There’s a reason US Midwestern startups had fewer layoffs, says Chicago VC –


When VCs Are Overlooked the US Midwest, it’s not just Chicago that they’re missing. Over time, many Midwestern cities have built up bona fide startup ecosystems, such as: M25’s Annual Ranking of Midwest Startup Hubs clarify.

Each year, the Chicago-based VC firm compiles a list of the most active tech scenes in the Midwest, based on a wide variety of criteria. And every year there are surprises, even for M25’s own team.

The biggest surprise of 2022? That Indianapolis overtook Pittsburgh’s third place, M25 managing partner Victor Gutwein told

Gutwein was surprised by the ranking change, but it didn’t come out of the blue: he knows the underlying factors that helped Indy race forward. This notion is exactly why we’re pinging him for comments about what’s cooking in the Midwest.

In our discussion, of course, we talked about Indy and Chicago, but also college cities, good public funding, and more.

Editor’s Note: This interview has been conducted in two parts and has been edited for length and clarity. In M25’s latest list, which ranking change in the 2022 dataset compared to 2021 is the most surprising?

Victor Gutwein: I thought Indianapolis could and would surpass Pittsburgh, but I didn’t know it would happen this year because no “signature” big fundraiser or exit or new fund had been announced.


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