On April 3, 2014, Governor Pat Quinn will proclaim the day “Innovation Day” in the State of Illinois. The day will serve as a platform to convene the Illinois innovation community, connect with State leadership, and elevate visibility for the role of research and technology in driving Illinois’ economy. This statewide day of action will connect government, research institutions, industry and the public across the state.
The Illinois Science & Technology Coalition (ISTC) will convene its community of more than 50 organizations across the state to showcase their innovative work through new initiatives, meetings and events aimed at a diverse range of audiences taking place on April 3 and throughout the following week.
Illinois Innovation Day Breakfast
April 3, 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Executive Mansion, Springfield, IL
ISTC and the Illinois Innovation Council will host a breakfast with Governor Quinn and leaders in the Illinois innovation community to proclaim April 3, 2014 to be Innovation Day in the State of Illinois. The event will feature remarks from Governor Quinn; Adam Pollet, Director, Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity; and Mark Harris, President & CEO, ISTC. Leaders in business and academia will address the “four pillars of innovation”:
April 2, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
University of Illinois at Chicago, Behavioral Science Building
1007 West Harrison Street, Room 250, Chicago, IL
Dr. Dirk K. Morr, professor of physics at the University of Illinois at Chicago and an associate of the James Franck Institute at the University of Chicago, delivers a presentation on the real science behind the fascinating and seemingly unbelievable technologies of Star Trek. Are these advances really beyond our reach, or have we already surpassed some of them? Are they scientifically possible, simply waiting around the next corner to be discovered? Dr. Morr answers these questions, explaining the scientific ideas behind these technologies and the physical laws that we have to "bend" to make them work.
April 3, 7:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Venue SIX10, 610 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL
After an intensive mentorship program, Clean Energy Challenge finalists will present their disruptive businesses throughout the day to a judging panel of venture capitalists, corporate investors and business leaders for up to $500,000 in prizes. Grand prize winners in the Student track will receive a $100,000 cash prize, sponsored by the US Department of Energy-- and go on to compete in the national competition in Washington D.C.
April 3, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Argonne National Laboratory, Advanced Photon Source, Building 402 Auditorium
9700 South Cass Avenue, Lemont, IL
Argonne hosts a fun event for young and old alike with the goals of creating a more energy literate populace and drawing attention to the important work performed at Argonne. Four Argonne researchers will present for 10 minutes each on a different energy source – solar, wind, nuclear and biofuels. At the end of the presentations, the audience will vote via applause on which of the four made the best case for his/her energy source, earning him/her the title of Energy Slam Champion.
April 3, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Café Moxo; 411 East Adams Street, Springfield, IL
Developers, designers, policy wonks, data scientists and civically engaged Illinoisans will meet to discuss the formation of a Code for America Brigade in Springfield, and how to use the State’s open data portal to make a better Illinois. Code for America Brigade is a national network of civic-minded volunteers who contribute their skills toward using the web as a platform for local government and community service.
April 3, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Devry University, 225 W Washington St, Chicago, IL
iBIO’s PROPEL initiative hosts an opportunity to understand the basics of the various medical coding systems and how they impact the commercialization path for a life sciences startup. The event will cover coding systems and reimbursement information. The conversation will be lead by a medical coding expert with input from an entrepreneur who has successfully navigated this process. PROPEL helps guide the development of formation-stage and early-stage life sciences companies by providing entrepreneurs with access to specialized resources and expertise to prepare them for early-stage funding.
April 5; 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
The University of Illinois at Chicago, Student Center East, 3rd Floor Conference Center
750 S Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60607
Hosted by the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Department of Computer Science and College of Engineering, the goal of the Flourish Conference is to promote the use and adoption of Free Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) by demonstrating the practical applications of FLOSS in business and academics. Attendees will have an opportunity to see how using, creating and supporting FLOSS software can enhance their careers, businesses and academic aspirations. Conference programming will feature a full day of panels and speakers, as well as a hackathon challenging participants to use FLOSS to develop a game or app.
1871, 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, 12th Floor, Chicago, IL
Digital tech incubator 1871 will host a three-day startup weekend event for more than 80 select university students try their hand at entrepreneurship. Students from the University of Illinois, Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, and the Illinois Institute of Technology will work together to ideate, create and bring life to real startups of their own. Winners will receive a surprise Grand Prize, including membership at 1871, to continue building their companies.
April 9, 5:30 p.m – 8:00 p.m.
IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, Ogilvie Auditorium
565 W. Adams St., Chicago, IL
The Chicago Innovation Awards celebrates its third annual Chicago Innovation Awards Scholarship Competition hosted in partnership with the IIT Stuart School of Business. Out of 110 students who competed in this year's competition, $10,000 will be awarded to winning students, courtesy of the Chicago Innovation Foundation and the IIT Stuart School of Business. The top winner will present his/her idea to an audience of local industry leaders, following a welcome introduction from special guest Dr. Harvey Kahalas, Dean of the IIT Stuart School of Business. A panel of Chicago innovators, from start-up entrepreneurs to large corporations, will discuss innovation and entrepreneurship, and reveal how they made careers for themselves in Chicago.
For more information on this event, visit
April 9, 10:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
HTI, 2242 West Harrison Street, Suite 201, Chicago, IL
The University of Illinois at Chicago’s Health, Technology, and Innovation (HTI) Center hosts a pitch day and open house for its first public viewing of the space. The event program will feature pitches from innovators working to commercialize their ideas for high-tech ventures. By audience ballot, the best pitch by an individual or company will be chosen to receive one free month of HTI Basic Membership. Operated by U of I’s EnterpriseWorks Chicago tech incubator, HTI opened in stealth mode in January with the aim of bringing scientists, clinicians, engineers and industry together for an interdisciplinary approach to commercializing complex research.
The Chicago College Startup Competition (CCSC) is a new effort to attract the leading collegiate business startups from around the country to Chicago. ThinkChicago and 1871 will work with some of the leading entrepreneurial business plan competitions at colleges across the country to identify outstanding businesses that may be selected as the winning businesses. Businesses can also directly apply to 1871 and ThinkChicago to be considered for the program. The winners of the competition will receive a full free year at 1871, including desk space, mentorship services, a support group of College Startups currently at 1871, and all of the amenities that are made available to startups at the facility.
University of Chicago president Robert J. Zimmer announced on March 25 that Peter B. Littlewood, professor of physics at the University of Chicago and associate laboratory director for physical sciences and engineering at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, has been selected to serve as Argonne’s 13th director.
The Chicago Innovation Exchange and Cisco have teamed up to launch a new business challenge and incubation program to support entrepreneurs working on game-changing ideas in the Internet of Things and Big Data Analytics. The challenge is open to innovators and entrepreneurs throughout Chicago. Selected finalists will present their ideas to a panel of judges from the Chicago Innovation Exchange and Cisco EIR. Winning teams will receive feedback on their business and technology from industry experts, marketing support and preferential consideration for admission into CiscoEIR@CIE – a joint incubation program of the Chicago Innovation Exchange and Cisco EIR, which includes funding and hands-on advisory support from Cisco. Selected companies will be incubated and supported in the CIE on 53rd Street in Hyde Park.
EIGERlab's IT (information technology) Roundtable has officially launching a Code for America Brigade in Rockford. The Brigade program helps local volunteer groups partner with government in an effort to enhance their communities. Brigades hold regular hack nights and events, advocate for open data and deploy apps. Currently represented in 31 cities and four countries, Brigade volunteers and local government officials are creating new avenues for civic engagement and working to create an open and participatory city hall.
Comcast Business launched the Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs Contest to recognize the entrepreneurs that are making both customer and employee experiences better through technology. Judges will select two winners in each of the 16 Comcast Business Regions: one best customer experience and one best employee experience. Each winner will be awarded a $5,000 cash award plus Comcast Business Internet and TV services for two years along up to a $2,500 Comcast Business Account credit and services from Comcast’s Upware partners.
From these 32 winners, six GRAND PRIZE Winners will be selected to receive an additional $20,000 and a special trip to New York where they and a guest will have one-on-one consulting with our four business experts along with a VIP tour of 30 Rockefeller Center and an awards dinner prepared by Celebrity Chef Robert Irvine.
IMSA Announces Next Steps in Innovation Hub
The State of Illinois has selected Cordogan Clark & Associates of Aurora as the architect for the recently announced IMSA Innovation Hub. A lead gift of $1M from IMSAalumnus and co-founder of YouTube, Steve Chen, has jump started the 6,400 square foot renovation of space on IMSA's campus in Aurora. IMSA Executive Director of Development, Paul Milano announces the formal kick-off of efforts to raise the remaining $900,000 in conjunction with Illinois Innovation Day.
© Illinois Science and Technology Coalition
Illustration by Dieter Braun