Chicago Inventors Organization

Meet the Lab Host: Chicago Inventors Organization & Chicago Student Invention Convention

Meet the Lab Host gives you an inside look at the innovative, creative, forward-thinking Chicago organizations hosting CIW 2014 Labs.  To learn more about 2014 programming, consult our online schedule.  Tickets go on sale to the general public September 2, 2014.

Join the Chicago Inventors Organization and Chicago Student Invention Convention to invent, incubate and pitch October 16 from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

The Chicago Student Invention Convention works with Chicago students to promote creative thinking, foster innovation and build prototypes. The Chicago Inventors Organization (CIO) focuses on underserved independent inventors. Both CIO and Chicago Student Invention Convention share similar goals: to inspire, support and accelerate great inventions. We talked to the two organizations about how they will inspire innovation and inventions at their upcoming CIW Lab.

Chicago Inventors Organization

The Chicago Inventors Organization targets young entrepreneurs through much of its programming.

In three sentences or fewer, what is your organization’s manifesto or mission?

The Chicago Student Invention Convention inspires curiosity, confidence, invention and creative problem-solving in our youth.  The Invention Convention makes every effort to ensure an enjoyable, rewarding, inspirational and educational experience for every participant.  CIO aims to be the Midwest’s flagship provider of positive, affordable and credible resources to inventors whose products range across all markets and include digital apps.

Why Chicago?  Tell us why this idea or organization is based in Chicago, how you think the city has supported the project and how you think the project contributes to our city. 

The Chicago Student Invention Convention builds off of momentum from Chicago’s innovation and entrepreneurship movement.  This growing initiative aims to educate and inspire the youngest residents of Chicago, who will become the city’s future entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders.  The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) have partnered with the initiative, which has now engaged over 1,000 CPS students grades K through 8.  For over 10 years, CIO has provided local inventors and entrepreneurs a commercial support community and affordable resources to launch their ventures.  CIO regularly partners with the Illinois Institute of Technology to host events catering to Chicago inventors and startups.

Give us a sneak peek of what we should expect at your Lab.  What hands-on, interactive activities do you have planned for participants?  (But don’t tell us everything—keep some of your Lab a surprise!)

You’ll learn how to pitch a new product with CIO and the Chicago Student Invention Convention.  Chicago-area entrepreneurs will serve as pitch coaches to teach the dos and don’ts of pitching a new product to potential investors.  You’ll also go behind the scenes to view—and use—3D software. Finally, you’ll tour BLUE1647, Chicago’s newest, most diverse tech incubator and home to CIO.  We hope to inspire participants to think big and leave the event thinking as makers, designers and inventors.

We want to be in the know!  Name one person, place or thing that you think is one of Chicago’s best-kept secrets—a secret until now, of course.  

Aesthetically, the Caldwell Lily Pool near Fullerton and Stockton is Chicago’s hidden gem.  Easily skipped over or altogether missed by the throngs crowding the Fullerton Beach, Lincoln Park Zoo and Lincoln Park Conservatory, the Caldwell Lily Pool is serene, slightly-bucolic and invariably empty, making it perfect for observing nature, reading a book or, even, proposing marriage.

Q&As are edited for clarity and length.

Erin Robertson is managing editor at Chicago Ideas.

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