Innovating for Resilience: Polsky Center Launches ‘Resurgence’ Cleantech Accelerator


The University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is pleased to announce the launch of Resurgence, a new cleantech accelerator powered by Deep Tech Ventures.

Polsky Deep Tech Ventures is a full-spectrum accelerator and venture support initiative dedicated to translating deep tech innovations into startups that bring life-saving, world-changing products and services to market. The University of Chicago unveiled the initiative earlier this year, since which it has also announced the inaugural cohort of its data science and artificial intelligence accelerator, Transform.

The launch of Resurgence marks the latest in this commitment to support entrepreneurs bringing new innovations to market.

>> Apply to Resurgence

Startups participating in the accelerator will gain access to business training and technical advisement, premier facilities, industry mentors, student talent, and venture capital, as well as additional funding opportunities. This 9-month hybrid program is designed to support ventures that are focused on four specific areas of the cleantech industry:

  • Energy storage and infrastructure
  • Next-generation nuclear solutions
  • Hydrogen and alternative fuels
  • Materials refinement and process intensification­

“Our goal with Resurgence is to find innovative entrepreneurs; think with them, work with them, support them, and make intentional connections for them to maximize their impact,” said Ozge Guney-Altay, director of Resurgence. “When we started the strategic planning for our cleantech accelerator, we were well aware of the fact that we would be part of a global initiative. Accordingly, we wanted to focus our attention on innovative ideas and solutions that have the potential to be widely applicable and adoptable. That is the driver behind the ‘Innovating for Resilience’ tagline that we chose for Resurgence.”

This resiliency mission will be translated to the startups in the new accelerator program by building bridges across the University ecosystem and creating a connected effort with other initiatives, industries, and ventures.

Applications to participate in the inaugural cohort are currently open and due August 20, 2023.

“Leveraging the strengths of the university and working within the distinct cleantech ecosystems of Chicagoland and the Midwest at large, we are uniquely equipped to bring together startups, industry leaders, and capital to make an impact in this space. We have big ambitions for this program and cannot wait to work with incoming teams to build the resilient energy economy that our world urgently needs,” added Ryan Brownlow, program manager at the Polsky Center.

Companies accepted into Resurgence will have access to infrastructure, initiatives, and thought leaders across Chicago and the surrounding region. Among this is field-defining expertise at the University of Chicago and its partner institutions, such as Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the Marine Biological Laboratory, and others*. Through access to this broad network, Resurgence connects innovators with resources to drive meaningful change in the cleantech ecosystem.

“A clean economy can only be created by the efficient deployment of resilient technologies to the market and maximizing their survival rate in the real world,” said Guney-Altay. “We are getting ready to do our part and be a productive contributor to the cleantech ecosystem.”

// Polsky Deep Tech Ventures supports deep tech innovators from pre-ideation to sales and marketing and integrates Chicago Booth’s entrepreneurial training with a suite of intensive, domain-specific accelerators designed to highlight the University’s core competencies. The endeavor is funded by more than $20 million in University and philanthropic investments. Deep Tech Ventures expects to graduate at least 60 startups annually, with novel approaches to fight disease, address climate change, improve cybersecurity, and more.

*Access is subject to approval by the relevant facility and compliance with its policies and procedures

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