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.
P33 Board Chair
Founder and Chairman
P33 Board Vice-Chair
Founder and CEO
P33 Board Vice-Chair
Civic Committee of the
Commercial Club of Chicago
Progress is not just
about the speed
it’s about where that
change is heading.
In 2021, Chicago’s tech ecosystem
reached many new heights, including:
• World Business Chicago Research Center
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
women & POC
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.
10,000 inbound leads
Companies featured on GOTECHCHICAGO.COM for the pilot TechChicago initiative “Come Back to Move Forward.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
P33 is also actively supporting the State’s efforts in attracting a major battery manufacturing plant in Illinois.
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.
Chief Executive Officer, P33
You can help
Thank you to all those who support, share,
and contribute to P33’s work.
Desiree Vargas Wrigley
Brandi Bridges, former P33 staff
Cole Johnson, former P33 staff
Michelle Hoffmann, former P33 staff
Chris Gladwin, Vice-Chair
Kelly Welsh, Vice-Chair
Garry Cooper Jr., PhD
Brenda Darden Wilkerson
Boston Consulting Group
Kirkland & Ellis
McKinsey & Company
MMM Program, Northwestern University
Ropes and Gray
Adam & Marylynne Schwartz
Boston Consulting Group
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
Hyde Park Venture Partners
JKP Family Foundation
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Kausal & Deutsch Family Foundation
Matt Pulley & Amanda Friedman
Mike Pyzkosz & Oak Street Health
Morrison Family Foundation
Pritzker Traubert Foundation
Sam & Jessica Yagan
Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust
Steans Family Foundation
The Duchossois Group
Valor Equity Partners
World Business Chicago