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Mentorship

Mentorship

Entrepreneurs-in-Residence

The Entrepreneur-in-Residence program provides mentorship and coaching to University of Chicago students. Successful Chicago-based entrepreneurs are available to meet throughout the academic year, and have provided key insight and mentorship to dozens of companies. We also host regular small group sessions and workshops with the EIRs over breakfast and lunch.

Robert Altman, MBA ’88

Robert Altman, MBA ’88

Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship

Focus: Healthcare and biotech entrepreneurship
Program involvement: Collaboratorium, Student Lunch and Learns

Robert Altman, MBA ’88, has had a long career in executive roles for both mature and emerging biotech and pharmaceutical businesses. Most recently, Altman served as president of Pinnacle Biologics, a subsidiary of Concordia Healthcare. Altman also previously founded and built a fully-integrated specialty pharmaceutical company, Marathon Pharmaceuticals, and led the company as CEO and president from 2008 to 2012. Altman’s earlier career included numerous leadership positions over 17 years at Abbott Laboratories.

Mus Chagal, MBA '97

Mus Chagal, MBA '97

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship

Focus: Entrepreneurship, manufacturing, customer acquisition, and international entrepreneurship
Program involvement: New Venture Challenge and student lunch and learns

Mus Chagal is the former CEO of UICO, a venture-backed company with proprietary technology that enables touchscreens to work under direct exposure to water and liquids, and through gloves. He previously served as the chairman of the board of directors at UICO. Chagal has been involved in international trade acting as a bridge between American companies and suppliers from Turkey and Israel since 2002. He founded CWW/ Kudox NA, a private label manufacturer and supplier of radiant heat and building products and materials to retailers like Home and wholesalers like Wolseley-Ferguson. Chagal started his entrepreneurial career at FastWeb, a technology startup, as the senior vice president of sales and business development. FastWeb became the destination site and search engine for college bound students looking for scholarship, and the prominent one-to-one marketing and customer acquisition platform for companies targeting the youth market.

Joshua P. Fairbank, MBA '06

Joshua P. Fairbank, MBA '06

Focus: Biotech and Therapeutics
Program involvement: Student Lunch and Learn

Joshua P. Fairbank has spent over two decades on both sides of the table; as an investor and as an entrepreneur. He is the president of Orchard Capital Management where he sits on the investment committees for the small cap value and the alternative asset strategies. In 2004 he co-founded and led the investment team at Orchard Ventures, a biotech VC fund. In addition to Orchard Capital and Orchard Ventures he is the cofounder of several companies. At Akebia (NASDAQ:AKBA) he wrote the original business plan, negotiated the spin-out from Procter & Gamble, and served as a founding director. Akebia is developing an anemia drug that mimics the body’s physiological response to high altitude, it has been tested in thousands of patients and is currently in late stage clinical trials. He runs Nymirum as its cofounder and executive chairman. Nymirum is a computational genetics firm that harnesses AI and big data to work on multiple unsolved diseases including cancers, neurodegenerative diseases, and infectious diseases. Fairbank has negotiated successful drug discovery partnerships with several leading global pharmaceutical companies and worked to obtain significant non-dilutive funding. He is a joint inventor on one of the company’s biophysics patents.

Fairbank will be taking meetings with faculty, scientists, healthcare startups, and students, once per month.

Melissa Harris, MBA '16

Melissa Harris, MBA '16

Focus: Entrepreneurial marketing and communications
Program involvement: College New Venture Challenge, Global New Venture Challenge, and student seminars

Melissa Harris, MBA ’16, is founder and CEO of M. Harris & Co., a Chicago-based marketing consultancy. She is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated business columnist and accomplished journalist who spent 15+ years at the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun, and the Orlando Sentinel. Prior to launching her company, she served as vice president of marketing at Origin Investments, a real estate private equity firm with about a half-billion dollars in assets. She has been named among the 50 most influential people in Chicago tech on Twitter by both Built In Chicago and Chicago Inno. She and her colleague won a Clio Award for her work on Cards Against Humanity Saves America.

Alex Hodgkin, MBA '14

Alex Hodgkin, MBA '14

Senior Advisor for Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition

Focus: Entrepreneurship through Acquisition and financial services
Program involvement: ETA Conference, Search Fund Investor Summit, and student and alumni seminars

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 cofounder and 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. Hodgkin has been instrumental in creating the entrepreneurship through acquisition program and community at the University of Chicago.

Doug Monieson

Doug Monieson

Focus: Fintech and general entrepreneurship
Program involvement: College New Venture Challenge and student lunch and learns

Doug Monieson, MBA ’89, is chairman emeritus of Hyde Park Angels (HPA), one of the largest and most active angel groups in the Midwest. He is currently executive chairman of the board of UICO, a rugged touch screen company founded at Chicago Booth and one of the first investments made by HPA. Monieson is also on the board of directors of Fishidy, a fishing app that was recently acquired by Ray Marine, a division of Flir. He also led the successful exit of Gradebeam, a SAAS business for the construction industry, which was purchased by Textura (TXTR) in 2011.

Ellen Rudnick, MBA '89

Ellen Rudnick, MBA '89

Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship and Senior Advisor

Focus: UChicago Alumni
Program involvement: New Venture Challenge, Alumni New Venture Challenge, and alumni programs

Ellen Rudnick, MBA ’73, is a successful startup executive, having served as chairman of Pacific Biometrics and CEO of Health Care Knowledge Resources. She has held positions as corporate vice president at Baxter Healthcare and president of Baxter Management Services Division, which she founded. Her current board experience includes Liberty Mutual Insurance, Patterson Companies (NASDAQ: PDCO), Health Management Systems (NASDAQ: HMSY), and First Midwest Bancorp (NASDAQ: FMBI). She was previously a venture partner for Inroads Capital. She was formerly the inaugural executive director of the Polsky Center.

Mark Tebbe

Mark Tebbe

Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Focus: Entrepreneurship and technology
Program involvement: New Venture Challenge, Social New Venture Challenge, College New Venture Challenge, and student lunch and learns

Mark Tebbe is the founder of several startups, including two NASDAQ-listed companies: Lante and Answers Corp. In addition to serving as an EIR at the Polsky Center and an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship, he is an operating executive at Lake Capital and involved in the Chicago entrepreneurial and tech ecosystem.

Chuck Vallurupalli, MBA '05

Chuck Vallurupalli, MBA '05

Focus: Entrepreneurship and technology
Program involvement: College New Venture Challenge, Entrepreneurial Internship Program, and student lunch and learns

Chuck Vallurupalli,MBA ’05, is a software engineer, entrepreneur, and business executive. He has founded, led, and contributed to the success of several early-stage, growth, and public companies. He has worked with over 150 startups and several more entrepreneurs as a mentor, entrepreneur-in-residence, and investor. He has also helped several corporations on their innovation agendas.

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