Entrepreneurs in Residence

Polsky Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIRs) are seasoned entrepreneurs and business executives who host a variety of skills- and career-based workshops, and are available to meet with students, alumni, and faculty for individual coaching sessions throughout the academic year. 

To schedule an individual meeting with one of the Polsky EIRs, please fill out this online form

Michael Alter

Entrepreneur-in-Residence

  • Focus: Entrepreneurship
  • Program involvement: New Venture Challenge, SeedCon, student lunch and learns

Michael Alter was CEO of The Tie Bar—the No. 1 e‐commerce destination for stylish men's accessories. Prior to The Tie Bar, Michael was a cofounder and CEO of SurePayroll, a SaaS technology company that is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Paychex®.   Michael co-founded SurePayroll in 2000 after six years with McKinsey and Company, where he was a cofounder and leader of its service operations practice. 


Jim Gray

Entrepreneur-in-Residence

  • Focus: Entrepreneurship and finance
  • Program involvement: New Venture Challenge, student lunch and learns

Jim Gray founded optionsXpress Holdings, Inc., an online options, futures and stock brokerage, which fundamentally changed how retail investors use exchange-traded derivatives for investing and strategic portfolio management. Charles Schwab acquired optionsXpress in 2011. Currently, Jim is CEO of G-Bar LP, one of the nation’s largest independent options, and futures trading firms.


Alex Hodgkin, MBA '14

Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Senior Advisor Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition

  • Focus: Entrepreneurship through acquisition and financial services
  • Program involvement: Booth Search, Search Fund Conference, Search Fund Investor Summit

Alex Hodgkin, MBA '14, has spent the bulk of his career in investment banking and entrepreneurship. He has worked at Salomon Smith Barney and Headwaters MB. He is the co-founder and managing partner of Intrinsic, a financial services firm providing valuation opinions and transaction advisory services to venture- and private equity-backed companies and high net worth individuals.


Chris McGowan

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneur-in-Residence

  • Focus: Private equity, venture capital, entrepreneurship, finance
  • Program involvement: Co-teaches Private Equity and Venture Capital Lab; Senior advisor, Sterling Partners Investment Thesis Challenge; Senior advisor, Oxford Chicago Global Private Equity Challenge; Private Equity Workshops with Career Services; New Venture Challenge; student lunch and learns

Chris is the general partner of CJM Ventures, a private equity firm focused on buyouts and growth equity investments in companies located near Chicago.  In 2011, Chris retired as a managing director from Madison Dearborn Partners (MDP), where he co-headed their basic industries practice for the last five years of his 12-year career there.


Mark Tebbe

Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneur-in-Residence

  • Focus: Entrepreneurship and technology
  • Program involvement: New Venture Challenge; Social NVC; SeedCon, College NVC; Student seminars; Student Lunch and Learns

Mark Tebbe is the founder of several start-ups, including two NASDAQ-listed companies: Lante and Answers Corp. He was also the former operating executive at Lake Capital. In addition to being an EIR at the Polsky Center, Mark teaches the Entrepreneurial Discovery and New Venture Challenge classes at Chicago Booth as well as serves as the Chairman of ChicagoNEXT, the City’s economic development organization for technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.


Guy Turner, MBA '10

Entrepreneur-in-Residence

  • Focus: Entrepreneurship and venture capital
  • Program involvement: New Venture Challenge, Venture Capital Investment Competition, SeedCon, Venture Capital Workshops with Career Services, student lunch and learns

Guy Turner, MBA '10, cofounded Hyde Park Venture Partners in 2011 from Boston Consulting Group, where he focused on corporate strategy across a variety of industries. He spent his early career as a mechanical engineer with Raytheon and General Electric.