As World Business Chicago’s flagship talent program, ThinkChicago, connects diverse, top-tier talent with innovative Chicago companies and startups.
CHICAGO, Nov.18,2022 /World Business Chicago/- – Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot announces the return of ThinkChicago Homecoming this November 18-19, 2022. The two day program features an opening reception at Discovery Partners Institute, for attending students and local companies who are hiring, along with a day of exposure to Chicago’s startup scene at the Polsky Exchange of the University of Chicago. For the first time ever, student participants will be able to select from multiple tracks designed for grad students & PhD talent, international students, and undergraduates.
“Chicago is proudly home to one of the largest talent pools in the country at 200,000 students with a top-tier startup industry to match” said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, who also serves as chair, board of directors at World Business Chicago. “I am thrilled to welcome students from across our city and the country to explore why our city is the ideal location to launch their careers in technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship.”
The multiple tracks offered by ThinkChicago is part of its strategic evolution to ensure representation across the student experience and offer tailored programming for diverse talent. ThinkChicago Homecoming 2022 includes panels of various startup founders and innovators, as well as workshops focused on resume building, internships, and early-career professional development.
“ThinkChicago continues to be a valuable program for Chicago’s fastest growing companies,” said Mark Tebbe, Innovation & Venture Council Chair for World Business Chicago. “And it’s evolution to now be inclusive of all students, from community college to PhD, ensure Chicago companies thrive with the best talent in the world – right here in our city.”
ThinkChicago Homecoming 2022 follows a recently deployed campaign, “200K Students,” launched by the City of Chicago, World Business Chicago, American Urban Campus, and 20+ local colleges and universities, highlighting why Chicago thrives as a global student destination. The ThinkChicago Homecoming 2022 cohort is majority students of color, with over 40% who identify as female and largely STEM focused. With 24 schools and 7 states represented, ThinkChicago Homecoming continues to drive diversity and inclusion with our city’s innovation economy.
“Today’s college students, and their parents, want the college experience to be one that fuels future success,” said Michael Fassnacht, President & CEO, World Business Chicago, Chief Marketing Officer, City of Chicago. “In Chicago you have access to an incredible academic, research and innovative network, where legacy and emerging business ecosystems are driving the future. Here you are also free from the worry of seeing policies enacted that restrict your right to vote, to access healthcare, and be your authentic self.”
ThinkChicago Homecoming 2022 includes:
Distribution of the official ThinkChicago resume book to 50+ Chicago-area companies and startups who are hiring.
Opening reception with several Chicago innovation and startup ecosystem partners hosted at Discovery Partners Institute;
Keynotes and panels which include: Nisaini Rexach from Microsoft, Landon Campbell from Drive Capital, and Ellie Bahrmasel CEO and co-founder of Further Faster.
The ThinkChicago program is led by World Business Chicago, with anchor partners: the University of Illinois System, City Colleges of Chicago, and the City of Chicago. The STEM talent attraction and retention program includes several flagship events, university partnerships, and direct engagement with various student organizations and leaders.
“Technology, innovation and entrepreneurship are all core to our economic future,” said Tim Killeen, President of the University of Illinois System. “And innovative partnerships like ours with ThinkChicago show local companies and startups why investing in our students is a winning strategy for their continued growth and success.”
Over 200 selected ThinkChicago participants represent more than 30 universities and colleges across 17 different states, majority from Chicago and the Midwest region. As with previous ThinkChicago flagship events, this year’s cohort is majority students of color and majority female. For the first time, ThinkChicago will welcome a small cohort of 40 high school students from Northeastern Illinois University – TRIO Upward Bound. Program to participate in the Saturday program
“Every student deserves a pathway to launch an innovative career right here in our city,” said Juan Salgado, Chancellor of City Colleges of Chicago. “ThinkChicago has proven to be an amazing platform to help drive inclusive growth among Chicago’s startup ecosystem.”
ThinkChicago’s program year includes ThinkChicago Homecoming for the fall semester; ThinkChicago Lollapalooza for the summer; ThinkChicago Advanced Degree Exchange for grad students and PhD talent; and ThinkChicago Launchpad which is exclusive for City College of Chicago students. The ThinkChicago program wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of presenting sponsor CoinFlip, and sponsors Milwaukee Tool, Nature’s Fynd, and tastytrade.
“We’re a proud Chicago company and are actively hiring Chicago talent,” said Daniel Polotsky, Founder and Chairman of CoinFlip, a leading fintech company powered by cryptocurrency. “ThinkChicago has helped us amplify our brand and story and we will continue to be deeply invested in our city when it comes to our growth.”
Learn more by visiting www.ThinkChicago.net.
ABOUT WORLD BUSINESS CHICAGO (WBC):
World Business Chicago serves a critical role in driving inclusive and equitable recovery throughout the city’s 77 neighborhoods, focused on high growth sectors: transportation, distribution, & logistics; manufacturing; healthcare & life sciences, and our local innovation, startup, & venture ecosystem. As the City of Chicago’s economic development agency, World Business Chicago leads corporate attraction & retention, workforce & talent, community impact, and promotion of Chicago as a leading global city. Supported by a council of 300+ local leaders, World Business Chicago’s portfolio of innovation & venture programs include: the Chicago Venture Summit series, Startup Chicago, ThinkChicago, and Venture Engine with the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition (ISTC). Follow World Business Chicago on LinkedIn & Twitter for daily news and announcements on company relocation and expansion; industry and ecosystem growth, U.S. and world rankings, and more about Chicago’s economic progress.