Yesterday, MentorMob co-founder Vince Leung and I made an appearance at 1871, where Vince presented to the Illinois Innovation Council. The Council is an impressive group of leaders from public, private, and academic sectors of the state who are eager to facilitate collaboration and growth among promising local businesses.

From left to right: Howard A. Tullman, CEO of Tribeca Flashpoint Academy, Brad Keywell, Co-Founder of Lightbank and Groupon, and Governor of Illinois Pat Quinn

Governor Quinn opened the meeting with a few words about the Illinois Gigabit Community Challenge, a competition that calls for ultra high speed broadband development proposals. He then turned the floor over to the presenters, who were each allowed seven minutes to introduce their company or proposal, explain its significance to Illinois, and ask for help with hurdles to continued success.

Vince explains how MentorMob aims to make education free and accessible for the entire world.

It was fascinating getting a glimpse of the innovation happening in Illinois, from local startup SweetPerk‘s fresh take on local commerce, to Northwestern University Chemistry Department’s breakthrough in recovering precious and toxic metals from complex waste water.

Just goes to show that if academic researchers, business leaders with a knack for scaling good ideas, and well connected, forward thinking public officials work together, Big Things can happen.