ThinkChicago-From-Home 2020 a Resounding Success


As a substitute for ThinkChicago Lollapalooza, the first ever all-virtual summer flagship event took place from July 29-31

ChicagoNEXT’s annual ThinkChicago summer event ThinkChicago-From-Home 2020 took place Wednesday, July 29 to Friday, July 31.

This year’s free, all-virtual event convened 250 college students from 36 universities across 20 states for a behind the scenes tour of Chicago’s tech and innovation ecosystem. Similar to previous years, a majority of the 2020 cohort identified as female and people of color.

ThinkChicago-From-Home featured a civic teach challenge based on the City of Chicago’s COVID-19 Recovery Taskforce Report. The 50+ civic tech challenge submissions, focused on innovative solutions to help Chicago navigate reopening and recovery. The program also included guest speakers, panel discussions with various Chicago tech community leaders, and other cohort activities for students to interact with each other virtually!

This year’s program featured multiple guest speakers including Chicago’s Mayor, Lori E. Lightfoot; World Business Chicago’s President and CEO, Andrea Zopp; ChicagoNEXT Chair, Mark Tebbe, The Gray Matter Experience CEO & Founder, Britney Robbins; Rheaply CEO, Garry Cooper, PhD; Tastytrade Co-CEO & President, Kristi Ross; Bosch USA’s Head of City Development, Beth Bond; Women Tech Founders CEO, Terri Brax; Chicago Creative Entrepreneur & Grammy-winning artist Isaiah Sharkey, and 20+ industry leaders which included tech company executives and startup CEOs.

ChicagoNEXT is now directly sharing the student’s resumes with 27 local Chicago tech companies and innovation hubs to fill staffing needs.

Thank you to tastytrade, ThinkChicago’s 2020 presenting sponsor for their support – especially tastytrade President & Co-CEO, Kristi Ross and CTO, Linwood Ma.

Applications for ThinkChicago Chicago Ideas Week are now open. Apply here!

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