The speed of an object in a given direction.

We began this journey...

We began this journey in 2017 with an ambitious vision of what Chicago could be, and a deeply committed team of Chicagoland leaders urging us forward. In 2019, we founded P33 to carry forth this vision to catalyze Chicago into a world-class, inclusive tech hub.

It has been inspiring to see the substantial progress our city has made towards this vision, in the face of tremendous headwinds caused by the devastating COVID-19 pandemic. We are so proud to see how our region once again demonstrated its resilience and community strength, rising to the challenges of the past two years. We have been equally proud of P33’s contribution to our region during these difficult times, working with our city, state, anchor institutions, and emerging companies to ensure our region is best positioned to move forward from this global crisis. This has not been an easy time to establish our new organization. Yet, inspired by our city and the people of this city, we are energized to do the hard work so that our region and residents are elevated.

The work of establishing Chicagoland’s global leadership as a thriving, inclusive tech hub is long-term, complex, and requires our collective participation and collaboration. We are in the midst of a labor market shock for which the outcomes are still unclear. Yet, we do know that making sure all of our residents have the opportunity to participate in our tech economy is an essential ingredient in Chicago’s tech story, one that will differentiate us from the rest of the country.

We are immensely grateful to all of you, who have contributed in big ways and small, for supporting P33 through our formative years. We hope you will continue with us on this ambitious journey to cement our city as the global leader we know it to be.

We are just beginning to write our future.

Penny Pritzker
P33 Board Chair
Founder and Chairman
PSP Partners
Chris Gladwin
P33 Board Vice-Chair
Founder and CEO
Kelly Welsh
P33 Board Vice-Chair
Civic Committee of the
Commercial Club of Chicago

Progress is not just about the speed of change— it’s about where that change is heading.

In 2019, P33 began its mission to turbocharge Chicagoland’s tech ecosystem and firmly establish our city as one of the most inclusive technology hubs in the US. We’ve had plenty of help working toward this goal over the past two years, and have seen remarkable progress.
Busy city traffic

In 2021, Chicago’s tech ecosystem reached many new heights, including:

New unicorns minted
(companies with $1B+ valuation)
(doubled from 2020)
Venture capital funding deployed
early-stage funding FOR Black and Latin founders
Group Shot of Founders
• World Business Chicago Research Center
• Crunchbase
These numbers are a sample of many indicators of success within our region. But, we have work to do to drive topline job growth and wealth building opportunities, reduce our talent drain, and build our reputation as one of the greatest tech centers in the U.S. To that end, we will keep our focus on three major areas:
Make Chicagoland home to top-tier tech talent, reflective of our community.
Cultivate and attract the world-class founders of tomorrow.
Regional Priorities
Position Chicagoland as a leader in emerging industries with substantial societal and human capital implications.


Chicago is a land of contrasts.
Overhead shot

We’re home to world-class academic institutions. We’re the 4th largest producer of computer science graduates in America each year, and we’re the most educated of America’s five largest cities.1 Yet, only a third of the tech workers educated in our state still live here.2 People of color represent two thirds of our population and women represent more than half — but they make up only 14% and 30% of Chicago’s tech workforce, respectively. Attracting, training, and retaining the workforce of tomorrow is not just critical for continued innovation and growth, it’s an opportunity to increase racial and gender equity in tech.

1 Chicago is the most educated of the five largest US cities, with 38% of those over 24 holding a bachelor’s degree. American Community Survey, 2017; Chicago is the 4th largest producer of US Computer Science graduates. National Center for Education Statistics.

2 Between 2000-2015, only 34% of the tech talent produced in Illinois still lives in-state; Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), 2019

prepared for tech careers by 2024
Number of
women & POC
in Chicago's tech workforce
Become a net positive importer of tech talent
Increase the net promoter score of Chicago as a technology hub
How we get there:
Lift our expectations of one another.
Formed by P33 in October 2020, The Chicago Tech Talent Alliance is a coalition of 48 companies committed to catalyzing employer-led tech talent solutions. The Alliance represents $1T in global revenue and over 100,000 Chicago-area employees. Since its inception, The Chicago Tech Talent Alliance has challenged P33 to co-design, execute, and orchestrate solutions that provide tangible value to their organizations as a collective. P33 in turn, challenges the Alliance to become an active developer of talent in the region by partnering with our academic institutions and non-profit partners to ensure our residents have the best possible chance at a tech career.
Bridge the gaps between students, academic institutions, and employers.
P33 has recently launched programs that tackle the student-employer gap from two different angles: Strong Start and Tech Pass.
Strong Start 
Fall '21 Pilot

P33’s Strong Start program brings tech companies directly into the classroom experience to increase student preparation for tech careers by providing more practical experiences for students to discuss with employers. The initial pilot in the Fall of 2021 placed leaders from M1, G2, and PwC in classrooms at The Illinois Institute of Technology and The University of Illinois Chicago, where students worked through semester-long projects under the coaching and guidance of tech company employees.

Based on positive feedback from the pilot, P33 aims to engage 8 companies at 3 schools in Fall 2022, reaching 300 students. Our goal is for the collaborative spirit of Strong Start to be woven into the fabric of every Chicagoland company and academic institution for the benefit of our students across the region.

who express an interest in a STEM degree as Freshman fall off that path within four years.

“Strong Start provided our engineers with a chance to develop their coaching and leadership skills, engage meaningfully with students and the community in a way that aligns with our business and talent priorities, and helped us strengthen our relationship with Illinois Institute of Technology.”
-Steven Gall, VP of Engineering, M1 Finance
“Strong Start and the M1 Finance Team gave our students real-world experiences in tech while allowing them to create meaningful relationships with tech professionals in Chicago, both of which will truly help them as they seek to begin their careers.”
-Matthew Bauer, Senior Lecturer of Computer Science, Illinois Institute of Technology
“It was really exciting to have this opportunity right as we started our [computer science] cs careers! Hopefully this is an annual thing.”
-Student, Illinois Institute of Technology
TechPass logo
TechPass, a platform built by P33 and Neowork Ventures, provides undergraduate students a personalized pathway to their first job in tech. The app helps address challenges for underrepresented students who often lack guidance around how to stand out to employers, and helps companies find high-quality and diverse talent by connecting with students earlier in their academic journey. TechPass is launched in beta with 12 Chicago companies and over 100 Chicago area students. Check out the app at
Strengthen our reputation as a tech hub.

Launched in 2021, P33’s TechChicago pilot campaign (called “Come Back to Move Forward”) reached 1.2 million tech professionals and generated 10,000 inbound talent leads. The success of the campaign is now rolling into an evolved initiative to improve Chicago Tech’s net promoter score and attract top-tier tech talent:

Tech Chicago Logo
1.2 million reached
10,000 inbound leads
Tech Chicago website on a tablet
It takes a village to tell a story
More than 30 partners collaborated with P33 as part of the TechChicago campaign, including the Come Back to Move Forward 2021 pilot.

Companies featured on GOTECHCHICAGO.COM for the pilot TechChicago initiative “Come Back to Move Forward.”

Laptop image
“It’s been decades of us not moving the needle and you can almost feel the pride growing in Chicago’s tech sector. P33 is at the center of that. What they have done in a short time is remarkable.“
-Tonise Paul, Chairman of Energy BBDO


When we develop and resource entrepreneurs, everyone wins.

Chicago bean
Catalytic funding raised and deployed to underrepresented founders
BY 2023
Nighttime photo of downtown Chicago
Additional funding raised
for every dollar we deploy for founders
How we get there:
Invest in Black and Latin entrepreneurs.
TechRise is a multi-stakeholder initiative started in partnership with Verizon to support Black and Latin Chicago Tech Founders from idea stage to exit. Through weekly pitch competitions, founders get access to connections, resources, and capital to help their companies reach critical growth milestones. In less than 1 year, TechRise has deployed nearly $1 million to 30+ startups. Those startups have already raised an additional $10.6 million — and we’re just getting started.
Year 1 Impact: TECHRISE - Powered by P33
922,278 Invested
in additional funding raised by TechRise startups
new jobs created by TechRise participants
193 New Jobs
Winning teams identify as
76% Black, 24% Latin, 54% Women

Sergio Rodriguez founded ToDoolie, a technology platform that simplifies hiring help for hourly tasks, enabling young people to gain income and work experience.

ToDoolie won a $20,000 grant in TechRise’s June 18th Future of Work pitch competition, and since then the company has gone on to hire a team of fellows for the summer, which helped the company grow 25% month over month and raise a $1.5MM seed round.

“There have always been a lot of Black, Brown, and Women founders. But I think now because we have communities like TechRise, we have actually been able to expose them, and make sure that people are able to see them.”
Invest in women.
Cultural biases and systemic oversight ignore the data that favor investment in female entrepreneurs. We can’t. A study by Boston Consulting Group found that women entrepreneurs outperformed their male counterparts over a 5-year span: $730,000 in average revenue to $662,000. P33 is leading the charge to invest heavily in women founders, and we’re already seeing the returns.

Dr. Christine Izuakor’s cybersecurity startup Cyber Pop-Up connects businesses to on-demand cybersecurity services.

Cyber Pop-up secured a $20,000 TechRise grant as the winner of TechRise’s August 13th Seed Stage pitch competition and won an additional $100K as the Grand Prize winner of the 2021 TechRise Finale. Dr. Izuakor also won a $100K prize in the Atlanta Startup Battle and closed a pre-seed round.

“The [TechRise] prize is enabling us to start working towards next version product development while we also work to close our seed round right now. Both mentors I was introduced to are AMAZING and have led to additional connections and opportunities.”

Patrice Darby founded GoLogic, an all-in-one economic development and data aggregation platform for entrepreneurs.

GoLogic was the winner of a $21,000 prize in TechRise’s April 30th Women in Tech Pitch competition and also pitched in-person as a finalist at the 2021 Finale Pitch Competition. GoLogic’s revenue
has grown 5000% since Patrice’s TechRise win.

“[Winning TechRise] gave us a cash boost and made us visible to investors. It changed the game for our company!”
-Patrice Darby
Woman facing water

In 2020, GET (Gender Equity in Tech) Cities — an initiative led by SecondMuse Foundation and Break Through Tech, in Partnership with Pivotal Ventures, the investment and incubation company started by Melinda French Gates — announced Chicago as the first tech hub. The initiative aligns existing efforts to increase the number of women, trans, and non-binary people in Chicago’s tech ecosystem.

Get Cities Priorities

1. Build inclusive pathways into tech education, tech careers, and tech entrepreneurship for women, trans, and non-binary people.

2. Align local and national partners to collaborate on accelerating representation and equity in tech.

3. Share insights, create space for a national dialogue, disseminate data and best practices, and provoke behavioral, cultural, and narrative change.

Regional Priorities

In order to position Chicagoland as a national leader in tech,

we must pursue areas of regional advantage. That means identifying and capitalizing on both existing and emerging markets that thrive in Chicago and the surrounding region. If we are going to rise, let’s rise together.

Man facing the city street
Hub in the Nation
Closeup shot of computer hardware
Man charging an elecric car
Net new Electric Vehicle jobs to the Chicagoland region
Life Sciences ecosystem
with a focus on cultivating diverse founders
Woman working in a laboratory
How we get there:
Target bleeding-edge industries.
Chicago is home to some of the world's top quantum universities and research institutions, but we're raising the bar even higher—and attracting more quantum computing activity as a result. Duality, the first accelerator program in the US exclusively focused on supporting innovative quantum startups, launched in 2021 and cultivated six startups in its first cohort.
First Cohort
Pursue future-forward industries.
In September of 2021, lawmakers passed a historic clean energy bill to eliminate Illinois carbon emissions by 2050. This alone would be a major win for Chicago in clean energy— but there’s more to be encouraged by.

BBB Finalists Map
The mHub-led 2025 Clean Tech Economy Coalition (CTEC) was selected as one of 60 finalists for Phase 1 funding of the U.S. Economic Development Administration “Build Back Better Regional Challenge.” The Coalition includes P33 and 18 other partner organizations.
Support life-saving industries.
In her new role at the Chicago Biomedical Consortium (CBC), Michelle Hoffmann, formerly SVP of Life Sciences at P33, has started the CBC Entrepreneurial Fellowship. The effort actively supports the professional development of junior life sciences researchers that want to move projects from a university lab to commercialization.
Chicago Biomedical Consortum
Michelle Hoffmann became the Executive Director at CBC in 2021.

In partnership with the Prysm Institute, P33 is helping lead an investor forum promoting women founders in life sciences.

Good news
spreads fast.

Don’t just take our word for it—the evolution of Chicagoland’s tech ecosystem is making headlines across the country. Since the inception of P33, there have been over 130+ pieces of local and national positive press coverage on the organization.

Fast Company

As techies flee Silicon Valley, Chicago is jostling to be the next unicorn machine

Tech Crunch

The Chicago model: Building a global innovation powerhouse in America’s heartland

Yahoo Finance

Penny Pritzker on how Chicago is enticing top tier tech talent amid labor crunch

The Washington Post

Quantum technology emerges from the lab to spark a mini start-up boom


Chicago's Mayor Makes the Case for the City's Tech Community


Why Chicago Became A Top 3 Start-Up City In 2021

Onward. Upward.

A letter from our CEO
When I took the helm as CEO of P33 in July 2019, I could not have imagined what the world would look like nearly 3 years later in 2022. The last several years have been arduous for our organization, our community, our region, and for our world - an unprecedented global pandemic, the unhealed wounds of racial injustice, and a radical shift in the way we live, work, and find connection with one another. Each of these experiences has profoundly impacted our communities and have, in many ways, shaped our organization into what it has become today.
Photo of Bradley Henderson
Through these difficult times, I have been inspired to see our team, partners, and the Chicagoland community come together to lift each other up and fight the good fight for our region. Since launching in 2019, P33 has worked collaboratively with partners to strengthen our region’s national leadership position in Electric Vehicles and Quantum. We’ve convened our partners to launch a series of awareness building campaigns that have reached more than 1 million tech professionals. We've launched an award-winning program to invest capital in Entrepreneurs of Color, and orchestrated the largest Tech Talent Alliance of startups and corporations in Chicagoland to develop, retain, and attract world-class talent.

And now, we press onward. Our region faces unique challenges that are serious and urgent. But history has shown that our city is resilient, with an uncanny ability to reinvent and evolve. In this next evolution, one that features a more prominent digital economy, we believe firmly that all of our residents must be participants, contributing the breadth of perspectives, ideas, and cultures unique to Chicagoland, to form an even stronger region. I am sincerely grateful to the partners and individuals who have been with us on this journey. And for those who are just discovering P33, I invite you to join us on the journey and help us expand the reach of our work to all of Chicagoland and its residents.

Brad Henderson,
Chief Executive Officer, P33

You can help increase the Velocity.

This work requires many perspectives, and we can’t do it alone. Your involvement is critical to Chicago reaching the heights we know we can achieve as a city.

Reach out to us at to see how you can get connected, or sign up for our newsletter at

Thank you to all those who support, share, and contribute to P33’s work.

P33 Staff
Aleena Agrawal
Erin Amico
Lucy Brennan
Weronika Cardoso
Estefania Espinosa
Brad Henderson
Matthew Muench
Shawn Park
Meera Raja
Rebecca Randall
Nuwan Samaraweera
Louisa Shepherd
Evan Shy
Desiree Vargas Wrigley
Erica Zazo
Brandi Bridges, former P33 staff
Cole Johnson, former P33 staff
Michelle Hoffmann, former P33 staff
P33 Board of Directors
Penny Pritzker, Chair
Chris Gladwin, Vice-Chair
Kelly Welsh, Vice-Chair
Phillip Alphonse
Peter Barris
Andreas Cangellaris
Margarita Chavez
Garry Cooper Jr., PhD
Richard Edelman
Mike Gamson
Kate Gebo
Angel Mendez
Diane Primo
Jennifer Scanlon
Trabian Shorters
Julia Stasch
Helen Sun
Kate Timmerman
Brenda Darden Wilkerson
Tom Wilson
Maria Wynne
Pro Bono Partners
50,000 Feet
Boston Consulting Group
DLA Piper
Energy BBDO
Future Founders
Kirkland & Ellis
McKinsey & Company
MMM Program, Northwestern University
Rise Interactive
Ropes and Gray
West Monroe
The Entire P33 Board of Directors
Adam & Marylynne Schwartz
BMO Harris
Boston Consulting Group
Bridge Bank
Chicago Community Trust
Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago
Cleveland Avenue & CASTUS
Crown Family Philanthropies
Discover Financial Services
Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust
Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust
GET Cities
Godard Abel
Hyde Park Venture Partners
JKP Family Foundation
Joyce Foundation
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Kausal & Deutsch Family Foundation

Kinship Foundation
Lofty Ventures
MacArthur Foundation
Matt Pulley & Amanda Friedman
McCormick Foundation
Mike Pyzkosz & Oak Street Health
Moderne Ventures
Morrison Family Foundation
Northern Trust
People’s Energy
Pledgeling Foundation
PNC Bank
Pritzker Foundation
Pritzker Traubert Foundation
Purpose Brand
Rise Interactive
Sam & Jessica Yagan
Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust
Starting Line
Steans Family Foundation
The Duchossois Group
United Airlines
Valor Equity Partners
Wilson Sports
World Business Chicago