Mayor Lightfoot Joins World Business Chicago, City Colleges of Chicago, and Discovery Partners Institute to Announce Thinkchicago Launchpad

For the first-time ever, WBC’s flagship STEM talent attraction and retention program, ThinkChicago, will host Launchpad, an exclusive event for City Colleges of Chicago students and alumni

Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot joins World Business Chicago, City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) and Discovery Partners Institute to announce the launch of ThinkChicago Launchpad, a brand-new event exclusive to City Colleges of Chicago students and alumni. Interested students can register for the opportunity to enjoy a multi-day immersion experience to explore Chicago’s thriving tech, innovation, and startup ecosystem

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ThinkChicago Launchpad participants will enjoy the opportunity to hear from startup CEOs and technologists and attend networking sessions to explore the city’s tech and innovation sector. Students will also have access to a number of career development opportunities, including resume workshops and free professional headshots See the full agenda

“When it comes to diverse, local talent, City Colleges of Chicago is truly one of the city’s powerhouses,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “I am beyond proud to see World Business Chicago’s ThinkChicago program tap into this talent pool and rapidly grow with City Colleges students. Their team is setting an example by showing our local tech companies that they can attract and hire top-tier STEM talent right here in our great city.”

ThinkChicago is organized by World Business Chicago, with anchor partners, the University of Illinois System and the City of Chicago. In 2021, World Business Chicago named City Colleges of Chicago as a ThinkChicago anchor partner, ensuring stronger connectivity between CCC talent and the tech companies in Chicago.

“City Colleges of Chicago is both a strong pipeline of diverse talent and an economic driver for the city,” said Michael Fassnacht, President and CEO of World Business Chicago, and Chief Marketing Officer for the City of Chicago. “For those reasons and more, we look forward to partnering with Chancellor Salgado and his team on the upcoming ThinkChicago Launchpad, providing access to career opportunities in Chicago’s technology and innovation ecosystem to City Colleges students and alumni.”

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Chicago tech companies and startups have an amazing partner through City Colleges,” said Mark Tebbe, Chair of World Business Chicago’s Innovation and Venture Council. “Chancellor Salgado and the entire organization is actively engaging with our local startup ecosystem, and we’re proud to build an even stronger bridge between talented City College students and fast-growing local companies.”

City Colleges of Chicago aims to put every student on the path to upward mobility. CCC is the largest community college system in Illinois and one of the largest in the nation. With locations across the city, the seven colleges include: Richard J. Daley, Kennedy-King, Malcolm X, Olive-Harvey, Harry S Truman, Harold Washington, and Wilbur Wright colleges. City Colleges also oversees: the award-winning Washburne Culinary Institute, the Sikia Banquet Facility, five Child Development Centers, and radio station WKKC FM 89.3. For more than 100 years, City Colleges has transformed the lives of more than one million students through education.

“City Colleges of Chicago is a critical vehicle of empowerment for young people and the thousands of residents we serve,” said Juan Salgado, Chancellor of City Colleges of Chicago. “Our students truly represent the future of our city: talented, diverse, and ready to get to work. With Chicago now home to one of the fastest-growing tech economies in the country, ThinkChicago is a vital effort to ensure City Colleges continues to be part of this growth.”

ThinkChicago Launchpad is supported by global crypto company CoinFlip as presenting sponsor, other sponsors include Milwaukee Tool, Nature’s Fynd, and tastytrade.

“As a leading Chicago fintech company, we’re excited to build upon our hiring locally,” said Daniel Polotsky, Founder and Chairman of CoinFlip. “We’re proud to be a presenting sponsor for an important program like ThinkChicago, which shows students they can launch, build, and thrive with a STEM career in our hometown Chicago.”

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