Kanye’s first gig didn’t sell out the United Center. GrubHub wasn’t worth billions the day it was founded. Ferris Bueller wasn’t always the world’s most famous truant. 


From humble beginnings—it’s how every great story starts in Chicago. The ground floor may be where we get on, but we don’t stay there long. What’s born in a garage, on a workbench, or with a camera phone ends up bigger than life.

This is where Pitchfork & Lollapalooza crank it to 11; where a new startup is taking hold every day; where movie moguls & indie film makers produce blockbusters & cult classics; where achievements made in food-culture, architecture, art, and design are endlessly inspiring.


Whether you come to be a maker or to meet the makers, one thing’s certain: Chicago is where greatness is made.


A new startup launches here every 24 hours.

“Chicago’s startup scene is on fire.” – Forbes

From the world’s first skyscraper to the invention of improv comedy, Chicago has always been a hothouse of creativity and innovation; a place where ideas are seen as the highest form of currency.



Photo: 1871 startup incubator and co-working space

“The city of Chicago is a central player in the history of American music.” This is not just a quote from Rolling Stone. It’s a fact.

And the truth is, Chicago’s playing just as vital a role in the future of American music.

From its historical influence in jazz, blues, and house, to the contemporary sounds of juke, footwork, and drill, Chicago sounds continue to echo around the globe, forming building blocks in the future of popular music.

So whether you’re a band, a DJ, a songwriter, or a future label owner, you want to elevate your sound in a place that hasn’t just bred legends in every genre, but has invented its own genres.

Photo: Pitchfork Music Festival

From Bueller to Batman, High Fidelity to Hoop Dreams, Chicago has always been more than just a backdrop, it’s a character in itself.

Maybe that’s why so many filmmakers flock here and why so many great films are made here. With acting alumni like Vaughn, Malkovich, and Cusack, there’s no shortage of talent here either.

ChicagoMade is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special EventsChoose Chicago, and World Business Chicago, to highlight the city as an innovation center, a global business destination, a cultural hub, and most of all a city of diverse and unique culture and technology makers. The first ChicagoMade music showcase and other activations took place in Austin TX during SXSW in March, 2014. Stay tuned for what’s next.