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At P33, we started with one question: How does Chicago, and our region, stack up as a technology and innovation center? Through conversations with hundreds of technology and business leaders, founders, and tech workers, we learned we Chicago’s reputation as a tech center lags behind its perception.


We launched P33, a civic nonprofit focused on driving inclusive growth for Chicago’s tech sector, in 2019 with an intentional and collaborative mission to cement Chicago’s recognition as a tier-one tech hub. P33 is driving inclusive growth and recognition for Chicago’s tech sector by building more diverse talent pipelines, bolstering a strong founder ecosystem, and building up our corporate sector strength. Our goal is to change the world’s perception of Chicago as a leading technology and innovation hub by 2033.

P33 was founded by P33 Board Chair Penny Pritzker, former Secretary of Commerce and Founder and Chairman of PSP Partners; P33 Board ViceChair, Chris Gladwin, CEO and Founder of Ocient and Cleversafe; and P33 Board Vice-Chair, Kelly Welsh, President of the Civic Committee of The Commercial Club of Chicago.


At P33, we are very bullish about the future of Chicago’s tech leadership and firmly believe we have an authentic right to win:

• Our companies thrive because of our pragmatic approach to innovation. Our tech companies solve problems that matter and that will continue to shape modern life in the next century. We don’t build tech for tech’s sake and are advancing the future of essential industries and tech innovation not only in our region, but globally.

• Our economy is as strong as it is diverse. Our business and technology strength not only lies within enterprise companies in our city, such as Walgreens, Allstate, United Airlines, Caterpillar, but also companies in emerging industries like quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and electric vehicles. We are also working to build a tech community that reflects all of our residents by increasing access to opportunities for all Chicagoans in partnership with organizations like GET Cities, Discovery Partners Institute, Chicago:Blend, and 1871.

• Our research and educational institutions are second to none. We’re home to Argonne National Lab, Fermilab, University of Chicago, Northwestern, University of Illinois Chicago, Illinois Institute of Technology, and of course University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

.• Our technology sector has seen such growth because of where we are located. Since our very beginning, our city’s centrality has assured our dominance as a global hub for manufacturing, transportation, and distribution for national and global markets.


We recognize that to compete in this ultra-competitive market for tech talent, to win the attention of startup founders and founders of color looking to plant roots for their businesses, and to retain enterprise companies and the tech workers they employ – we must focus on three key areas:

1. Talent – Strengthening our talent base and workforce through talent development, attraction, and retention.
• We target top tech talent with an innovation-focused city brand called TechChicago. In partnership with World Business Chicago, we aim to attract, retain, and plug tech workers across the country, and in our own backyard, into our tech community.

• We create pathways for all students to enter high-potential tech careers through an initiative called Strong Start. The program builds partnerships between top-tier universities and technology companies and startups to provide in-classroom project-based learning opportunities for students early in their college career.

• We aim to build a tech workforce that’s as culturally diverse and demographically diverse as our city and collaborate with the P33 Tech Talent Alliance, a group of over 40 established and emerging tech companies, to support our strategic problem-solving.


2. Founders – Attracting and supporting startup founders in Chicago, specifically diverse founders, with community, connections, and access to capital.
• We help underfunded Black and Latin tech founders get more access to venture funding and resources through TechRise, a pitch competition for early-stage founders of color, launched in partnership with local and national organizations including Verizon, GETCities, and 1871.

• We foster a community of peers and mentors, which provide direct access to venture capitalists and startup resources necessary for scaling and growing their businesses


3. Regional Priorities – Promoting and growing the core industry sectors where Chicago and Illinois lead today and will continue to lead in the future.
• We work with local leaders to advance our leadership position in key areas where we can leverage our region’s strengths including manufacturing, transportation, distribution and logistics, food and agriculture, and life sciences industries.

• We are uniquely positioned to win in emerging technologies and industries like quantum computing, artificial intelligence, cleantech and electric vehicles – which will be the foundational technologies for the economy of the future.

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