Entrepreneurship is one of the greatest gateways to autonomy for people who have been historically excluded. GET Cities worked to increase access to capital and capital deployment for these people to accelerate equity in the industry at large.

 The following interventions were subprojects within the Tech Equity Working Group (TEWG). As part of GET Cities’ Transition to Community in 2024, TEWG is now being managed by World Business Chicago. Visit their website for the latest news.



This initiative was designed to help marginalized entrepreneurs navigate one of the most crucial phases for startups: the seed phase. From facilitating introductions between founders and venture capitalists to organizing PR and marketing efforts, TEWG helped nineteen founders take targeted steps toward their next fundraising milestones and simultaneously helped TEWG develop resources and consolidate efforts with real-time founder input. 

Entrepreneurship Exchange:

Chicago, Miami

Initially piloted in the Tech Equity Working Group, Entrepreneur Exchange is now hosted at World Business Chicago (WBC) to organize a series of travel opportunities and entrepreneurship exchanges across cities like San Francisco, Toronto and Miami. The newest version of the intervention introduced 50 founders from historically excluded communities to venture capitalists, potential funding opportunities, and access to exclusive programming. As part of this initiative, these founders, along with other delegations of founders in the destination cities and from World Business Chicago’s Startup Chicago program, built warm connections across VC and new markets for partners and customers.

Venture Fellows:


Venture Fellows helped aspiring venture capital professionals from historically excluded backgrounds break into the industry. From offering top-tier tech education to 1:1 mentorship, participants were provided hands-on experience to help establish themselves in the field, practice deal flow, and secure work in VC. This intervention was initially incubated in the Tech Equity Working Group and is now hosted at our partner organization Chicago:Blend.

Tech Desk:


Tech Desk connected Chicago’s South Side entrepreneurs with the technology support and tools they needed to grow their businesses. This intervention started as a Tech Equity Working Group pilot and is now led by the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago, with support from Verizon. The 2023 scaled version of this initiative consisted of two parts: the E-Commerce Learning Lab which brought e-commerce training and fulfillment support to 20 products-based businesses through 37 Oaks, and the Web Dev Shop which supplied 12 businesses a grant for upgraded web services, web design, and digital storytelling through contracts with diverse tech vendors.



The Venture Engine Executive Founders Series run by the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition (ISTC) is intended to develop meaningful connections between startup founders in Chicago and corporate executives. Its primary objective is to assist founders in establishing relationships with clients, investors, and corporate connections that are typically difficult to source through a series of themed networking opportunities. Founders will participate in networking dinners that offer introductions to seasoned subject-matter-experts, corporate and ecosystem partners, and venture capitalists. Diverse founders from ISTC’s Venture Engine, an online platform connecting startups to the state’s most innovative corporations, will also benefit from access to premiere events to support efforts to further diversify the tech ecosystem.

Tech RISE:


After piloting gender-focused aspects of TechRise’s pitch competition, TEWG will sponsor future rounds of TechRise, led by P33, to support women, trans and nonbinary founders that seek increased access to the connections, capital, and community needed to elevate their efforts. They are also dedicating funding to collaborating with founders through P33’s Speed Round, an initiative where founders receive personalized feedback from advisors and investors.

P33’s network of founders also have access to tailored VC introductions through the newly launched TechChicago CommonApp, and initiatives like the inaugural two-day Capital Summit during the 2023 TechChicago Week featuring track-based programming and curated 1:1 meetings.