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College New Venture Challenge

College New Venture Challenge

Faculty

Starr Marcello, AM ’04, MBA ’17,
Starr Marcello, AM ’04, MBA ’17,

Starr Marcello, AM ’04, MBA ’17,

Executive Director, Polsky Center; Adjunct Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship

Starr Marcello, AM ’04, MBA ’17, oversees the strategic development of the Polsky Center and works with University of Chicago students, faculty, and staff to launch the next generation of high-impact ventures as the Polsky Center’s executive director. She has been with the Center since 2005.

She runs the Edward L. Kaplan New Venture Challenge (NVC), which awards over $500K in funding and services to top entrepreneurial companies each year. This year the NVC is celebrating 22 years and is ranked the #1 university accelerator program in the nation. Since 1996, the NVC has fostered more than 800 startups, with 230+ that are still in operation and growing strong, has created thousands of jobs, and has produced exits of over $13 billion, including Grubhub (NYSE: GRUB) and Braintree (acquired by eBay’s PayPal for $800 million). In 2017, Starr testified before the U.S. Congress’ Committee on Small Business on the merits of accelerator programs for job creation and economic development.

With funding from the National Science Foundation, Starr launched the Polsky Center I-Corps Program and helped designate the University of Chicago as an official I-Corps site in 2014. Through this interdisciplinary program, Starr teaches elements of the customer development process and human-centered design to researchers and technologists on campus with the goal of helping teams test the commercial viability of their STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) projects.

Starr spends her free time teaching entrepreneurship to high school students. She sits on the Executive Advisory Board of TechWeek and is a board member for United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USABE).

Starr holds a BA from Wesleyan University and both an MA and MBA from the University of Chicago.

Coaches

Mus Chagal, MBA ’97
Mus Chagal, MBA ’97

Mus Chagal, MBA ’97

CEO, UICO

Mus Chagal, MBA ’97, is the CEO of UICO, a venture-backed company with proprietary technology that enables touchscreens to work under direct exposure to water, 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.

 

Christina Hachikian, AB ’02, MBA ’07
Christina Hachikian, AB ’02, MBA ’07

Christina Hachikian, AB ’02, MBA ’07

Executive Director, Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation, Chicago Booth

Christina Hachikian is the executive director of the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She leads the center’s global work as the hub for people solving complex social and environmental problems. In particular, she is responsible for strategy and direction, as well as resource development and partnerships. She is also an adjunct associate professor of strategy at Chicago Booth, and teaches courses on scaling social innovation and on social enterprise strategy, as well as serving as a coach for the school’s Social New Venture Challenge.

Prior to joining Booth, she was vice president and head of investor relations and corporate development for Cole Taylor Bank. In this role, Hachikian was responsible for building relationships within the investment community and crafting financial communications, as well as managing projects such as corporate capital actions and strategic planning. Prior to Cole Taylor, Hachikian was an assistant vice president at ShoreBank (now Urban Partnership Bank), a triple-bottom line community development bank. There she was responsible for managing projects including growth strategy, capital raising initiatives, and operational efficiencies. She held several other related positions at ShoreBank during her seven year tenure. Hachikian also has served as a research and planning analyst for Raytheon Company, directing research projects.

Hachikian holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, with a focus on strategic management and managerial and organizational behavior. She also earned an AB in public policy from the University of Chicago.

In her spare time, she works with a Westside early education center, VOCEL, and is passionate about early childhood education access. She is inspired every day by her two children to support this issue.

Doug Monieson, MBA ’89
Doug Monieson, MBA ’89

Doug Monieson, MBA ’89

Founder and Head Trader, Doug Monieson Trading, LLC

 

Doug Monieson, MBA ’89, is a veteran entrepreneur and Midwest investor. 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 Hyde Park Angels (HPA). He is chairman emeritus of Hyde Park Angels (HPA), the largest and most active angel group in the Midwest. Doug is also founder and head trader at Doug Monieson Trading, LLC. and on the Board of Directors of Fishidy, a mobile/social fishing app that was recently acquired by Ray Marine, a division of Flir Inc. He is also on the advisory board for the Kaplan Institute for Entrepreneurship at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He led the successful exit of Gradebeam, which was purchased by Textura (TXTR) in 2011.  Gradebeam.com was a SAAS business that connects general contractors and subcontractors in the construction industry. Doug has a bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of Michigan and an MBA in finance from Chicago Booth.

 

 

Executive Chairman

UICO is the world leader in projected capacitive touch. It manufactures rugged touch screens for the durable goods sector.

Advisor

Scott Metcalf, MBA ’94
Scott Metcalf, MBA ’94

Scott Metcalf, MBA ’94

Senior Associate Program Director, The University of Chicago

Scott Metcalf, MBA ’94, is the senior associate program director at the University of Chicago where he leads undergraduate career advising teams for healthcare, law, education, public policy, entrepreneurship, STEM, journalism, arts, and media. In this role, he collaborates with senior leadership, university partners, employers, and alumni to support student career exploration and outcomes.

Course TA

Lucas Peralta
Lucas Peralta

Lucas Peralta

Assistant Director, Polsky Center

Lucas Peralta focuses on  innovation programming including the Polsky I-Corps program, the Collaboratorium,  the Polsky Founders’ Fund Fellowship (PF3), and the New Venture Challenge among others. Lucas has valuable experience coordinating volunteer boards, implementing mentoring programs, managing digital marketing, and recruiting volunteers for key programs.

 

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