The University of Chicago Innovation Fund Associates (IFA) are an interdisciplinary group of 20 students and post-docs that aid the Innovation Fund in its Spring and Fall investment cycles. Associates act as venture capital associates, performing due diligence on innovative ventures coming out of the University of Chicago ecosystem.
The IFA 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 the real world.
Alums of the IFA program serve as a critical pool of talent for the Innovation Fund throughout the year. In the past, outstanding IFA alums have been paired with faculty to spin out new ventures, placed with VC funds in our network, and worked on strategic projects for the fund.