- A report says Midwest startups took in over $15 billion in funding from July 2021 to June 2022.
- VCs in the region invest in areas like life sciences, enterprise software, and manufacturing.
- This list showcases the top investors across the Midwest from cities like Chicago and St. Louis.
It hasn’t been an easy year for tech startups as valuations have tanked and funding has dried up, resulting in widespread layoffs.
But those in the Midwest have had it easier.
America’s heartland is home to a bustling tech ecosystem, where startups in enterprise software, manufacturing, and life sciences have thrived and raised venture capital.
A recent report from M25, a Chicago venture firm, found that startups in the Midwest took in over $15 billion in funding from July 2021 to June 2022, a record equity slug for the region. And while Cameo, Olive AI, and Clever conducted painful layoffs this year, startups in the Midwest had fewer layoffs than their coastal peers, Victor Gutwein, a founder and managing partner at M25, said.
Some of these startups owe their survival to investors close to home. People like Chris Olsen and Smriti Jayaraman flocked to the region from Silicon Valley in search of opportunities, while natives like Alyssa Jaffee and David Wieland have stayed close by for much of their careers.
Ten years ago, founders who wanted a shot at landing investment had no choice but to move their startups to New York, Boston, or the Bay Area — “that’s where the money was,” said Steve Case, the founder of AOL, whose venture Fund, Revolution, focuses on startups outside Silicon Valley. “Now that’s much less the case and people can start companies anywhere and also find venture capital anywhere.”
For this list, we asked venture capitalists from across the country about the Midwest investors to know. We also referred to Insider’s reporting on the top seed investors to find more power players. To qualify, an investor needed to be a resident of the Midwest, but their firms and portfolio companies could be anywhere.