Chicago’s TechNexus Named to Forbes List of Top 10 Startup Incubators and Accelerators

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TechNexus takes No. 9 spot on Forbes list, which evaluates incubators on member companies’ venture financing, success rate and other metrics.

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There are real companies and some very experienced entrepreneurs here, and that’s an incredible resource to grow my business around.

TechNexus, Chicago’s first collaborative ecosystem for tech entrepreneurs and business leaders, has been named the No. 9 startup incubator in the United States by Forbes. Since opening its doors in 2007, more than 150 companies have grown within TechNexus. Those companies have raised more than $80 million in investment capital and collectively employ nearly 500 people in new, skilled jobs.

Forbes took several factors into consideration when developing the list, paying particular attention to the value of the companies tied to the incubators, the most recent equity valuation of the companies and the percentage of companies that are still active.

“I think the TechNexus team really hated the term the ‘incubator’ for a long time, instead referring to the collaboration and meaningful community that gathered here each day as something different,” explained Pat Kerpan, CEO of CohesiveFT, one of the earliest companies in the TechNexus incubator. “The experience here was more community driven than other incubators I know of, especially five years ago. These guys were way ahead of everyone else.”

TechNexus is unique among the Forbes list of top incubators in America, which includes several different business models to support growing companies. It is an ecosystem built around nearly 3,000 entrepreneurs, engineers and executives from bigger companies flowing through the space each month, and anchored by community organizations like the Illinois Technology Association, Clean Energy Trust and more than 75 user groups. It does not require businesses to sign on to its incubator for a predetermined amount of time. In addition to the incubator space, several hundred entrepreneurs, executives and even students have “keys to the clubhouse” and cowork within the 25,000 sq. ft. facility at 200 S. Wacker Dr. in Chicago.

“It’s like TechNexus is curating collaboration, bringing exactly the right people together to support the companies growing here,” said Jason Lobel, CEO of Storeplacer, another TechNexus-incubated company.

TechNexus partners have made private investments in many of the companies within the incubator, and help facilitate relationships with investors from around the globe. Some of the companies themselves have foreign roots, hailing from locales that include Canada, China and Ireland.

“TechNexus was a great place to run our global headquarters, even as we continue to scale up our team in Australia and around the globe,” said Steve Subar, CEO of Open Kernel Labs.

Most companies that have grown at TechNexus operate in the business-to-business space and benefit from the strong industry connections within the ecosystem.

“The focus around here is on building companies, finding customers and getting great revenue growth,” said Brian Crummy, CEO of flowerpetal.com. “There are real companies and some very experienced entrepreneurs here, and that’s an incredible resource to grow my business around.”

“We try to match a growing company with leaders from bigger businesses to transform industries,” said Terry Howerton, cofounder and managing partner of TechNexus. “Our role is to be a catalyst for that collaboration and growth.”

For more information on TechNexus, take a look at this Forbes exclusive.

About TechNexus
TechNexus is the gateway to collaboration and growth for Chicago’s technology leaders and leading businesses. Established in 2007, the ecosystem was funded privately and is anchored around the Illinois Technology Association (ITA) and nearly 75 other community groups. TechNexus is a ‘clubhouse’ where ventures grow, and a co-working facility to bring technology professionals together, foster relationships and promote a sense of community. (http://www.technexus.com)

About Storeplacer
Storeplacer is a commerce delivery platform that enables transactions in mobile, social, Web and other digital touchpoints. Handling all of the technical barriers to ecommerce, Storeplacer allows agencies and retailers to focus simply on design and user experience to get to market faster and cheaper.

About CohesiveFT
CohesiveFT is the leader in enterprise application-to-cloud migration and provides more software-defined networking for cloud computing than all competitors combined. CohesiveFT's Elastic Server Cloud Container includes everything necessary to achieve "cloud convergence" across an IaaS computing portfolio, including multi-cloud image automation, network virtualization and topology automation.

About flowerpetal.com
Flowerpetal.com is the nation’s leading flower and gift fulfilling partner. Flowerpetal.com technology and service have teamed with the world’s most discriminate content and service providers to increase their revenue and enhance their customers’ experiences. Flowerpetal.com works with organizations of all sizes, from local community websites to publicly traded companies and consistently delivers fresh flowers and gifts that exceed expectations.

About Open Kernel Labs
Open Kernel Labs is the global leader in virtualization software for securing wireless communications, applications and content for connected devices, deployed on more than 1.5 billion devices worldwide. Chipset suppliers, mobile and automotive OEMs, national security agencies and contractors, mobile network operators, and enterprise IT depend on OK Labs to enable security for wireless access of corporate and government assets while protecting everything that runs on the device.

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Andrew Cross
Walker Sands Communications
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