April 25, 2013

Mayor Emanuel Launches ThinkChicago: Lollapalooza 2013

Expansion of Successful Recruitment Program will Bring 100 of the Nation’s Top Engineering and Computer Science Students to Chicago This Summer

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Today, Mayor Emanuel announced the launch of ThinkChicago: Lollapalooza 2013, a four day event that will introduce the city’s fast-growing technology industry and one of the country’s most popular musical festivals to 100 of the nation’s top technology and computer science students from across the country.

“Making Chicago a top destination for the most talented young people in the country is a key goal of my administration, and I am relentlessly focused on showing the country Chicago’s quality of life, cultural amenities, and business environment,” said Mayor Emanuel. “ThinkChicago: Lollapalooza is just one more example of how we are working to strengthen our position as a technology hub and attract the best and brightest to the city.”

This program will serve as an extension of the Mayor’s successful ThinkChicago: Ideas Week program, and will invite university students as well as ThinkChicago alumni who are currently working in the tech scene in Chicago to attend. The students participating in ThinkChicago: Lollapalooza will attend a variety of events, such as:

  • All 3 days of the Lollapalooza 2013 music festival, plus a walkthrough of the artist compound and production areas, a Q&A session with the Lollapalooza producers.
  • A career fair featuring presentations from local companies hosted by 1871, where students will be introduced to many of Chicago’s most innovative startups.
  • Panels moderated by Mayor Emanuel and featuring Chicago-based technologists and entrepreneurs, including Obama for America 2012 CTO Harper Reed, Siri founder Dag Kittlaus, BrightTag CTO Eric Lunt, Eved co-founder and CEO Talia Mashiach, and GrubHub co-founder and CEO Matt Maloney.
  • Resume pairings and “speed” interviews hosted by local companies.
  • Testimonies and presentations from recent grads who are currently working in Chicago.

In 2011, Mayor Emanuel partnered with Chicago Ideas Week to launch ThinkChicago, which brought 50 students from 13 universities in the Midwest to Chicago to tour local companies.  In 2012, Mayor Emanuel, doubled the size of the program and partnered with the University of Illinois and increased its emphasis on connecting Midwestern students with job and networking opportunities in the city.

Now, with the help of Lollapalooza, this new initiative will broaden ThinkChicago’s focus beyond the Midwest to attract the top student-talent from all across the country.   By demonstrating why Chicago is a top destination for the country’s top tech talent, ThinkChicago:  Lollapalooza is delivering on World Business Chicago’s Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs, which called for leveraging core Chicago assets like ease of transportation, business climate, and cultural amenities to attract entrepreneurs and emerging industries.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with the City of Chicago and making ThinkChicago an even more powerful platform in its third year,” said Chicago Ideas Week Founder and Co-Chairman Brad Keywell. “The vision for ThinkChicago is to showcase Chicago as a hub of innovation and ideas that encourages the best talent to choose Chicago to work, build new ventures and enjoy all of its offerings.”

ThinkChicago: Lollapalooza is seeking candidates who are enthusiastic about digital technology, computer science, innovation or entrepreneurship and have demonstrated a commitment to achievement and excellence in their field. ThinkChicago is opening the application to students from top engineering and computer science programs at universities across the country, including  Stanford University, University of Texas, Cornell University, University of Michigan, and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, among others.  It is preferred that applicants for ThinkChicago: Lollapalooza be in their junior or senior years of their undergraduate studies. 

Students can submit an application by May 31st by visiting thinkchicago.cityofchicago.org.  In addition, alumni of the ThinkChicago program who attended ThinkChicago in 2011 or 2012 are encouraged to apply and a separate application will be distributed to them individually. Participating students will be required to secure their own travel and lodging. In addition, questions about the program can be submitted to thinkchicago@cityofchicago.org.

ThinkChicago: Lollapalooza is organized by the Mayor’s Office and in partnership with the Department of Housing and Economic Development, Chicago Ideas Week, Built In Chicago, 1871, the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC), World Business Chicago, ChicagoNEXT, University of Illinois, and Lollapalooza.