 Accelerators & Incubators

Information about the industries, countries, and cities they generally invest in.

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Complete Unicorns List
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1,016 Unicorns

Information about their valuation, HQ's location, founded year, name of founders, funding amount and number of employees.

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Complete Unicorns List
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1,190 Unicorns

Information about their valuation, HQ's location, founded year, name of founders, funding amount and number of employees.

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FinTech Investors
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250 FinTech Investors

List of startup investors in the FinTech industry, along with their Twitter, LinkedIn, and email addresses.

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BioTech & Health Investors
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250 BioTech & Health Investors

List of startup investors in the BioTech, Health, and Medicine industries, along with their Twitter, LinkedIn, and email addresses.

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AI Investors
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250 AI Investors

List of 250 startup investors in the AI and Machine Learning industries, along with their Twitter, LinkedIn, and email addresses.

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1) TechNexus Venture Collaborative

TechNexus Venture Collaborative

TechNexus Venture Collaborative invests in partnerships between leading companies and ambitious entrepreneurs to Rethink Growth.

Details of the startup:

  • Started in: 2007
  • Founders: Fred Hoch, Terry Howerton
  • Industries: AI, VR, AR, IoT, Analytics
  • Number of investments: 153
  • Number of exits: 11

You can find their website here.

2) Techstars Chicago

Techstars Chicago

Techstars Chicago is in the middle of the startup ecosystem in the Midwest, which is one of the fastest growing in the U.S.

Details of the startup:

  • Started in: 2010
  • Founders: Nick Rosa, Sam Yagan, Troy Henikoff
  • Industries: Industry Agnostic
  • Number of investments: 133
  • Number of exits: 26
  • Accelerator Duration (in weeks): 12

You can find their website here.

3) Healthbox

Healthbox

HIMSS is a global group of advisors and members who want to change the health ecosystem.

Details of the startup:

  • Started in: 2010
  • Founders: Nina Nashif
  • Industries: Healthcare
  • Number of investments: 97
  • Number of exits: 12

You can find their website here.

4) REACH

REACH

Second Century Ventures created REACH, a program for scaling up technology.

Details of the startup:

  • Started in: 2012
  • Founders: Bob Goldberg, Constance Freedman, Dale Stinton
  • Industries: Real Estate Technology
  • Number of investments: 91
  • Number of exits: 15
  • Accelerator Duration (in weeks): 30

You can find their website here.

5) Sandbox Industries

Sandbox Industries

Sandbox Industries encourages innovation to make lasting changes in industries like healthcare, insurance, and sustainability that are important for our future.

Details of the startup:

  • Started in: 2003
  • Founders: Jonathan Pirc, Nicholas Rosa, Nick Rosa, Ryan Schoop
  • Industries: Agriculture, Healthcare, Software, Food
  • Number of investments: 85
  • Number of exits: 20

You can find their website here.

6) Financial Solutions Lab

Financial Solutions Lab

The Financial Solutions Lab was set up in 2014 to develop, support, and scale up new ideas that help improve financial health.

Details of the startup:

  • Started in: 2014
  • Founders: Jennifer Tescher
  • Industries: FinTech
  • Number of investments: 52
  • Number of exits: 6
  • Accelerator Duration (in weeks): 51

You can find their website here.

7) Evergreen Climate Innovations

Evergreen Climate Innovations

Evergreen Climate Innovations gives entrepreneurs and new businesses the capital and help they need to bring important climate technologies to market.

Details of the startup:

  • Started in: 2010
  • Founders: Amy Francetic, Michael Polsky, Nick Pritzker
  • Industries: Climate Tech, Energy
  • Number of investments: 37
  • Number of exits: 3

You can find their website here.

8) Cleveland Avenue

Cleveland Avenue

Cleveland Avenue is a venture fund and accelerator in Chicago that invests in businesses that make food, drinks, and tech products.

Details of the startup:

  • Started in: 2015
  • Founders: Don Thompson, J. Skyler Fernandes
  • Industries: FoodTech, Technology
  • Number of investments: 22
  • Number of exits: 1

You can find their website here.

9) EMERGE CoLab

EMERGE CoLab

The EMERGE CoLab has a program for entrepreneurs that is based on market validation and gives them access to the right markets, people, and resources to speed up their journey.

Details of the startup:

  • Started in: 2015
  • Founders: Fred Hoch, Terry Howerton
  • Industries: Industrial Wearables Technologies
  • Number of investments: 11

You can find their website here.

10) Lofty Ventures

Lofty Ventures

Lofty Ventures is a growing group of Chicago's most passionate startup founders and angel investors who help them build the next generation of disruptive startups for the city.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders: Christopher Deutsch
  • Industries: Software, Information Technology
  • Number of investments: 08

You can find their website here.

11) EVC Ventures

EVC Ventures

EVC Ventures is a private equity fund with over $100mm in assets under management and a focus on mid-market technology companies.

Details of the startup:

  • Started in: 2014
  • Industries: Technology
  • Number of investments: 07
  • Number of exits: 1

You can find their website here.

12) Relish Works

Relish Works

Relish Works is an innovation hub focused on challenging the status quo and pioneering the next evolution of the food industry.

Details of the startup:

  • Started in: 2017
  • Industries: Food, FoodTech, Beverage
  • Number of investments: 06

You can find their website here.

13) Code Ventures

Code Ventures

CodeVentures, LLC is an incubator for tech startups whose founders are not technical. They work with business owners to plan and build the startup that Code Ventures will join as a tech founder.

Details of the startup:

  • Industries: Software, Technology
  • Number of investments: 05

You can find their website here.

14) iVenture Accelerator

iVenture Accelerator

The iVenture Accelerator helps student-led startups create economic and social value by giving them access to world-class University of Illinois resources and alumni and teaching them how to run their businesses.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders: Manu Edakara
  • Industries: Healthcare, Retail, Software, Sustainability, Technology
  • Number of investments: 05

You can find their website here.

15) INCISENT Labs

INCISENT Labs

INCISENT Labs is a startup studio that helps develop new technologies into high-growth technology businesses.

Details of the startup:

  • Started in: 2009
  • Founders: Pat Ryan
  • Industries: Retail, Automotive, Technology, Software
  • Number of investments: 04
  • Number of exits: 1

You can find their website here.

16) University of Chicago New Venture Challenge

University of Chicago New Venture Challenge

The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago shows the world how ideas from the lab, the classroom, and the community can change the world.

Details of the startup:

  • Started in: 1996
  • Industries: Science, Technology
  • Number of investments: 02

You can find their website here.

17) MATTER

MATTER

Matter is an incubator in the health industry who provide all the resources to help you scale.

Details of the startup:

  • Started in: 2014
  • Founders: Andrew Cittadine, David Schonthal
  • Industries: Life Sciences, Biotech, Healthcare
  • Number of investments: 01

You can find their website here.

18) Portal Innovations

Portal Innovations

Portal Innovations is a leading venture development engine that connects scientific ideas in life sciences, medtech, and bioinformatics.

Details of the startup:

  • Started in: 2020
  • Industries: Biotech, AI
  • Number of investments: 01

You can find their website here.

19) Excelerate Labs

Excelerate Labs

Excelerate Labs is one of the summer accelerator programs for startups. Their goal is to give startups access to connections, capital, and community.

Details of the startup:

  • Started in: 2010
  • Industries: Software, Information Technology
  • Number of investments: 01

You can find their website here.

20) Chicago Venture Summit

Chicago Venture Summit

The Chicago Venture Summit brings together local founders and investors, invites national and international sector leaders to learn about the region's thriving startup ecosystem, and promotes Chicagoland as the global capital for food and ag innovation.

Details of the startup:

  • Started in: 2014
  • Industries: Technology
  • Number of investments: 01

You can find their website here.

21) The Bunker

The Bunker

The Bunker wants veteran-owned tech startups and people who want to start their own businesses to come and create with their support.

Details of the startup:

  • Started in: 2014
  • Industries: Industry Agnostic

You can find their website here.

22) 1871

1871

1871 has a large group of founders, leaders, innovators, and supporters who work together to make the world better and move it forwards.

Details of the startup:

  • Started in: 2012
  • Founders: J.B. Pritzker, James J. O'Connor, Steven Collens
  • Industries: Technology

You can find their website here.

23) Workbox Company

Workbox Company

Workbox looks at the success of its members as a whole.

Details of the startup:

  • Started in: 2019
  • Industries: Technology

You can find their website here.

24) IncubEx

IncubEx

IncubEx is an incubator for products, services, and technology solutions that are traded on an exchange.

Details of the startup:

  • Started in: 2016
  • Industries: Climate Tech

You can find their website here.

25) Insight Accelerator Labs

Insight Accelerator Labs

Insight's Accelerator Labs is a program that helps startups that are making medical devices.

Details of the startup:

  • Started in: 2012
  • Founders: Steve McPhilliamy
  • Industries: Healthcare
  • Accelerator Duration (in weeks): 72

You can find their website here.

26) StartUp Port

StartUp Port

Startup Port is a hybrid support platform that helps early-stage entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

Details of the startup:

  • Started in: 2008
  • Industries: Industry Agnostic

You can find their website here.

27) Vantedge Ventures | Healthcare Innovation Fund

Vantedge Ventures | Healthcare Innovation Fund

Vantedge Ventures works with health systems to fund and bring to scale healthcare innovations that bring a return on investment.

Details of the startup:

  • Started in: 2017
  • Industries: Health Systems, Healthcare Innovations

You can find their website here.

28) 511 Capital

511 Capital

511 Capital is a mix of an incubator for new businesses and a private equity firm.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders: Russell Potterfield
  • Industries: Consumer, Fashion, B2B

You can find their website here.

29) SmartHealth Activator

SmartHealth Activator

SmartHealth Catalyzer finds solutions to the world's biggest health problems that are being worked on at universities and research hospitals in the Midwest.

Details of the startup:

  • Started in: 2014
  • Founders: Tom Denison
  • Industries: Therapeutics, Biotech

You can find their website here.

30) Moderne Passport

Moderne Passport

Moderne Ventures invests in technology companies that work in real estate, finance, insurance, and home services, or that are related to these areas.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders: Constance Freedman
  • Industries: Industry Agnostic
  • Accelerator Duration (in weeks): 28

You can find their website here.

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