Polsky Center Launches ETA Fellows Program to Meet Surge of Interest in ETA

In response to the growing interest in Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition (ETA), the Polsky Center is launching the ETA Fellows Program. Made possible by a generous donation from Booth alum A. Michael Muscolino, MBA ’99, cofounder and partner at Sixth Street, the new program kicks off in Fall 2024 and is designed to provide tailored educational opportunities and resources to Chicago Booth students who plan to enter the ETA space immediately or within a few years of earning their MBA.

“The knowledge, resources, and connections that I gained during my time at Booth were instrumental in my professional development and are still having an impact on my career to this day,” said Muscolino. “I am proud to be able to give back to the University and hope that the Fellows program will provide graduates exploring the ETA field everything they need to start their career off right.”

Led by faculty advisors Mark Agnew, MBA ’06 and Brian O’Connor, MBA ’08, the ETA Fellows Program will run from October to May and provide students with access to curated opportunities and resources, including educational deep dives on topics relevant to ETA professionals, cohort events and field experiences, 1:1 leadership coaching and mentorship, and a dedicated research and travel budget.

ETA Fellows will be selected annually through a competitive application and screening process which will require students to share information about their ETA career goals, including their timeline, industry and geographic focus, and anticipated milestones. Fellows will be selected by a committee comprised of Polsky Center staff, Chicago Booth ETA faculty, and advisors.

The program will launch with 6-8 ETA fellows and will grow over time to serve up to 10 students each year.

“Through the ETA Fellows Program, we hope to provide deep and personalized support and coaching to students who are committed to pursuing ETA in their post-graduate life,” said Alex Hodgkin, senior advisor for ETA, Polsky Center, MBA ’14. “With the level of support and resources provided by the program, we aim to drastically improve the success rate of our Fellows in their ETA careers.”

The program is launching in part to meet the growing interest in ETA as a career choice. According to the 2022 Stanford Search Fund study, from 1986 to 2021, a total of $2.3 billion of equity was invested through ETA search funds, generating approximately $9.8 billion for investors and $2.4 billion for entrepreneurs.

The popularity of the field has expanded into universities as well. At the University of Chicago, the ETA 101 Workshop saw 94 registrants this year, compared to 57 last year. The Polsky Center’s ETA Insider podcast has grown as well, seeing a 59% increase in listeners compared to last year. And the 2023 ETA Conference, cohosted by Chicago Booth and Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Business, saw more than 700 registrants, compared to last year’s 495 registrants.

“The ETA Fellows program adds yet another option to the already robust programming offered by the Polsky Center for students looking to pursue entrepreneurship,” said O’Connor. “Thanks to Michael for his generous gift, as it dramatically improves the level of resources we can provide to those who are interested in ETA.”

If you are interested in learning more about the ETA Fellows Program, click here.

This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyze your use of products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts.