UChicago and Booth alumni have the opportunity to maintain and build their relationships with the school and other alumni through the activities and programs listed below:
Edward L. Kaplan, '71, New Venture Challenge (NVC)
The Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge (NVC) is designed to help student teams turn their ideas into viable businesses. Launched in 1996, the NVC is recognized as a top-ranked accelerator program in the nation and has graduated more than 160 start-up companies still in operation today that have gone on to raise more than $575 million in funding and achieve $4 billion in exit value. Alumni are eligible to apply to the NVC if a current graduate student is on their team. Learn more.
Polsky offers a summer accelerator program that is open to any UChicago students, faculty, staff, and alumni on an application basis. Approximately 10-12 teams are accepted each summer and receive funding, office space, access to Polsky Center staff, coaching from faculty, mentorship from alumni entrepreneurs and Chicago-area investors, and weekly programming designed to help them overcome many of the hurdles to launching a business. Learn more.
Innovation Corps (I-Corps)
The Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program empowers UChicago scientists, researchers, and students to test the commercial potential of their research and ideas. Supported with funding from the National Science Foundation and run by the Polsky Center staff, the Polsky I-Corps program is specifically designed for participants working on projects related to the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. Learn more.
Housed in the Polsky Exchange, the Polsky Incubator is designed for early-stage companies looking for space, guidance, and support to reach critical milestones and grow into a sustainable business. UChicago alumni may apply to join the Polsky Incubator. To learn more, check out our Polsky Incubator information page
Alumni Growth-Stage Entrepreneurs Forum
It doesn't matter if you are from the class of ’85, or ’15, all entrepreneurs face the same kinds of challenges. And the Polsky Center believes that great things can happen when founders get together to learn and share their stories with each other – which is exactly what the Alumni Growth-Stage Entrepreneurs Forum is designed to enable. Rotating between Chicago, San Francisco, and New York City, this invite-only program includes faculty-led sessions on topics of great interest to growth-stage entrepreneurs, such as scaling the sales organization, HR, leadership, organizational strategies, and company culture. For more information about the next forum for alumni growth-stage entrepreneurs, contact Gorana Kolar.
Chicago Private Equity Network (CPEN)
The Chicago Private Equity Network (CPEN) is an alumni organization focused on connecting and serving University of Chicago alumni working in private equity and venture capital. CPEN was initially launched by Chicago Booth graduates in 2004 and has grown to more than 300 members worldwide with chapters in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, London, and Asia. Members meet several times a year to network and discuss industry trends.