Director, Entrepreneurship Programs and Data Strategy
5807 S. Woodlawn Ave., Suite 207
Chicago, IL 60637
Lucas Peralta serves as Director of Entrepreneurship Programs and Data Strategy at the Polsky Center. In this role, he leads the team that oversees all student founder-focused educational initiatives including the New Venture Challenge suite of programs (including the Edward L. Kaplan ’71 New Venture Challenge, a nationally-ranked accelerator program), the BUILD and LAUNCH summer accelerators, the Entrepreneurship Essentials workshop series, the Distinguished Entrepreneur Speaker series, and student mentorship opportunities.
He also oversees new efforts to enable the use of data in the evaluation of Polsky Center initiatives, and in strategic decision making around founder and venture support.
Lucas previously assisted with the revamp of the College New Venture Challenge, the undergraduate track of the New Venture Challenge, which is led by Dean Starr Marcello, Deputy Dean of MBA Programs at Chicago Booth. He also previously managed the operations of the Polsky Center’s NSF-funded I-Corps program.
Prior to joining the Polsky Center, while earning his master’s degree, Lucas worked as a program assistant for Harvard University’s Center for Education Policy Research Strategic Data Project, an initiative that helps connect schools and education agencies to emerging leaders in data science, to improve student outcomes.
Lucas earned a master’s degree in education from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of New Mexico.
Lucas is interested in the intersection of economic opportunity and education. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, eating (obviously), running, and rooting for the University of New Mexico Lobos (particularly basketball).