When the VCs are watching The US Midwest, Chicago isn’t the only one missing. Over time, M25’s annual ranking of Midwest startup hubs makes clear that many cities in the Midwest are building vibrant startup ecosystems.
Each year, the Chicago-based VC firm puts together a list of the Midwest’s most active tech scenes, using a broad set of criteria. And every year, there are surprises even for M25’s own team.
The main surprise of 2022? That Indianapolis has overtaken Pittsburgh for third place, M25 managing partner Victor Gutwein told TechCrunch.
Gutwein was surprised by the change in rankings but not completely out of the blue: he knows the main reasons that helped Indy to run ahead. This understanding is why we push him to give us opinions on what’s cooking in the Midwest.
In our conversation, we talked about Indy and Chicago, of course, but also about college towns, public funding specifically, and more.
Editor’s Note: This interview was conducted in two parts and has been edited for length and clarity.
TechCrunch: In the latest M25 list, which rank change is the most surprising in the 2022 data set compared to 2021?
Victor Gutwen: I thought Indianapolis might eventually overtake Pittsburgh, but I didn’t know it would happen this year because no “signature” major fundraiser or exit or new fund was announced.