Chicago Rising: New Entry to List of Fintech Hubs is Important Gain for the Windy City

Deloitte’s recent report on Fintech Hubs entitled A tale of 44 cities – Connecting Global FinTech: Interim Hub Review 2017 indicated that London remained at the top of the list with Singapore closely behind it and obviously hoping to become number one. But alongside the original 20 Fintech hubs highlighted in the initial report was the inclusion of 24 new cities.  One of the additions stood out as Chicago not only made the list but ended up in the top 10 positions.

According to Deloitte, Chicago received a score of 20 (the lower the score the better). London and Singapore each registered 11. New York received a score of 14 and Silicon Valley came in at 18. This places the Windy City in 5th place. That’s damn impressive.

To put this in perspective, Chicago topped global financial centers like Shanghai (119), Hong Kong (22), Paris (76) and Zurich (41).

The report authors commented on Chicago’s emergence:

“Chicago acts as the epicenter for all Fintech activity in the Midwest, representing well over 20,000 financial institutions. It is home to two fifths of the top business universities in the US and over 6% of the Chicago workforce are focused on the financial ecosystem contributing to its already significant talent pool. With government support, Chicago companies are able to quickly innovate to create groundbreaking technology.”

At this point we would like to give a shoutout to the University of Chicago and the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. This institution has partnered with the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance on the annual Americas alternative finance study. This partnership certainly helps in raising Chicago’s global Fintech profile.

We also spoke to Crowdfund Insider Senior Contributor Anthony Zeoli, a Chicago based securities attorney. In fact, Zeoli authored the crowdfunding legislation for the state of Illinois making it one of the most robust intrastate crowdfunding laws in the nation.

Zeoli told Crowdfund Insider;

“Illinois, and Chicago in particular is pushing to become a hub for crowdfunding and Fintech in the Midwest and even the United States in general. We have multiple local Fintech start-ups and emerging companies and now have two incubators specifically focused on fostering Fintech and related technologies. That, together with legislators and supporters like myself who are trying to change local laws to further support these initiatives, is why Illinois is fast becoming one of the top Fintech hubs.”

Top Fintech firms in Chicago include: Braintree, Avant, Envestnet, Morningstar, Discover, Allstate, Aon and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Chicago will soon open up another innovation center called “Currency”. The list of Fintech accelerators is growing with impressive names already on the list, including; 1871, Catapult Chicago, Tech Nexus, and Techstars Chicago.

So Kudos to Chicago and the cities entrepreneurial drive and ambition. Recognizing the importance of Fintech innovation is setting this midwestern city, and the state of Illinois apart.

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