Opportunity for Students Interested in Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship


From August 2 – 6, 2017, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, along with the University of Illinois System, World Business Chicago, and Lollapalooza will invite 200 top college students from across the country to take a behind-the-scenes tour of Chicago’s vibrant technology ecosystem and attend this year’s four-day Lollapalooza music festival (August 3 – 6, 2017).

Last year, we received nearly 700 applicants from more than 85 different institutions across 27 states. We hope you will continue to share this opportunity with your students.

Selected students will have the opportunity to:

  • Tour some of Chicago’s most innovative companies and co-working spaces, and meet with key industry leaders
  • Participate in talks and presentations featuring Chicago technologists and entrepreneurs
  • Attend Lollapalooza 2017 music festival, plus a walk-through of the artist production areas

Past participants have been exposed to companies like Avant, Belly, Braintree, ContextMedia, GrubHub, kCura, 37Signals and Groupon, and entrepreneurs like Harper Reed (CEO of Modest, Inc. and CTO of Obama for America 2012), Charles Adler (Kickstarter Co-founder) and Dag Kittlaus (creator of Siri). Attendees have also visited the 1871 incubator space, met Mayor Emanuel and toured Chicago’s world-class cultural sites.

*Participating students will be required to secure their own travel. A limited number of affordable rooms will be made available as needed, but priority will be given to students traveling from outside the Chicago metro area. 

How to Apply

Students are accepted into the program based on their interest in technology, computer science, innovation, entrepreneurship and a demonstrated commitment to excellence. Most students are in their junior or senior years of their undergraduate studies, but students from other years as well as recent graduates (Spring 2017) are also encouraged to apply. The program is free and there is no fee to apply

A downloadable ThinkChicago PDF is available here that you can print, post or email. If you need additional materials, please let us know. We want to make this as easy as possible for your students to apply, so don’t hesitate to to reach out any questions!