ThinkChicago: Lollapalooza Brings Nation’s Brightest Talent

ThinkChicagoLolla2016ThinkChicago: Lollapalooza 2016, a three-day event from July 27-29, recently brought together 200 of the nation’s top technology, engineering and computer science students to explore Chicago’s vibrant technology ecosystem and attend Lollapalooza, one of the country’s most popular music festivals. This year, ThinkChicago received nearly 700 applications for the expanded program and welcomed 75 more students than last year. Selected students came from 15 states and 27 universities throughout the country.

“Chicago is fortunate to host this talented group of students who will experience this great city’s thriving technology industry and world-class cultural scene first-hand,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “Whether as an employee at a Chicago-based technology powerhouse or as the founder of the next great startup, these students will be the future leaders of technology and engineering here in Chicago and will play a vital role in the continued growth of the city’s economy.”

“ThinkChicago continues to successfully connect some of the best and brightest students of innovation and entrepreneurship with Chicago technology companies,” World Business Chicago President & CEO Jeff Malehorn said. “Bringing students together to experience what the city has to offer exposes them to opportunities, and further elevates Chicago as a world-class innovation hub.”

The students selected this year came from a wide range of engineering and computer science backgrounds. Of the 200 students, 38 percent were in engineering disciplines, 27 percent in computer science, 16 percent in business, 11 percent in social sciences, 4 percent in economics, 2 percent in mathematics and 2 percent in natural sciences. This was the ninth ThinkChicago event held in the city and the fourth annual program held during Lollapalooza. To date 550 students have participated in ThinkChicago: Lollapalooza, and a total of 1,150 students have participated when combined with its sister program, ThinkChicago: Chicago Ideas Week, which takes place in October.

“A core of the University of Illinois system’s mission is to serve the needs of our state – supplying the workforce of tomorrow that will move Illinois forward,” University of Illinois President Tim Killeen said. “We are delighted to continue our partnership with Mayor Emanuel, World Business Chicago and Lollapalooza to expand the ThinkChicago program, ensuring that our graduates are aware of the technological and entrepreneurial opportunities available to them right here at home that will build on Chicago’s growing tech community.”

This year’s three days of programming included:Укладка нового пола? Легко!

Students also took part in a ThinkChicago Civic Tech Challenge, a pitch competition to propose ways in which the City of Chicago can use technology to address challenges related to urban sustainability, transportation and civic engagement. This year’s Civic Tech Challenge panel of judges included representatives from Chicago’s technology industry, the City of Chicago and Lollapalooza. The winning proposal received VIP passes for Lollapalooza 2017 and automatic acceptance to ThinkChicago: Chicago Ideas Week 2016 this fall.

“We are pleased to be a part of ThinkChicago again this year, and excited to host the nation’s top student innovators as we celebrate Lollapalooza’s 25th Anniversary,” Charlie Jones, Partner at C3 Presents, the promoter behind Lollapalooza said.

In 2015, Lollapalooza hosted over 300,000 attendees and provided an estimated$155 million in local economic impact. In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Lollapalooza expanded to four days in 2016 – featuring more than 170 artists performing on eight stages – and will host 100,000 fans a day.

ThinkChicago: Lollapalooza is organized by the Mayor’s Office, World Business Chicago, University of Illinois and Lollapalooza. This year’s ThinkChicago: Lollapalooza program is made possible by contributions from 1871, Chicago’s First Lady, Civis Analytics, Enova, Horizon Pharma, IBM, kCura, Lollapalooza, MakeOffices, MATTER, Microsoft, Motorola Mobility and Northern Trust. For more information, visit