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Emanuel Renews High-Tech Push

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Jay Levine Jay Levine
Jay Levine is the chief correspondent for CBS 2 Chicago. He joined...
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(CBS) – There’s a new push from Mayor Rahm Emanuel to boost Chicago’s image as a high-tech startup center for new business.

The mayor will hit the road in search of the best and the brightest — as well as money to help get them started.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine sat down with the mayor to talk high-tech.

This is one area that has grown by 30 percent since he took office.

“The Second City is now known as the startup city,” Emanuel said Monday.

As he spoke, dozens of young men and women were working nearby in the Entrepreneurial Center the mayor has nurtured since taking office. The ventures include a system that helps small businesses engage their customers in two minutes or less and a service that helps students learn to write arguments.

Emanuel announced plans to expand that platform in a few different ways: with Purdue’s new weekend MBA program to help engineers and computer scientists turn ideas into business; with a recruiting tour to lure the best and the brightest graduates from other schools; and a venture capital summit just before Lollapalooza to provide seed money.

“It is now finally jelling where it’s a real contributor, and it will take Chicago to the next place,” Emanuel said.

He’s committed to doubling the current 40,000 people working in the tech space over the next decade and increasing the production of startups, which already number one a day. That’s more than three times the pace when he took office.

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