SOURCE: Illinois Technology Association (ITA)

Illinois Technology Association (ITA)

October 23, 2013 12:15 ET

The Illinois Technology Association Brings Top Collegiate Tech Programmers to Chicago for Fourth Annual Fall Challenge

Programming Skills Tournament and Networking Event Creates Bridge Between Top Technology Students and Chicago Businesses

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - Oct 23, 2013) - The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) today announced the 50 finalists from 10 Midwestern colleges and universities who will travel to Chicago to compete in the fourth annual Fall Challenge programming skills tournament. Excitement is building for the two-day event October 24-25, 2013 that provides an opportunity for top talented technology students from some of the top academic programs in the region to compete for cash prizes and meet, interview, and connect with Chicago area businesses. 

Over the past two months, more than 500 students participated in individual Fall Challenge events. The top 50 finalists will convene in Chicago to undergo a challenging programming and algorithm test, with first, second and third place awards of $5,000, $2,500 and $1,000. All 50 finalists can participate in a full day of networking, introductions and interviews with ITA member organizations.

"Through addressing growth, talent and visibility, ITA has played a critical role in moving Illinois' vibrant technology industry forward," said Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. "Our long-term economic vitality depends on our ability to continue nurturing an environment that supports innovation and growth, which is why the efforts of the ITA are so important. The Fall Challenge is a wonderful opportunity to showcase Illinois' technology industry and provide students with an opportunity to meet with representatives of local companies."

"The Fall Challenge is a key way for us to personally introduce the newest generation of tech talent to the Chicago business community, and for local companies to get a first-in-line look at incredibly talented students who either are or will soon be looking for employment," said Fred Hoch, ITA president and CEO. "The Fall Challenge has created a bridge between industry and universities that is changing the paradigm of the Chicago technology industry."

The colleges and universities taking part in the 2013 ITA Fall Challenge are:

1. Illinois Institute of Technology
2. University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign
3. University of Illinois - Chicago
4. University of Chicago
5. Indiana University - Bloomington
6. Northern Illinois University
7. Northwestern University
8. Purdue University
9. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
10. DePaul University

Lauren Sheridan, ITA senior manager, talent programs, added, "In the three years that the ITA has held the Fall Challenge, dozens of our nearly 200 finalists have chosen to stay in Illinois as a direct result of the event, and thousands of students have been exposed to the tremendous companies in the state. We are actively working to address the talent gap and encourage these outstanding students to choose Illinois as the place to build their careers and their lives."

The ITA Fall Challenge is supported by industry, community and academic leaders charged with developing an ongoing conversation among civic organizations, government and education to support the vibrant technology community. Participation is limited to ITA member companies and is sponsorship based. The 2013 Fall Challenge supporting sponsors are ADP, Adsensa, Backstop, Corptax, HERE North America, kCura, OptionMonster, SAVO Group, and United Airlines.

For information on the ITA Fall Challenge, please visit www.itafallchallenge.com.

About ITA
The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) powers tech growth in Illinois. ITA's programs, services and strategic consulting drive our dynamic industry through work that grows, elevates and builds the talent of our members. By leveraging the connections and expertise of our more than 600 member companies representing a workforce that is 50,000 strong and growing, ITA provides the ecosystem growing technology companies need to succeed. For more information, visit www.illinoistech.org, follow the ITA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/itabuzz, and view the ITA's Facebook profile at www.facebook.com/illinoistechnology.

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