ThinkChicago Immerses Students in Chicago Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

8/10/2017 3:38:03 PM

University of Illinois students were among some of the top students in the country to attend ThinkChicago: Lollapalooza. Mayor Rahm Emmanuel invited 200 of the nation’s brightest and most innovative students to learn about the Chicago’s tech scene and enjoy one of the top music festivals in the world, Lollapalooza. During this three-day event, that took place August 2-4, students explored various companies, engaged with top Chicago-based entrepreneurs, and worked together in teams to solve real-world problems using technological solutions.

 “ThinkChicago was phenomenal. The opportunity of touring companies that are a part of Chicago's booming tech scene, coupled with the connections I made with professionals in the industry and students from universities across the United States, made my ThinkChicago experience truly memorable.” said Ishaan Sood, a 2017 graduate of the Aerospace Engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

ThinkChicago received over 800 applications and selected students from 45 universities and 23 states. Students’ majors included computer science, engineering, business, design, and more.

“It's amazing to meet so many outstanding people at ThinkChicago,” said Mia Xin, a student studying Human Resources and Industrial Relations at Illinois. “I am inspired by all the speakers, friends as well as their entrepreneurship stories. I also really appreciated the opportunity to visit different tech hubs and startup centers such as 1871. Also, I had so much fun at Lolla!”

Companies that the students visited included 1871, Microsoft, Uptake, mHub, and Outcome Health. During these visits the companies conducted tours and students were able to interact with employees and ask questions.

“I would say the tour that I enjoyed the most was mHub,” said University of Illinois student, Varun Medhal.  “mHub is an incubator that focuses on developing startups in the hardware space. One of the reasons why I enjoyed this tour is because it really gave you a day in the life of what an entrepreneur has to do to build a company.”

“ThinkChicago is an exciting opportunity to build connections with students from across the country and also see some of the amazing things happening in Chicago,” said TEC Marketing Coordinator Ashley Hipsher. “It is our hope the students will fall in love and want to call Chicago ‘home’ someday.”

ThinkChicago: Chicago Ideas Week will take place October 18-20 with applications opening soon. Students interested in participating can visit for more information!