Chicago still has catching up
to do when it comes to its startup scene, but there's one place where the city
leads the pack: It has the highest percentage of women-led startups among 35
cities worldwide that were studied by San Francisco-based Compass, a provider
of benchmarking software.
The report says Chicago, with 30
percent female founders, has the greatest percentage of women entrepreneurs out
of the top 20 startup ecosystems. The data is based on surveys of 11,000
respondents from startups, as well as investors and others. The figure is
similar to one cited by Chicago-based startup hub 1871.
Overall, Chicago moved up to
No. 7 from 10th place in the last survey by this group, conducted in late 2012. Silicon Valley
ranked first, followed by New York; Los Angeles; Boston; Tel Aviv, Israel; and
Chicago was among the startup
ecosystems that made the biggest leaps in the top 20, along with New York;
Austin, Texas; Bangalore, India; and Singapore.
One factor in Chicago's favor
is an increase in exit activity, acquisitions and IPOs, such as GrubHub,
Fieldglass and Braintree. A sharp rise in venture financing totals, fueled by
huge rounds such as Avant's $225 million investment and $56
million pulled by Raise.com, also helped.
Chicago's biggest asset? Its
market for startups to sell their products and services.