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Illinois' Top Technology Professionals Identified at Local Universities

ITA Fall Challenge Presented by Backstop Solutions Group Names Top 50

CHICAGO, IL -- (Marketwire) -- 11/08/12 -- The 2012 ITA Fall Challenge presented by Backstop Solutions Group has identified Illinois' top 50 technology university students. The responsibility lies on the local industry to keep them in Illinois.

"Attracting and retaining top technology talent is a key focus of mine, and central to my administration's plans for growing Chicago's economy," said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "I am focused on building a technology economy in Chicago that attracts the greatest talent from around the country. These students are the top students in Illinois and I am committed to making sure that each of them sees that Chicago provides the best opportunity to succeed after graduation."

The ITA Fall Challenge puts hundreds of the top university students in the state through a rigorous technical challenge to prove their mettle. The list was narrowed to the top 50 who will come to compete further in Chicago in November.

"These students perform at the top of the skill level in the application of technology and are highly sought after nationally to fuel the growth of tech-enabled businesses," said Fred Hoch, CEO, ITA. "To ensure the growth of the local economy and cement our place as a tech hub nationally, we've sought out the best in order attract top talent to the Chicagoland area from the world-class universities in our backyard."

The ITA welcomes the top students who scored in the 90% range on a challenging assessment of software design, engineering, application, and interpretation. Students represent Bradley University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Loyola University, Northern Illinois University, Northwestern University, Southern Illinois University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, and the University of Illinois at Chicago

"Backstop Solutions Group is thrilled to sponsor the 2012 ITA Fall Challenge," said Chris Brown, Director of Engineering at Backstop. "We compete on a daily basis with well recognized technology giants to attract talent. The Fall Challenge has increased our visibility with top students across the state and we look forward to welcoming them to the local industry."

"I enjoyed being a part of the ITA Fall Challenge," said Archana Sethuraman, 2010 Fall Challenge Finalist. "It helped build my network with some of the coolest tech companies in and around Chicago. I found my first, and current, job through the Fall Challenge with Model Metrics, a Salesforce.com company and couldn't be happier."

The ITA Fall Challenge culminates on November 16, 2012 at TechNexus, with the Final Challenge. Finalists will address real world technology issues faced by local technology companies on the Final Challenge. The 3 top scoring students receive cash prizes of $5,000, $2,500, and $1,000, respectively. The daylong event includes the Final Challenge, interviewing opportunities with sponsoring companies, and of course, the awards ceremony. Students will also attend a networking reception the evening of November 15, 2012 to meet some of the leaders of the local technology industry, civic, and government organizations.

The ITA thanks Backstop Solutions Group, presenting sponsor, ADP, kCura, Nokia, and Redbox/Coinstar, supporting sponsors, and Applied Systems, Centro, ChannelIQ, MBX Systems and NxtTeam, participating sponsors who made the 2012 ITA Fall Challenge possible.

The winner of the 2012 ITA Fall Challenge Presented by Backstop Solutions Group will be announced Friday afternoon November 16, 2012 via Twitter through @ITABUZZ. Look for the announcement around 3pm.

For more information about the Fall Challenge, visit http://ita.cx/clcmH6.

About the ITA
The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) is the driving force behind the growth of Illinois' vibrant technology industry. Providing programs and services focused on development, visibility, and talent attraction, ITA accelerates the growth of member company's businesses. ITA brings growth-stage industry companies together, leveraging the connections and experiences of the community to increase the overall success rate of the local industry. Championing the development and application of technologies and leveraging its transformative nature, ITA is an invaluable resource for growing companies. For more information about ITA, please visit www.illinoistech.org.

About Backstop Solutions Group
Backstop Solutions Group, LLC is a privately held Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform company, providing cutting-edge software to hedge funds, funds of funds, endowments and other institutional investors. Backstop Solutions was founded in 2003 and is one of the fastest growing software providers in the financial services industry. Backstop Software is used by more than 350 firms throughout the United States, Europe and Asia and has been repeatedly recognized by industry leading managers and service providers as a top technology provider in the alternative asset management field.

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