Funding your Small Business

This is a short list of available venture capital and grants, as well as articles on funding. Listed are Midwestern VC firms, government sources of grant funding, and presentations and articles shared by EnterpriseWorks speakers.

Potential Funding Sources for Economic & Community Development

Sample VC Term Sheets

Informational Presentations

Venture Capital Firms in the Region

Early stage venture capital firms/investors

  • IllinoisVENTURES, Early-stage, research-based companies in information technology, physical sciences, life sciences and clean technology.

  • Open Prairie

  • Serra

  • Origin Ventures, specializes in e-commerce, social media and software as a service companies in the Midwest.

  • Hopewell

  • OCA  

  • Apex Venture Partners, focuses on technology-enabled services, information technology and clean technology sectors.

  • Pritzker Group Venture Capital,

  • Arch Venture Partners, specializes in the so-called "hard sciences," including advanced semiconductors, biotech, instrumentation, chemicals, etc. They work with researchers at universities and national laboratories to commercialize their innovations.

  • Sandbox Ventures, The Blue Cross Blue Shield Fund II focuses primarily on health care information technology. The Sandbox Advantage Fund will co-invest with the health care fund and also back internally generated projects.

  • Hype Park Venture Partners, Early-stage software-as-a-service and healthcare IT companies in the Midwest.

  • I2A Fund, Early-stage Illinois companies in technology-enabled services, new media and education, and consumer and retail products.

  • LEO Capital, Companies with high-growth potential in industries such as kids' entertainment, wireless technology, consumer e-commerce and social media.

  • Lighbank, Early-stage companies in large, high-growth industries such as social media, the consumer Web and business-to-business technology.

  • MK Capital, Interested in digital media, marketing automation, software and education technology.

  • OCA Ventures, typically leads or co-leads initial funding rounds; OCA EDGE provides seed capital for consumer-facing web and mobile-commerce startups.

  • Pritzker Group Venture Capital, investments of the The Pritzker family looking for seasoned entreprenuers who have previously led or worked at startups and are focused on solving problems in large, growing markets.

For more Illinois venture capital firms go to

Summary of Chicago/Illinois venture capital firms profiled by the Chicago Tribune

Corporate Venture Capital Fund Profiles Reference Document (Draft)

Angel Investor Networks

Angel Investing Resources


Other Resources