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Meet the Team

Meet the Team

The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation team is paving the way for Chicago’s entrepreneurial spirit. Housed on a collaborative campus, we are a group of committed professionals dedicated to promoting and supporting students, faculty, staff, alumni, researchers and local entrepreneurs as they navigate the complex process of creating and growing a startup. To see a full list of Polsky Council members, click here. For general inquiries, questions, and feedback about the Polsky Center, please contact us at polsky@uchicago.edu.

Finance and Operations

Kristin BarrettKristin Barrett
Kristin Barrett

Kristin Barrett

Chief Operating Officer

1452 East 53rd Street, 2nd floor
Chicago, IL 60615
773-834-5641

As the Polsky Center’s Chief Operating Officer, Kristin is responsible for operations and expansion of the Polsky Center as well as overseeing finances, HR, IT, and facilities.

Prior to the Polsky Center, Kristin was vice president of 1871, one of the nation’s largest startup hubs, and led educational content for the organization. Kristin was the COO of Excelerate Labs (now Techstars Chicago), a top-ranked technology startup accelerator, and worked with startups and early-stage investments through Hyde Park Angels.

Kristin started in entrepreneurship while working on new ventures and corporate strategy for Redbox, participating in the company’s growth from 6,000 locations to more than 30,000. She has also worked in management consulting with A.T. Kearney, touching a variety of industries including pharmacy, logistics, and agricultural goods.

Kristin earned an MBA with Honors at University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and her BS in journalism and economics from Northwestern University.

Dave Gross
Dave Gross

Dave Gross

Associate Director of the Innovation District

5113 S Harper Avenue, Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60615
773-702-8833

davidgross@uchicago.edu

Dave works closely with Kristin Barrett to oversee the development of the Innovation District that is being planned for 53rd st. in Hyde Park. Dave previously worked at Nelson Construction & Development in Des Moines, IA, where he was the COO of the commercial construction company. Prior to receiving his MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business in 2017, Dave worked in real estate for Walgreens in Deerfield, IL, and as a business analyst for Target in Minneapolis, MN.  He holds a BA from Northwestern University in Economics and Geography.

Wendy JonesWendy Jones
Wendy Jones

Wendy Jones

HR and Financial Coordinator

5113 S Harper Avenue, Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60615
773-702-1966

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Doreen Mitchell
Doreen Mitchell

Doreen Mitchell

Controller

5113 S Harper Avenue, Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60615
773-702-0304

Doreen manages the organization’s assets through the development, input, analysis, and continuous improvement of financial systems and reports required to provide accurate financial information to the Polsky Center’s stakeholders, and she ensures adequate controls are maintained to safeguard assets and that financial and human resource-related business processes comply with University of Chicago policies.

Doreen Mitchell joined UChicagoTech as Director of Finance in January 2007. In addition to managing all of the office’s accounting and financial reporting functions and providing financial support to the Polsky Center team, Doreen works closely with the Director of Finance and Operations, as well as with the University’s Comptroller’s and Budget Offices, to ensure seamless integration between the University’s and UChicagoTech’s operations. Further, she oversees the Polsky Center’s Human Resource functions.

Before joining the University, Doreen spent her career working for both for-profit and not-for-profit entities. She was the Controller for The American Dietetic Association and The American Dietetic Association Foundation, a Professional Association of over 70,000 members. She went on to become the Controller for Casa Central, the largest Hispanic social services agency in the Midwest. At Casa, Doreen worked with many different Federal, State and Local Agencies and was responsible for accurate reporting and recording of grant monies. Most recently, she was the Vice-President Controller and Chief Compliance Officer for Ibbotson Associates (now a wholly owned subsidy of Morningstar, Inc.), a leading authority on asset allocation and registered investment advisor with the SEC. In addition to her accounting and financial management responsibilities, she was instrumental in creating and implementing Ibbotson’s SEC mandated compliance policies and procedures.

Doreen received her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Eastern Illinois University and an MBA in Finance from DePaul University. She is an active member of the Association of University Technology Managers.

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