Chicago Booth Students

Chicago Booth Students

Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition

The Polsky Center offers a suite of Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition (ETA) resources designed to provide students and alumni access to the education, capital, mentorship, and resources necessary to acquire and grow a business.


If you are interested in learning more about the ETA model, there is a credit-bearing course at Chicago Booth taught by Mark Agnew and Brian O’Connor, which gives students frameworks and real-world solutions to use if they decide to pursue an acquisition of and lead a company.

Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition Course

The Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition (ETA) course at Chicago Booth explains the life cycle of a typical path toward finding and running a business including information on fund formation, raising capital, searching for a company, buying a business, leading that business and then ultimately selling it. Approximately half of the course will go through critical points leading up to buying a business, while the other half will address some of the key issues executives face while running a company (i.e., identifying metrics, communicating with a team, interviewing, handling HR issues, etc.).


If you would like to schedule time to speak with someone about ETA, the Polsky Center can connect you with the ETA advisor for one-on-one appointments.

Entrepreneurs-in-Residence and ETA Advisor

Alex Hodgkin, MBA ’14, has spent the bulk of his career in the investment banking and entrepreneurship. He has worked at Salomon Smith Barney and Headwaters MB. In addition to being an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Polsky Center and advisor for all things ETA, he is CEO 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.


If you are interested in learning more about networking with students, alumni, search fund investors, and those who have successfully acquired a company, the Polsky Center host key events, manages a popular ETA podcast series, and provides access to in-depth resources for ETA.

ETA Conference

The ETA Conference, cohosted by Chicago Booth and Kellogg, is the first-of-its-kind conference aimed at educating and inspiring students, alumni, and the community of service providers. Annually, the conference attracts over 500 attendees, making it the country’s largest ETA conference. This annual conference features several panels covering everything from funding, searching for and eventually operating a business, and also features multiple opportunities for networking.

ETA Symposium

The Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition (ETA) Symposium is designed for University of Chicago students and alumni interested in acquiring and operating small businesses. The event aims to provide tools, education, and a peer network to address the challenges of buying and building a business. Through expert-led seminars, roundtable discussions, and networking, the Symposium will provide unparalleled learning experiences and access to alumni pursuing similar career paths.

ETA Podcast

The ETA podcast series is hosted by Brian O’Connor, adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and managing partner of NextGen Growth Partners. Tune in for expert advice and commentary on all things ETA.

Polsky On Demand

Polsky On Demand is an online portal that provides access to some of Polsky’s world-class business and entrepreneurship educational workshops for free. Browse our digital library below for educational content around entrepreneurship essentials, small business workshops, entrepreneurship through acquisition (ETA), and much more.

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