Chicago is home to more than just deep-dish pizza and the Cubs. As the third-largest U.S. metropolis, Chicago is evolving into a hub for burgeoning technology companies — and recently, even major industry players are getting in on the action.
With startup overcrowding and a skyrocketing cost of living wearing on tech workers in New York City and Silicon Valley, many are picking up and resettling on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan. Chicago’s strategic location, distinct culture, and unique perks are winning over both up-and-coming companies and technology giants looking to join our city’s growing (and increasingly well-financed) digital scene.
While Chicago-based offices from the likes of Google and Facebook populate headlines, companies of all sizes are riding the city’s tech wave. Initially financed by the local, socially conscious investment firm Impact Engine, Pangea Money Transfer is proud to be a growing part of Chicago’s vision for a more active tech landscape. Here are three factors that make our city a premier place to build tech companies:
As Chicago polishes its tech image, we offer a local alternative to talented workers from surrounding states who prefer living closer to home. With a strong education system that includes two of the country’s top MBA programs, our city also attracts students and experienced professionals from around the world. Many of these people stick around, creating an intelligent, vibrant workforce that appeals to those looking to grow their network with the best and brightest tech minds.
Home-grown marquee brands like Groupon and Redbox, in addition to Silicon Valley transplants, bring even more skilled workers to an already-impressive pool of tech candidates. For employees ready to leave jobs at these tech giants, smaller companies scattered across the city provide a fresh opportunity to take the next step in their career. People accustomed to the limitations and politics of large businesses can experience the ability to put their fingerprint on work and make a difference — in the case of Pangea, both internally and across the world.
Chicago’s comparably low cost of living serves as an unofficial part of the benefits package, a refreshing change for those used to shelling out huge sums for less than modest living spaces.
Chicago’s culture and atmosphere also draw employees, fusing a big-city environment with small-town connections. The city’s startup culture also strikes a unique balance between the relaxed Bay Area approach and New York City’s fast-paced, work-driven lifestyle. While we value time away from work, we are also invested in our jobs and the real-life problems we’re solving. Across Chicago’s technology community and particularly at Pangea, we thrive on in-office exchanges and collaboration.
As the home to the country’s most well-connected airport, Chicago has a strategic location ideal for travel-oriented workers. Whether employees have family in the Midwest or dispersed throughout the country, claiming eastern Illinois as a home base enables them to visit more conveniently than flying from New York or California. Whether it’s a personal connection to the region, Bulls fandom or a love of the lakefront views, the city’s location has become a check on the “pros” list of today’s job-seekers.
With local talent expanding in both numbers and expertise, Chicago is rapidly ascending the list of global tech-friendly cities. Though the first Chicago winter can be a harsh adjustment, workers in search of a change from other tech capitals are increasingly enamored with the Windy City. At Pangea, we’re welcoming the influx of prospective technology workers with open arms. We’re happy to contribute to our city’s strong tech reputation through a diverse workforce and an innovative, impactful digital product.