On Wednesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced ThinkChicago, a new program dedicated to bringing top students from regional universities to Chicago for a weekend in order to learn about business, network with professionals and consider a post-graduate career in Chicago.
“My administration is committed to investing in the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This annual event will bring students from throughout the Midwest to Chicago, to experience our city’s vibrant business climate and culture, showing them that Chicago is a dynamic place to start a career, grow a business and build a life.”
The students will attend a weekend of meetings, lectures and interactive sessions with industry leaders on October 13 and 14. They will travel to business headquarters around Chicago, including those of Microsoft, Google, Groupon, Threadless, Excelerate Labs, GrubHub and Accenture.
Besides business, the students will also visit Chicago’s cultural landmarks and experience Chicago’s nightlife as part of an effort to display Chicago as attractive not only for economic reasons but also as a possible post-graduation home.
To qualify, students must be outstanding seniors from universities in Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The application deadline is August 30, and students who wish to learn more can do so by clicking here.
Chicago Ideas Week is also behind ThinkChicago, and will grant the students with free admission to the first annual Chicago Ideas Week, October 10 – 16 of this year. Brad Keywell, co-founder of Lightbank and Groupon, Mayor Emanuel and former Mayor Richard M. Daley are all presenting the week of lectures and interactive sessions.
In addition, students will receive free admission to the TEDxMidwest conference being held in Chicago. The conference is expected to showcase some of Chicago’s private sector, non-profit and government leaders.