While Illinois is one of the nation’s 10 “leading technology states,” based on employment in technology sectors, the state lags in venture capital and seed-stage funding for technology firms. The funding is crucial to business development and job growth, experts said.
“If you look at the habits on the coasts, there is a very great degree of public segment investment and local venture investment partcularly through the pension funds,” said state Rep. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston). ”It creates a whole ecosystem that feeds on itself,” Biss said. Biss was a strong supporter of the Illinois legislation, which awaits Gov. Pat Quinn’s expected signature.
Among the leading technology states, Illinois was last in the amount of seed capital in 2009, with $1.6 million in seed-stage funds compared with $737 million in California, according to a report from Biss’ office. Excluding seed funding, Illinois received $235.7 million in venture capital in 2009, compared with $8.5 billion in California, which led both lists.
Biss called the Illinois legislation “a piece of the puzzle” that will start the ball rolling for technology funding and hopefully reverse the trend of startups exiting the state. When the startups leave for greener pastures, they take with them talent often was educated at Illinois dissertation editing