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Work With Chicago Innovation

Work With Chicago Innovation

The Chicago Innovation team is made up of people who are passionate about Chicago and want to celebrate, educate, and connect its innovation community in unique ways. If you share that passion and think you’d make a good fit for the team, we’d love to hear from you.

Organization description
Chicago Innovation is a year-long series of events and activities with one overarching mission — to accelerate the growth of innovation in the Chicago region. Our goal is to help the economy of the Chicago region grow through the jobs, revenues, and improved lives that are the result of innovation.


Program Manager of the Chicago Student Invention Convention

Job description
Chicago Innovation is looking for an enthusiastic, driven, and entrepreneurial self-starter who is passionate about innovation and education to join our team as Program Manager of the Chicago Student Invention Convention.

Organization description
Now in its 17th year, Chicago Innovation operates a year-round series of events and programs to educate, connect and celebrate innovators in the Chicago region.  The organization’s youth-focused program, the Chicago Student Invention Convention, is an invention curriculum and competition for K-8th grade students to inspire creativity, curiosity, and problem-solving in our region’s youth.  3,500 students participated in 2019.

Primary job duties would include the following:

Program planning and implementation:

  • Recruit teachers and educators to implement the program
  • Write and present professional development seminars for teachers who have adopted the program
  • Communicate with teachers throughout the course of the program
  • Recruit mentors and pair them with classrooms
  • Oversee data collection and measurement of program outcomes

Partner relationship-building and management

  • Aid in the identification and solicitation of sponsors, funders and strategic partners
  • Write grants to support the financial growth and sustainability of the program
  • Manage relationships with existing sponsors and key partners (i.e. Chicago Public Schools, etc.)

Event planning and execution

  • Plan and lead the Chicago Student Invention Convention event, attended by 1,000+ people every April
  • Communicate with teachers and parents leading up to the event to manage RSVPs and answer questions
  • Create detailed agenda, floor plans and on-stage scripts for the event; and act as event emcee
  • Acquire prizes for students, make certificates and recruit “Imagination Station” partners
  • Oversee volunteer and judge recruitment, training and on-site management

 Represent the Chicago Student Invention Convention to the National Invention Convention Coalition

  • Act as lead representative in Illinois to a national organization that implements invention education
  • Attend annual summit and monthly virtual meetings with national group and other state affiliates

Desirable traits:

  • Passion for education and enjoys working with teachers, students and parents
  • Good communication, writing and interpersonal skills
  • Creative problem solver, efficient work-flow manager, and strong attention to detail
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks in a highly organized manner
  • Strong teamworking and consensus-building skills; effective in group decision-making
  • Positive attitude, entrepreneurial and a passion for building Chicago’s innovation community

Experience level and how to apply

Seeking candidates with 2-5 years of relevant work experience.  Learn more at  If interested, please submit resume and cover letter to Luke Tanen at [email protected].


Chicago Innovation Fall Internship

Chicago Innovation is looking for a highly motivated individual to join the team as a Fall Intern starting in September/October 2019.

Established in 2002, Chicago Innovation celebrates, educates and connects Chicago’s innovation community. The Fall Intern would have exposure to and be involved in the following activities over the course of the entire internship:

  • Researching start-ups that meet the needs of large corporations
  • Chicago Innovation event support including promotional activities, identifying strategic partners, venue research and on-site event execution
  • Website support 
  • Supporting the growth of the Women Mentoring Co-op, including identifying potential sponsors, analyzing impact data and other program logistics
  • Advancing the growth of the Chicago Student Invention Convention including teacher/school recruitment, identifying potential funders, and program support
  • Graphic design support for Chicago Innovation social media and e-newsletter

In addition, the intern would also play a supportive role with the various Chicago Innovation events and activities that will take place this fall, which include the Practical Innovator, the Chicago Innovation Awards, Innovation for the Ages, Women’s Mentoring Co-op, Chicago Student Invention Convention and other programs.

This is a paid internship. If interested, please submit a resume and cover letter to [email protected].

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