'Challenge' to Illinois' Industry to Support the Future Thought Leaders of the Technology Industry

Top Technology Talent to Be Introduced to Illinois' Industry

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - November 10, 2010) - The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) and over 20 local technology companies call on industry leaders to support the future leaders of technology.

The ITA Fall Challenge Presented by BigMachines is an aggressive initiative to retain the best talent from the state's top universities, retaining these future thought leaders to build our local economy. A disproportionate number of graduates leave Illinois after attending our world-class universities, believing they must leave the state to succeed.

ITA and IBM are co-hosting a reception on November 18, 2010 at the IBM Innovation Center in downtown Chicago, introducing this elite group of students to the local technology and business community. The reception will be the base of these students' networks, challenging the community to aggressively work to retain these leaders.

2010 Universities include:

  • University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • University of Chicago
  • Northern Illinois University
  • University of Illinois At Chicago
  • Northwestern University
  • DePaul University

"The Chicago IBM Innovation Center is focused on fostering a vibrant local IT community by providing access to the latest technology, business tools, and IBM experts for our area companies and academics," said Mary Lyons, Regional IBM Innovation Center Manager, Central Region. "Chicago has the opportunity to become a smarter city driven by technical prowess, and it takes a skilled workforce to turn available technology and industry insight into innovation that matters for our city and the world."

"The future economy of Illinois is anchored by technology," said Fred Hoch, President, ITA. "Technology is the driving force behind innovation for new, growing, and established businesses, across the span of industry. When we lose top talent, we lose our economic advantage. The ITA & BigMachines are committed to reversing the tide of talent leaving our state."

Students at each university were invited to take a technical test with the students from each university receiving top scores invited to participate in the Final Challenge. The top score from the Final Challenge receives a $5,000 cash prize. Sponsors of the Fall Challenge will be conducting interviews as part of the Final Challenge day program, ready to offer positions to some of these students.

Sponsoring companies include BigMachines, presenting sponsor, Allscripts, Centro, GrubHub.com and model metrics, supporting sponsors, and Alterian, Applied Systems, Authentify, Corptax, EDL Consulting, ForteCG, Google, Leapfrog Online, Lextech, MBX systems, NAVTEQ, Nokia, Pointbridge, SmartSignal, SPR Companies, Vail Systems and Vibes Media. Additionally, The Northern Illinois University Alumni Group sponsored the Fall Challenge on campus.

To find out more about the ITA Fall Challenge Presented By BigMachines, visit http://illinoistech.org/page.aspx/Fall_Challenge. To find out more about the ITA, visit http://illinoistech.org

About the ITA
The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) is a driving force behind the growth of Illinois' vibrant technology ecosystem. We are relentless in championing the development and application of technology, from start-up companies to industry leaders, leveraging the transformative nature of technology to revolutionize industries. ITA uniquely capitalizes peer-to-peer collaboration, networking, and access to experts across the breadth of business to cultivate the Illinois technology industry. The unique and powerful integration of these valuable and experienced resources differentiates the ITA as the source of accelerated growth for the technology industry of Illinois.

About BigMachines
BigMachines is the global leader in enabling B2B sales, helping companies sell more and sell faster. BigMachines' award-winning on-demand configurator, pricing and quoting, proposal generator, and B2B eCommerce software solutions empower sales across customers' channels by streamlining their sales processes from opportunity to order. Using BigMachines software, sales teams and channels can quickly configure products, generate quotes and proposals, manage complex pricing, generate legal contracts, and manage orders. BigMachines offers extensive reporting capabilities and easily integrates to leading CRM and ERP systems, including those from salesforce.com, Oracle, Microsoft and SAP. BigMachines' rapidly growing customer base includes global leaders such as Kodak's GCG, Siemens, Ingersoll Rand, and NTT Communications, as well as innovative growth companies such as Acme Packet and Voltaire. For more information, visit www.bigmachines.com.

About the Chicago IBM Innovation Center
The Chicago IBM Innovation Center, in its eleventh year, is one of 38 IBM centers in 30 countries that provides access to technology, education and hands-on assistance to help IBM business partners, IT companies and academics to design, build, market and deliver new technologies. For IBM business partners, the centers offer no charge access to a broad range of hardware and software technologies to test, port and align their solutions. Local businesses work side by side with IBM technical, marketing and sales experts for hands-on support they need to help them fine-tune their skills and their solutions, and get to market faster. IBM Innovation Centers also provide training and access to open standards-based and emerging technologies through architecture consultations, development and testing resources, software development tools, marketing and selling resources, and workshops, seminars and events that help educate our users about IBM technology, open standards, and tech trends such as cloud computing, business analytics and mobile computing.

Contact Information:

Dorothy Radke
Marketing & Communications, ITA