Chicago has always been a city that makes no small plans, and P33 follows in that tradition. Started in 2018, it’s an exciting new initiative taking Chicago’s technology ecosystem by storm, with a focus on implementing a sweeping, ambitious approach to drive change. With Penny Pritzker and Chris Gladwin leading the team, Chicago’s tech brand is looking clearer and more developed than ever. And while its goals are sweeping, P33’s entire agenda is built upon on a handful of promising foundational Chicago facts:
• Chicago has a strong tech talent base, with the second highest concentration of computer science graduates in the country — representing 10% of the Computer Science degrees in the U.S. Nearly a quarter of software developers in Chicago (24%) are women.
• Chicago is home to top-tier universities, and is only one of four cities with three “Research-1” universities in the U.S.
• Chicago has the third largest gross domestic product in the country, with an industry diversity ranking that is top in the nation – including a strong advanced manufacturing and industrial IoT sector.
• Corporations are betting on Chicago – the city leads U.S. cities in corporate relocations for the past three years and in direct foreign investment for the past six years.
In a recent panel discussion at the Economic Club, Penny Pritzker reveals that the “33” in P33 stands for 2033, the 100th year anniversary of the Chicago World’s Fair, where Chicago was praised as an “innovation bright spot in the world.” In addition, the “P” stands for Purpose, Plans and People. With this in mind, the team behind P33 sees this project as a robust, long-term effort that will harness collaborations across the tech and business sphere. In order to foster this broad-based engagement, the P33 plan must demonstrate Chicago’s distinctive potential as a tech hub.
The P33 team, comprised of civic, business and tech leaders across the city, has been working in partnership with Accenture, BCG and McKinsey to develop an overarching strategy to support its mission. The strategy hinges on four initiatives that will:
• Serve to bolster Chicago’s tech talent base;
• Support deep science commercialization;
• Nurture clusters and partnerships; and
• Tell Chicago’s story
With its ambitious agenda in place, P33 is elevating the reputation of Chicago, positioning it as a leading tech hub by bridging gaps in connectivity, perception and competitiveness. At the same time, its members are connecting diverse entities across the tech and innovation ecosystem to:
• Increase early stage funding
• Attract new B2C tech companies
• Improve the city’s public of K-12 education, fiscal health, safety, tax & regulation environment and government responsibilities