Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

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SUMMER 2014: Lifecycle of a Start Up

Monday, June 23 - 27, 8:30 am to 3 pm

Entering Grades 7, 8, 9

Experience the first year of a Start Up in one week. This camp is an action-packed simulation game about entrepreneurship for teams. It realistically simulates starting a new tech business from scratch: developing an idea into a product or service, finding partners, creating a business model, designing marketing plans and media, raising investment from investors and sales. The goal is to end the week by making a profit. The experience involves teamwork and problem solving to overcome challenges that occur during the lifecycle of a business. Participants may use this experience as a springboard to enter IMSA's Power Pitch contest. This camp is presented by IMSA TALENT (Total Applied Learning for Entrepreneurs) and includes field trips to 1871, Chicago's incubator for digital startups.

Fee: $260

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Praise for IMSA TALENT: Total Applied Learning for Entrepreneurstalent_4c_hires.jpg

Join the TALENT Facebook Group

"IMSA is an active and vital partner in the 1871 community. Our tech start-ups benefit from the creative contributions of IMSA TALENT students, and we highly value the IMSA brand. The wall featuring your alumni is an important part of our tours and the IMSA classroom inspires entrepreneurial thinking during our many workshops.  As Chicago works to attract, support and retain top technology talent, IMSA is a key to our high school strategy."

Kevin Willer, former President, Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center

"I am convinced IMSA's TALENT program is the finest entrepreneurship program for high school students in Illinois. The staff and curriculum are incredible and the thought leaders they bring into educate and empower student entrepreneurs are second-to-none."

- Joe Abraham founder/CEO of and author of Entrepreneurial DNA

"Thank you for all your effort and mentorship through the TALENT program. I believe one of the greatest things I got out my IMSA experience was everything the TALENT program had to offer: guest speakers, entrepreneurship contests and activities, and the internship program at 1871. I can't thank you enough for all the effort you put in to making the program I benefited from so greatly."

- Jason Lin (IMSA '13), cofounder, WikiRoster

"Thanks for another great year! Of all the opportunities at IMSA, TALENT was the best experience."

- William Widjaja (IMSA '15), TALENT member

TALENT takes aim at Techstars

The Kickoff Event for TALENT is a trip to see the results of this year's Techstars program. We've been invited to join the Techstars Pitch Event at Northwestern's School of Law on Monday, Sept. 9. This is a great opportunity to see well-crafted pitches, learn more about Techstars and develop ideas for IMSA's own pitch contest: Power Pitch. Sign up for this event by contacting Carl at Bus leaves at 5 pm and returns by 10. (food is provided).

thiellogo3.pngFeature Story: Kevin Wang named 2013 Thiel Fellow



Kevin Wang, pictured second from the left, front row


TALENT 2.0 Power Pitch Finals 2013

April 29 -- Power Pitch Finals hosted by MIT Enterprise Forum

Power Pitch Finals Winners (pictured above):

First Place ($3,000): WikiRoster - Jason Lin, Kendrick Lau and Jung Oh

Website providing students with class rosters for networking, collaboration, and transactions.

Second Place ($2,000): BEND - Ethan Gordon

Harnessing an unlimited alternative energy source by generating electricity from undersea currents.

Third Place ($1,000) tunesketch - David Park

The personal creative muse—anyone can create a professional and unique song. Sing into the app, get dynamic chord suggestions or doodle your melody.

IMSA Teamed up with MIT Entreprise Forum to present Power Pitch on Tuesday March 6th at the IBM Innovation Center in Chicago. Read about the event here.

TALENT at 1871: where Digital Startups get their Start.


IMSA Alum Sam Yagan ('95) engages TALENT students on producing an online business

Sam Yagan, TALENT Monday Night Live!

TALENT focuses on student entrepreneurship in a context of science, mathematics, engineering and technology (STEM). TALENT 2.0 provides on-campus, off-campus and virtual learning experiences to stimulate and encourage entrepreneurial projects by IMSA students and other TALENTed Illinois students. TALENT 2.0 involves individuals and teams in entrepreneurial processes required to take a concept from idea to start up. 

TALENT meets on Monday evenings, 8 to 9 pm, starting this year on Sept. 17, with an event open to all interested students: One Hour Entrepreneur Challenge. Sessions are highly interactive and involve participants in developing an idea through all stages of business planning, from market research to branding, with help from entrepreneurs, lawyers, bankers, consultants and outstanding IMSA alumni. Featured speakers have included Sam Yagan (Spark Notes and OKCupid), Genevieve Thires (, Julia Stamberger (, Sachin Agrawal (, Stephen Terlizzi ( and many others. This year, TALENT kicks off with Joe Abraham, serial entrepreneur and author of Entrepreneurial DNA. 

The culminating TALENT experience this year is the fifth annual Power Pitch contest on April 29, 2013 in Chicago, during which individuals and teams present their ideas for a business, product or service to potential investors (venture capitalists). Prelims were held at IMSDA on Feb. 28.  

Intersession 2013: Lifecycle of a Business - simulates the first year in the life of a Start Up

TALENT Summer Camp: The second TALENT UPgrade Design Camp is scheduled July 8 - 26, 2013. The first week is held virtually on CoolHub and the last two weeks (14-26) are held at IMSA.  Last year this immersive experience helped five entrepreneurs take tangible steps toward becoming businesses. One of the businesses launched the week following camp: wikiRoster.

Additional Information:

For more detailed information, visit the TALENT project on CoolHub.

For further information on the TALENT program, please contact Carl Heine.