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Today, Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined in the kick-off event for ThinkChicago: Lollapalooza 2013. For the next 4 days, Mayor Emanuel will host 100 technology and computer science focused university students from across the country as well as alumni of the ThinkChicago program to take a tour of the Chicago’s fast growing tech scene and also attend the 3-day Lollapalooza music festival. ThinkChicago is a collaboration with World Business Chicago, ChicagoNEXT, 1871, Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC), Chicago Ideas Week, University of Illinois, Google Chicago, Motorola Mobility, Sears Holdings, Built In Chicago, Illinois Technology Association (ITA), and Lollapalooza.
“We are determined to make Chicago a top tier destination for the most talented young people in the country,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Every year, Lollapalooza draws hundreds of thousands of people from all around the world to downtown Chicago. This year, ThinkChicago: Lollapalooza will work alongside the festival to further strengthen our position as a technology hub and attract the best and brightest to be a part of Chicago’s thriving technology economy.”
On the second day of the event, the Mayor participated in a panel hearing pitches from ThinkChicago students on tech solutions to improve the quality of life for Chicagoans. Mayor Emanuel attended the panel at the city’s innovation technology hub, 1871, alongside the City’s Chief Information Officer Brenna Berman, GrubHub CEO and Co-Founder Matt Maloney and Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of Power2Switch to address the admitted students. The panel will be followed by a company showcase featuring company leadership and engineers from over 20 local companies: Belly, Braintree, Brighttag, Built In Chicago, Catamaran, Centro, Civis Analytics, Cleversafe, Groupon, GrubHub, HERE, HireBrite, kCura, Morningstar, Motorola, Narrative Science, Nielsen, Orbitz, Power2Switch, Sears, Spot Hero, Sprout Social, Threadless, Vibes.
The students participating in ThinkChicago: Lollapalooza will also 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.
• Tours of local companies, including: Belly, Braintree, kCura, Microsoft, GrubHub, Accenture, Catamaran, Groupon, HERE, and Threadless.
• Panels and presentations at Google Chicago featuring Chicago-based technologists and entrepreneurs, including Obama for America 2012 CTO Harper Reed, Siri founder Dag Kittlaus, BrightTag CTO Eric Lunt, Google Engineering Manager Brian Fitzpatrick, and founder of Starter League, Neal Sales-Griffin.
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.
Students from 30 universities across the country will participate in ThinkChicago including:
o Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
o Harvard University
o Stanford University
o University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
o Purdue University
o California Institute of Technology
o Carnegie Mellon University
o Illinois Institute of Technology
o Northwestern University
o University of Michigan
o Cornell University
o University of Chicago
o University of Illinois at Chicago
o University of Texas at Austin
o Columbia University
o DePaul University
o Georgia Institute of Technology
o Indiana University
o Michigan State University
o Oberlin College
o Ohio State University
o The University of Southern California
o University of California Berkeley
o University of Iowa
o University of Notre Dame
o University of Pennsylvania
o University of Wisconsin, Madison
o Washington University in St. Louis
o Xavier University
o Yale University
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.