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Industry Experts to Lead Panels in 2021 Entrepreneurial Outlook Series

Polsky Entrepreneurial Outlook AI, March 1, 2019 at Polsky. (Photo by Jean Lachat)

The Polsky Center’s annual Entrepreneurial Outlook series kicks off its 2021 lineup in late January. Now in its third year, the series spans five weeks with a new session held virtually every Friday.

“The Polsky Entrepreneurial Outlook series [is] an amazing way to come together with leaders in entrepreneurship and venture capital to look forward and see the trends and opportunities emerging that can be acted on in 2021,” said E.J. Reedy, senior director of the Polsky Exchange.

2021 Polsky Entrepreneurial Outlook:

This year’s sessions touch on fresh topics. “We are excited to highlight some new areas of discussion such as cybersecurity, sustainable energy, health diagnostics, media and entertainment, and CPG food innovation,” noted Reedy.

Sustainable energy starts the series on January 29, with a panel featuring venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and scientists who will discuss surfacing trends for the upcoming year. Two speakers will be joining from Argonne National Laboratory: John Carlisle, Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI) director and Seth Darling, PhD ’02, director of the Center for Molecular Engineering and a senior scientist in the Chemical Sciences & Engineering Division. Also speaking is Seyi Fabode, MBA ’10, CEO and cofounder of Varuna Tech; Amy Francetic, managing director of Buoyant Ventures; and CEO of Amp Americas, Grant Zimmerman, MBA ’07.

A panel on cybersecurity takes place on February 19. Looking at the state of cybersecurity in 2021, and how COVID-19 has changed the industry Neubauer Professor of Computer Science and director of the Center for Data and Computing at the University of Chicago, Nick Feamster, will be speaking along with the founding partner of Rebel One, Sergio Marrero, and Ernie Bio, principal of ForgePoint Capital.

Ashley Hartman, senior principal of Bluestein Ventures, and Tyler Huggins, CEO and cofounder of Polsky alum Meati Foods, lead a group of food industry pros in the final session. On February 26, Polsky Entrepreneurial Outlook: CPG Food Innovation 2021 examines the future of consumer packaged goods (CPG) and pinpoints areas of innovation and opportunities.

“Industry-specific forward-looking gatherings complement our more timeless skills-based trainings and together provide a great starting point for entrepreneurs to advance and grow their companies,” Reedy remarked.

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