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Tech CEOs join Emanuel for U of I road trip

Mayor Rahm Emanuel went back to Urbana-Champaign with executives from about 20 Chicago tech companies today to pitch the school’s smart, young techies at the University of Illinois on what the city has to offer.

Among those joining Emanuel were Matt Maloney, CEO of Grubhub; Chris Gladwin, founder of Cleversafe and Ocient; Rohit Pasam, CEO of startup Xaptum; and Julie Novack, CEO of PartySlate, who was scheduled to participate in a panel discussion about opportunities in Chicago with Mark Tebbe, a U of I alum who leads ChicagoNEXT.

It’s an encore of a trip Emanuel made in 2012. The visit also is the first leg of a national road show, the mayor’s office said. The next stop will be Stanford University in February. Other locations will be determined later. “This national tour will help connect talented students from across the world with Chicago’s top business leaders and ensure our innovation ecosystem continues to thrive,” Emanuel said in a statement.

The itinerary called for the mayor and entrepreneurs from Chicago to check out the U of I Research Park and laboratories, where researchers are working on everything from prosthetics to solar cars, as well as Oculus co-founder Steve LaVelle’s virtually reality center.

There also is an informal job fair. More than 300 students signed up to participate, a university spokesman said.

Among the fast-growing companies making the pitch are Avant, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Braintree, Grubhub, Gogo, Here, Jellyvision, kCura, Narrative Science, Ocient, Project44 and Tanvas.

Read more at Chicago Business Journal