The Innovation Fund Associates (IFA) program works alongside the Polsky Center’s George Shultz Innovation Fund. Student associates are trained to act as venture capitalists, performing due diligence on innovative ventures coming out of the University of Chicago ecosystem. The program is structured as an apprenticeship, where associates learn-by-doing as part of an interdisciplinary team. Associates deep dive into one investment opportunity per cycle and get a close-up look at the commercialization process and what it takes to move a technology from the lab into real world application.
Built on a 25-year history of launching successful ventures, Compass is the Polsky Center’s deep tech accelerator program for University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory researchers interested in launching new startup companies. College students apply through a competitive application process to join one of the Compass teams either as a Business Development Intern or a Science Innovation Fellow.
I-Corps is a highly-experiential, extracurricular eight-week-long program to empower UChicago scientists, researchers, and students to test the commercial potential of their research and ideas. Student interns are an integral part of an I-Corps team and utilize the program to explore their interest in entrepreneurship and innovation. Students work closely with the scientific team to conduct interviews with industry stakeholders and explore potential market applications for a technology coming out of research at the University of Chicago and affiliated national labs.