CHICAGO, IL— In the startup world, investors hold special powers… for one, the moolah. That, along with their vast connections and business smarts, can take a fledgling startup from idea stage to a multi-million dollar company.

Sought after like rockstars, these influential people not only invest in, but mentor and nurture, the few early-stage companies fortunate enough to be included in their portfolios.

The investors we spoke with stay atop the newest trends, surround themselves with talented people, and seek out the deals which, they hope, will one day lead to the big exit. So, what are they thinking now?

Five of the most influential people in Chicago’s startup ecosystem — investors Howard Tullman, Karin O’Connor, Paul Lee, Kevin Willer, and Matt McCall — reveal how they got their start as early stage investors, some of their notable trends in 2012, the companies they are keeping an eye on today, and their forecasts for 2013.

Learn how the current so-called “Series A Crunch,” or shakeout — when many unprofitable startups are expected to disappear, will affect new companies looking for funding in the coming year.

More info on BLACKLINE REVIEW: Chicago Investors Share Startup Trends

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