Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

To ignite and nurture creative, ethical, scientific minds that advance the human condition.

Praise for IMSA TALENT

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"It is so great to see these kids get exposed to entrepreneurial concepts so early, they were impressive....  can I buy futures in them?"

  • Troy Henikoff, managing director, MATH Venture Partners, co-founder of Excelerate and Chicago Techstars

"When I was just 13 years old, IMSA TALENT team headed by Dr. Carl Heine and Mr. Jim Gerry allowed me to pitch my ReThink idea at the IMSA Power Pitch competition. I was up against the very talented group of IMSA Seniors and Juniors. As a matter of fact, I do not know if I met the age eligibility to participate in this competition. Dr. Heine and Mr. Gerry believed in my innovative talents and allowed me to participate in the Power Pitch competition. I was announced the winner of that year's Power Pitch competition held at 1871. I would not be who I am today without the trust and confidence that Dr. Heine and Mr. Gerry placed in me that day. Their guidance, encouragement and their dedication to IMSA TALENT makes it one of the finest programs that appreciates true talents regardless of age, grade or any other markers that other conventional programs may apply. I have had the honor of helping out as a student mentor during IMSA TALENT Summer programs; these are some of the top programs available in the country. I will be forever grateful to IMSA TALENT for welcoming me with open arms as a young budding innovator and entrepreneur. Experiences such as these have allowed me to grow into someone that was able to stand up to the Sharks and win a deal!  Thanks so much IMSA TALENT!"

  • Trisha Prabhu, CEO ReThink. Funded by Shark Tank, 2016; Power Pitch winner, 2014 

"(Our TALENT Intern) was a complete joy to have around and added so much value during the year. You have a fabulous program and we were so lucky to be a part of it."

  • Mara Hauser, CEO, 25N, Geneva, IL

"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

"I would have walked there to get that kind of enthusiastic engagement and feedback. Thank you so much for having me. Great group of students."

  • Brian Brandenburg, CEO of after presenting at a Monday Night Live session at IMSA, Nov. 2014

"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