Opinion: Chicago Incubators, VCs and Co-Working Spaces Should Come Together

by Blagica Bottigliero

Over the last few days, my email’s been blowing up with feedback on a discussion that started over the weekend and now poured over to IRL.

The topic:  do startups and would-be startups feel left out if they choose one incubator/co-working space over the other?  Is there a perception that if you want to build something, you need to get in to one of THE best co-working spaces or know THE right people – or you’re toast.

I’ve heard both sides.

‘Blagica, that’s not true. We all work together’.


‘It’s true. I’m new to the city and the feeling I get is that if I’m not in the right crowd or right space, my idea is worthless.’ Then there is 'I have a great idea, am self funding it, but no one seems to care.'

So, here is an idea.

Let’s have all the Big Guns get together once a month or quarter and chat about their progress.  A meeting of minds, if you will. A way for the top VCs and incubators to share their objectives and keep the spirit of entrepreneurship and startups alive in Chicago.

Is this happening now? Nope.

If it were, the perception many people feel right now wouldn’t exist.  Why not add some transparency of actual change versus only sharing which company got funded or bought another company? Share the status of how we are working to attract the best talent and unknown idea out there.

I’m sure the community and would-be Chicago startups would appreciate it.