UChicago GEN Launches as New Online Community to Support University Alumni and Student Entrepreneurs
Today is the soft launch of the University of Chicago Global Entrepreneurs Network (UChicago GEN), a new initiative that fosters a global community of UChicago entrepreneurs and investors affiliated with the University of Chicago. Spearheaded by the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and in partnership with Chicago Booth and the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation, the goal of UChicago GEN is to provide University of Chicago alumni and student entrepreneurs with connections, valuable content, and other resources around the globe.
The idea for UChicago GEN stemmed from research conducted by Waverly Deutsch, clinical professor at Chicago Booth and Polsky Center director of UChicago GEN, about the value of professional networks. Nearly 100 alumni worldwide were interviewed and a survey of alumni entrepreneurs and investors worldwide was conducted that received 350 responses from 40 countries. Enthusiasm for this project was high with 68% of respondents saying they would be extremely likely to join UChicago GEN.
UChicago GEN has initially launched, in phase 1, as an admin-approved LinkedIn group. In phase 2, a more comprehensive website and community networking portal that allows for additional member features, robust peer-to-peer communications, and other functionality will be developed in the upcoming year.
Membership is open to anyone with a University of Chicago degree and current student of UChicago degree programs as well as current or former staff and faculty and UChicago champions involved in the Polsky Center and Rustandy Center ecosystems as approved by the moderators.