Just before Thanksgiving, the Chicago trading community joined together with some of the city’s leading tech and start-up firms to raise money for technology education… and battle for table tennis glory.
T4Youth — the four “T”s stand for “tech table tennis tournament” — was founded in 2014 by trading technology recruiting agency Objective Paradigm, SPR Consulting and futures industry public relations firm 3Points Communications with the aim of turning technologists’ common love of ping pong into a way to give back to the community. The event supports the Chicago Tech Academy (ChiTech), a local high school dedicated to providing low-income students with technology and entrepreneurship skills.
The tournament has grown in each of its three years, with this year's edition setting new records for participation and fundraising. After raising $50,000 in 2014 and $80,000 in 2015, T4Youth 2016 raised over $100,000 for ChiTech. Numerous students and teachers were on-hand at the event on Nov. 17, meeting with attendees and working the event’s raffle, which included prizes such as United Airlines travel vouchers, Chicago Bulls tickets and complimentary hotel stays.
The tournament has grown in each of its three years, with this year’s edition setting new records for participation and fundraising.
Overall, teams from 43 companies participated, and 22 CEOs and CTOs also played in a special “C-Level Challenge.” As has been the case from the tournament’s founding, numerous trading and fintech firms were heavily involved. DRW, the inaugural champions in 2014, were this year’s Gold Sponsor and finished third. Two DRW portfolio companies, Cumberland Mining and Vigilant, also participated. Trading Technologies, Objective Paradigm, and IMC Trading also sponsored and participated as well.
In addition, there were companies like the Chicago Stock Exchange, which graciously decided to sponsor the event without actually sending a team to participate. And the tournament field included many trading firms and fintech providers, including Belvedere Trading, Geneva Trading, Grosvenor Capital Management and OptionsCity.
“This is a really unique event, and we look forward to it each year,” said Roger Mills, who played for Trading Technologies and also participated in the C-Level Challenge. “It’s a wonderful way to build some camaraderie within the Chicago tech industry, and we’re glad that we can help out Chicago’s youth in the process. Hopefully we’ll be seeing these students use the skills they’re learning at ChiTech to begin a career in our industry in a few years.”
“It’s been incredible to see the event grow year after year,” said Seth Thomson, chief information officer at DRW and unofficial captain of DRW’s three tournament teams. “T4Youth is an exciting platform for our employees to compete in a sport we love and spend some time getting to know others in the industry. Most of all, it’s a great opportunity to support the ambitious students at ChiTech on their way to becoming leaders in tech, entrepreneurship and engineering.”