Chicago DeFi Alliance

Connecting Startups to World Class Trading Firms

Join the Alliance

Chicago accounts for one fifth (20%) of the world's global derivatives trading market and generated 4.9 billion in annual global derivatives trading volume with a notional value of more than one quadrillion in 2017.

The Chicago DeFi Alliance was created to support startups in crypto finance at all stages with access to market makers, liquidity, product feedback, professionalized traders and talent. Take your project from an idea to a full-fledged product for traders.

Program Benefits

The purpose of the Alliance is to provide entrepreneurs and start-ups in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space with meaningful support and guidance with respect to trading and applicable regulations.

We are providing start-ups with “real world” trading feedback as early as possible to help them attract liquidity and offer products trading and financial firms are likely to adopt.


Validate product offering with seasoned traders and trading firms. Implement a go to market strategy and learn to accelerate user growth and attract liquidity. 


With a vast network of trading firms, traders and liquidity providers, the Chicago DeFi Alliance can help bootstrap liquidity for early-stage DeFi projects.


Match with mentors from our network of trading firms, gain practical knowledge and learn to connect with professional traders.

Trading Talent

Chicago’s trading community is amongst the oldest, tap into our talent network of seasoned traders and market makers.


Access to exclusive events and workshops led by the largest trading firms in Chicago.


Receive strategic guidance on current regulatory best practices while keeping growth top of mind.

Our Mentors

We connect trading firms and market makers to crypto native startups building the next

generation of finance.

Imran Khan

General Partner at Volt Capital

Peter Johnson

Principal at Jump Capital

Colleen Sullivan

Partner and CEO at CMT Digital Holding

W. Graham Harper

Head of Public Policy at DRW

Brian Melville

Director of Strategy at Cumberland DRW

Sunayna Tuteja

Head of Digital Assets  at TD Ameritrade

Harish Devarajan

Chairman at Deep Value

Dino Verbrugge

Co-Founder of DV Group

Brad Koeppen

Head of BD and Trading at CMT Digital

Jerald David

President at Arca

Robert Leshner

Founder of Compound Finance

Founding Members