Where Entrepreneurship STARTS in High School



TALENT is an extra-curricular inquiry learning program helping Illinois high school students get new business ventures off the ground. The CoolHub.IMSA project space is used to promote events, encourage collaboration and communication with IMSA alumni, entrepreneurs and investors. Much of the prototyping work takes place outside CoolHub.IMSA in workshops, labs and focus groups.

Want to participate in TALENT online studies and events?

Monday Night Live Events

Join the TALENT Facebook Group

Play Ventures to Vultures

stage four protoype


Watch here for the Spring Internship Open House on an I.Day at 1871.


Questions every intern needs to answer:

What you did and for what company. Specific assignments and outcomes.
What you learned about being in a start up.
How you applied skills learned in school (assuming that happened).
What you needed to learn and how you did that.
Where you think this experience will lead you.
TALENT is an extracurricular program in entrepreneurship that offers a variety of opportunities for learning. Depending on whether you can only participate online or also in person, here are some choices:
Monday Night Live - Most Mondays during the school year from 8 - 9 pm at the IMSA campus and about half the sessions are streamed. Guests, group problem solving on topics of interest to start ups. First streamed session may be August 31.
TALENT Online - Self-paced learning modules on entrepreneurship: Lean Startup, Design Thinking, Business Model Canvas and Pitching is what we have now. You can complete these on your own with the help of online mentors.
Power Pitch - Annual competition for pitching business ideas to investors. Cash prizes. Usually held in April--date yet to be determined. Registration deadline is the end of January.
Summer Internships - Work for start ups at 1871 and around Chicago.
School Year Internships - Same as above but requires taking off one day a week to intern (usually for seniors).
Mentorships - If you have an idea for a business that needs assistance, a mentor may be assigned to advise you.

Quick Links




internshipstalent in a box  documents facebook

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Power Pitch 2016


50 student STEM business ideas compete for $7,500 in prizes

When: Saturday, April 2, 9:30 to 1:30

Where: IMSA, Aurora, Illinois


More information about the contest

How the contest works and how to prepare

Internship Orientation

August 24, 8 - 9 pm 

Find out about Internships and get Tips from past Interns. Monday, August 24, 8 - 9 pm in the AC Pit.  We'll cover:

  • Benefits of an Internship
  • Application Process
  • Finding a Mentor
  • Interning Schedule 
  • Expectations
  • Tips from past Interns

There will be an Open House at 1871 for IMSA Interns on Sept 16 (I-Day). We will take no more than 20 students to the event.

There are also internship possibilities in the Fox Valley.

IMSA Shark Tank


Sharks by John Jonelis

Ever want to be a Shark on the popular reality TV show? Wish you controlled a billion dollar investment account? Wonder what it’s like? I’m here at Chicago’s 1871 incubator doing it. Emotions run high! Hey, mine are running away with me. That guy on the end keeps grabbing all the deals!

... See More

Online resources from CIE (UChicago)

As their website states, "Welcome to the Chicago Innovation Exchange startup toolkit. This website is an online resource for entrepreneurs starting their own business. It contains information about the main business functional areas, which are at the top of the menu bar. If you have any specific questions or comments you can email us at cietoolkit@gmail.com!"

Look for tabs covering these topics: First Steps, Growth, Accounting and Taxes, Fundraising, Human Resources, Legal, Marketing and Sales.

Summer Interns

This is not a complete list, since graduating seniors may be working at sites that I don't know about. Here's who is interning around the area and with whom:

  1. Mitchell Sun - VisMed 3D (Matter)
  2. Vainius Normantas - Monkeybars (1871)
  3. Aneesh Kudaravelli - Monkeybars (1871)
  4. Harshita Degala - Vitality Works (Australia, virtual internship)
  5. Malachi Loviska - Vitality Works (Australia, virtual internship)
  6. Ankit Agarwal - Vitality Works (Australia, virtual internship)
  7. Felicia Chen - Mean Buy (1871)
  8. Brendan Batliner - Techstars (1871)
  9. Daniel Sohn - MineForInsights (1871)
  10. Alan Ren - MineForInsights (1871)
  11. Quinn Lewis - CancerIQ (CIE - UChicago)
  12. Aditya Budithi - Faam.us (1871)
  13. Robert Lau - Full Ratchet (Chicago)
  14. Nick Rodriguez - Selfie (1871)
  15. Arianna Osar - Selfie (1871)
  16. Sagar Nattuvety - Selfie (1871)
  17. Akash Palani - Selfie (1871)
  18. Sushil Upadhyayula - Selfie (1871)
  19. Matthew Dyas - Selfie (1871)
  20. Vadini Agrawal - Firelily (1871)
  21. Nick Magerko - Whittle (Chicago)
  22. August Nagro - Whittl (Chicago)
  23. Vivek Vermani - Buzztep (1871)
  24. Bob Magyar - Mondopoint (Chicago)
  25. Ravali Thimmapuram - MentoringEdge (1871)
  26. Ben Cooper - MentoringEdge (1871)
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