University of Illinois President Dr. Robert Easter joined City of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel today to announce the second year of ThinkChicago, a program established to introduce top students from Midwest universities to cutting-edge companies in Chicago.
In its first year, ThinkChicago hosted approximately 50 students, who enjoyed formal programs as well as the ability to explore Chicago. This year the best of the best students from universities across the Midwest will again visit leading companies, meet with business leadership and have the opportunity to attend Chicago Ideas Week in October.
Companies opening their doors to ThinkChicago students include Excelerate Labs, Groupon, Google, Microsoft, GrubHub and more.
The ultimate goal for ThinkChicago is to let Midwest university students know that they don't have to travel to the coasts to build their startups. Mayor Emanuel is keen on turning the "Second City" into the "Startup City", and spoke of his goal to keep the next YouTube and PayPal (both founded by University of Illinois grads) in Chicago.
The announcement took place at 1871, a new startup incubator in Chicago that provides resources to entrepreneurs, including access to mentors, investors, partners and peers.
Students interested in applying to ThinkChicago can visit chicagoideas.com/thinkchicago. The deadline is September 7, 2012.