June 23, 2015

Mayor Rahm Emanuel Announces Open Applications For ThinkChicago: Lollapalooza 2015

Annual Program Will Host 125 of the Nation’s Top Technology and Engineering Students in Chicago; Local Alumni Are Invited Back to Participate in Mentoring and Program Planning Sessions

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced ThinkChicago: Lollapalooza is now accepting applications for participation in the third annual installment of the successful ThinkChicago: Lollapalooza program. Mayor Emanuel, World Business Chicago, University of Illinois, Chicago Ideas Week, and 1871 are once again teaming up to welcome 125 elite technology and computer science students from the nation’s top universities to Chicago with the opportunity to learn about Chicago’s fast-growing tech scene, meet Chicago innovators, technologists, and business leaders, visit local sites in Chicago, attend Lollapalooza, and more.

“Making sure that the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs decide to live, work and play in Chicago is vital to the continued growth of our technology sector and our city’s economy,” Mayor Emanuel Said. “ThinkChicago: Lollapalooza provides talented students from across the country and worldwide with the opportunity to experience all Chicago has to offer as we continue to strengthen the City’s position as a technology hub.”

ThinkChicago: Lollapalooza is seeking junior and senior undergraduate students who are enthusiastic about digital technology, computer science, innovation and/or entrepreneurship and have demonstrated a commitment to achievement and excellence in their field. Candidates should be interested in learning more about Chicago or considering Chicago for potential employment as part of a tech company or to start a new tech endeavor upon graduation. Candidates with work, internship, leadership, and entrepreneurial experience are especially encouraged to apply. Students can apply by visiting www.thinkchicago.net. Applications must be submitted online by 11:59 pm on Monday, July 6, 2015.

“ThinkChicago is not only a wonderful opportunity for students to explore Chicago's vibrant innovation ecosystem, it also provides growing companies a face-to-face connection with tremendous talent,” said Jeff Malehorn, President and CEO at World Business Chicago.

The program will take place July 30 – August 2, 2015 and serve 125 students, a number which has steadily increased since the ThinkChicago program launched in 2011, when 50 students from 13 universities participated. ThinkChicago takes places twice a year during Lollapalooza in the summer and Chicago Ideas Week in the fall. Last year, ThinkChicago: Lollapalooza received a record 1,032 applications spanning 34 states and 12 countries. This summer’s program will be the sixth installment of the successful ThinkChicago program established by Mayor Emanuel in 2011 and the third annual program held during Lollapalooza.

“Chicago is one of the world’s truly premier cities, a global hub of commerce that drives the economic fortunes of our entire state and our nation. To flourish, the city needs a highly skilled, 21st century workforce – the best-in-class workers that the University of Illinois supplies through more than 20,000 graduates every year from its three campuses,” said Timothy Killeen, University of Illinois President. “We share ThinkChicago’s vision of keeping our homegrown talent right here in Illinois and building on a network of more than 380,000 U of I alumni whose skills are already helping move our state forward.”

New to the ThinkChicago program this year will be an alumni engagement session, where past program attendees working or attending school in Chicago will be invited back to participate in a planning session with ThinkChicago organizers to discuss ways to improve the ThinkChicago platform, better engage ThinkChicago alumni moving forward, and develop a ThinkChicago community for ongoing student alumni engagement. In addition, alumni will have the opportunity to share their current and past tech experiences by attending a program-alumni mixer and participating in a panel discussion during the ThinkChicago program.

Past attendees of the Lollapalooza and Chicago Ideas Week programs have heard from leaders across the tech, business, and civic worlds – including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Harper Reed (Obama for America 2012 CTO), Brian Fitzpatrick (Google Engineering Manager), Matt Maloney (GrubHub CEO), Zach Kaplan (Inventables.com CEO), Adrian Holovaty (Django Web Framework Creator), and met with many of Chicago’s leading tech companies, including Belly, Braintree, Brighttag, Built In Chicago, Catamaran, Centro, Civis Analytics, Cleversafe, Gogo, Google, Groupon, GrubHub, IBM, Nokia: HERE, HireBrite, kCura, Morningstar, Microsoft, Motorola, Narrative Science, Nielsen, Orbitz, Power2Switch, Sears, Spot Hero, Sprout Social, Threadless, and Vibes.

“We are excited to introduce a new group of college students to the technology, innovations, and ideas that Chicago has to offer,” said Chicago Ideas Week Founder and Uptake CEO Brad Keywell. “Through ThinkChicago, we hope to inspire talented students to choose Chicago to work, build new ventures, and enjoy all of its offerings.”

“1871 is focused on attracting and retaining top tech talent in order to ensure that Chicago remains a leading location for innovation and technology," said 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. "Through programs like ThinkChicago, 1871 encourages college students and recent graduates to view Chicago as the premier location to build a business. We are pleased to again provide ThinkChicago participants with the opportunity to visit 1871 and immerse themselves in the Chicago entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

In 2014, Lollapalooza was responsible for generating more than $143 million in economic activity locally and $61 million in labor income Lollapalooza operations and attendee expenditure inside and outside the festival were responsible for more than 1,451 full-time equivalent jobs locally. For more information visit www.lollapalooza.com.

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