New Fellowship Connects UChicago Students with Cleantech Startups

The University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation has announced the inaugural cohort of the Resurgence Fellowship – a new program connecting students with startups in its cleantech accelerator.

The program is supported by a Breakthrough Energy Fellows Ecosystem Grant and provides selected University of Chicago students with the opportunity to support innovation and business development in the clean energy and sustainability space.

“The Resurgence program is designed to bring cleantech entrepreneurs from around the country to Hyde Park and connect them with the University of Chicago ecosystem. The Breakthrough Ecosystem Grant provided us with the opportunity to create an organized effort aligned with this mission: a meaningful experiential learning opportunity for students and a source of talent for the tech entrepreneurs in our accelerator. This has been a great first step towards building a connected network and a nurturing ecosystem for our entrepreneurs to maximize their impact,” said Ozge Guney-Altay, director of Resurgence.

The inaugural cohort of Resurgence Fellows are all MBA candidates at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. They will support the startups in key business development areas such as financial modeling and projections, customer discovery, market opportunity assessment, and investor readiness, including data room staging.

“Breakthrough Energy is proud to support the University of Chicago with an ecosystem grant. We are committed to using our resources to empower organizations helping students, scientists, and innovators work together to develop climate solutions,” said Ashley Grosh, vice president, Breakthrough Energy. “Through the development of our own business fellow program, we’ve witnessed firsthand the effectiveness of the collaborative model the Resurgence program is working to implement. It’s a proven framework that drives impact, and we’re excited to see the program come to life.”

Resurgence Fellowship Cohort 2024:

  • Matthew Cason // Matthew is interested in advancing the world’s technological base in pursuit of a greener, more prosperous society. Prior to Booth, he worked at Accenture, Oasis Financial, and Capital One, in addition to a variety of political advisory roles. Matthew holds a BA in Economics and Political Science from the University of Chicago. As a Resurgence Fellow, he will be supporting Alpha Nur.
  • Natalia Cuenca // Prior to attending business school, Natalia worked as a materials engineer across the refining and petrochemical industries. Her work in the field led to her interest in climate tech and accelerating the energy transition. She is particularly interested in advancing solutions for hard-to-abate sectors and will be supporting ExPost Technology.
  • Kelsey French // Kelsey is passionate about North American commodity markets and decarbonization. Previously, she was an expert consultant in McKinsey & Company’s energy practice and has worked as an investor in both early-stage (VC) climatetech and late-stage (PE) industrial services sectors. She is based in Houston, Texas with her husband and three cats. As a Resurgence Fellow, Kelsey will be supporting C+UP.
  • Alexis Joo // Alexis has a background in materials engineering and logistics. As a Resurgence Fellow, Alexis is excited to contribute to the growth of the company Natural Science through sustainable business development and by strengthening market establishment for the company’s magentic oil separation technology.
  • Tim Reichmann // Passionate about sustainable energy solutions, particularly battery technology and energy storage, Tim will be supporting Stranergy. He has prior work experience as a software engineer and in management consulting.
  • Kohei Yagura // Kohei worked in a government-owned development bank specializing in infrastructure development prior to starting business school, first as a loan officer supporting power plant project development and then as a risk analyst engaging mainly in climate risk management. He is passionate about renewables development and scaling clean technology and will be supporting Blaze Power.

“We designed the fellowship to connect the University of Chicago’s top business talent with the technical founders participating in our accelerator program because we know that combining business and technical expertise is a recipe for success in deep tech venture acceleration,” said Ryan Brownlow, program manager at the Polsky Center.

Fellows also are able to attend Resurgence lectures, workshops, and events, and have the opportunity to connect with other innovators, investors, thought leaders, and entrepreneurs working in industries relevant to cleantech.

// The Resurgence cleantech accelerator is powered by Deep Tech Ventures at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in partnership with the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering. Startups gain access to business training and technical advisement, premier facilities, industry mentors, student talent, and venture capital, as well as additional funding opportunities.

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