SOURCE: Illinois Technology Association (ITA)

Illinois Technology Association (ITA)

Illinois Technology Association (ITA)

October 12, 2010 10:16 ET

ITA & BigMachines Present 'Challenge' to Retain and Take Back Top Illinois Technology Talent

ITA Fall Challenge Presented by BigMachines Will Transform the Future Illinois Technology Industry

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - October 12, 2010) -  The Illinois Technology Association and leading technology companies have partnered in an aggressive initiative to retain the best talent from the state's top universities, and take back talent that has left the state. The ITA Fall Challenge Presented by BigMachines, announced Tuesday, October 12, is intended to have a long-term impact on economic growth across the state and the Midwest.

Illinois boasts some of the top technology programs in the country, with a disproportionate number of university graduates leaving the state. Keeping those students in Illinois will have a long-term impact on the growth and economic impact of the sector to the entire region. To turn the tide back in Illinois' favor, the Illinois Technology Association (ITA) has initiated the ITA Fall Challenge Presented by BigMachines.

"Too many of our best and brightest leave Illinois, thinking they have to go to Silicon Valley or the East Coast to be successful," said Terry Howerton, Chairman, ITA. "We are building alliances with our world-class universities right here in our own backyard and focusing on keeping, and then taking back, the great talent that is developed in our state."

The ITA is educating students on the many opportunities available in the tech industry in Illinois. The lack of awareness of the dynamic Illinois technology industry is at the core of the issue. More than 3,500 Illinois technology companies develop tools that transform business on a global level.

Interested students are invited to take the ITA Fall Challenge, a demanding technical test, to distinguish top students from each program. The top performers from each university are invited to participate in the Final Challenge, with the winning student receiving a $5,000 cash prize and an opportunity to work with a sponsoring company that can create the foundation of their professional network.

Leaders from across the technology and business community will attend the Final Challenge, meeting these top students and acting as mentors for this elite group. As the students begin making choices about employment and location, this accomplished group of leaders will act as mentors, helping the students make informed choices.

The ITA is visiting the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois Institute of Technology, University of Chicago, DePaul University, Northern Illinois University, and Northwestern University for the inaugural year of the program. The program will continue to expand in future years.

BigMachines, a global on-demand software company and an Inc. 5000 award winner for the past three years, is the presenting sponsor and is committed to developing the flow of talent from the world-class universities in our state to the local technology industry, which is leading the economic recovery of the area.

"BigMachines continues to grow and expand, despite the general economic downturn," said Godard Abel, CEO BigMachines. "Finding, nurturing and rewarding top talent has been an ongoing focus and one of the reasons for our growth. We are thrilled to support the efforts of the ITA in promoting the technology sector as well as the world-class universities and students in our own backyard."

Allscripts, supporting sponsor, is dedicated to building a connected community of health and strives to be the most trusted provider of innovative solutions. Allscripts relies heavily on technology to deliver world-class products to 180,000 doctors, 50,000 physician practices, 1,500 hospitals, and 10,000 post-acute care facilities.

The ITA Fall Challenge Presented by BigMachines culminates in November 2010 in downtown Chicago with the administering of the Final Challenge.

The ITA thanks BigMachines, presenting sponsor, Allscripts, supporting sponsor, and participating sponsor companies including Alterian, Applied Systems, Authentify, Corptax, EDL Consulting, Leapfrog Online, Lextech, MBX, Navteq, Pointbridge, SmartSignal, SPR Companies, Vail Systems, and Vibes Media. 

For more information about the Fall Challenge, visit

About the ITA
The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) is a driving force behind the growth of Illinois' vibrant technology industry. 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 a source of accelerated growth for the technology industry of Illinois. For more information about ITA, please visit

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, 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

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