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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.

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Industry Relations

Omkar Bhave
Omkar Bhave

Omkar Bhave

Manager, Industry Relations

5113 S. Harper Ave., Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60637
O: 773.702.6365
E: obhave@uchicago.edu

Omkar Bhave serves as manager of Industry Relations for the Polsky Center, where he works to develop, enable, and grow strategic partnerships with the private sector.

Omkar has a strong background in business development, product commercialization, corporate engagement, and project management. Omkar works with UChicago faculty, students, staff, and entrepreneurs to identify the highest value industry partners and structure mutually-beneficial collaboration models and research partnerships.

Prior to joining the University of Chicago, Omkar managed a significant portion of chemicals revenue for FutureFuel Chemical Company and guided the company to several new business development opportunities. He has experience with negotiating new business agreements and patent licensing agreements, building business cases for new product portfolios, and developing cost estimates. He has worked as a process engineer at Pryor Chemical Company. He has also held research positions at the University of Arkansas where he authored papers in the biotechnology and chemicals space and presented at international scientific conferences.

Omkar holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from The University of Arkansas. His hobbies include fishing, playing guitar, and scuba diving.

Preeti Chalsani, PhD
Preeti Chalsani, PhD

Preeti Chalsani, PhD

Director, Industry Partnerships

5113 S. Harper Ave., Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60637
O: 773.702.0911
E: pchalsani@uchicago.edu

Preeti Chalsani, PhD, is the director of industry partnerships with specific focus on quantum information science and technology. Her role is based on an agreement between the Chicago Quantum Exchange (CQE) and the Polsky Center. 

In this role, Preeti advances the quantum activities of Polsky and the CQE and catalyze broad efforts to develop the quantum ecosystem in Chicago, including facilitating the signing of partner agreements and research contracts between companies and the CQE. She will coordinate and manage all activities throughout the contract process and work with several different units across the University, such as URA, to ensure the flawless and seamless execution of all partnerships. 

Preeti has extensive experience advising on research-based inventions, having spent almost ten years as Patent Agent and scientific advisor to several law firms where she worked with a wide variety of clients including universities, startups, SMEs and multinational corporations.  

She holds a PhD in Applied Physics from Cornell University, where her research was in the area of spintronics. Prior to that she earned her undergraduate degree in Applied Physics at Yale University. She was a nanotechnology consultant and postdoctoral researcher in the Functional Nanomaterials Group at the National Research Council in Canada where she helped develop various micro- and nano-fabrication techniques. She also has experience in the classroom having been a Professor in the Physics Department of Dawson College in Montreal.

David Gross
David Gross

David Gross

Director of Strategy

5113 S. Harper Ave., Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60637
O: 773.702.8443
E: davidgross@uchicago.edu

David Gross is the director of strategy for the Polsky Center and has additional responsibilities related to industry relations and strategic alliances. He focuses on building relationships with industry partners on behalf of the Polsky Center and manages a portfolio of strategic projects in the areas of innovation and science.

Prior to moving to Chicago, Dave was the COO of a commercial construction company in Des Moines, Iowa. He has also worked in real estate strategy for Walgreens, and as a business analyst for Target in Minneapolis.

Dave holds an MBA from Duke University and a BA from Northwestern University in economics and geography. 

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