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New Venture Challenge

New Venture Challenge

Faculty

Steven Kaplan
Steven Kaplan

Steven Kaplan

Kessenich E.P. Faculty Director, Polsky Center; Neubauer Family Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance, Chicago Booth

Steve conducts research on issues in private equity, venture capital, entrepreneurial finance, corporate governance and corporate finance. He has published papers in a number of academic and business journals. Kaplan is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and an associate editor of the Journal of Financial Economics. He ranks among the top 60 in paper downloads and in paper citations (out of over 280,000 authors) on SSRN (Social Science Research Network). He is the co-creator of the Kaplan-Schoar PME (Public Market Equivalent) private equity benchmarking approach. A Fortune Magazine article referred to him as “probably the foremost private equity scholar in the galaxy.” Kaplan teaches advanced MBA and executive courses in entrepreneurial finance and private equity, corporate finance, corporate governance, and wealth management. BusinessWeek named him one of the top 12 business school teachers in the country. Professor Kaplan co-founded the entrepreneurship program at Booth. With his students, he helped start Booth’s business plan competition, the New Venture Challenge (NVC), which has spawned over two hundred companies that have raised almost $1 billion and created over $10 billion in value including GrubHub, Braintree/Venmo and Simple Mills. Kaplan serves on the boards of Morningstar, Zayo Group and the Illinois Venture Capital Association. He has been a member of the faculty since 1988. He received his AB, summa cum laude, in Applied Mathematics and Economics from Harvard College and earned a PhD in Business Economics from Harvard University.

 

Ellen Rudnick, MBA ’73
Ellen Rudnick, MBA ’73

Ellen Rudnick, MBA ’73

Senior Advisor and Adjunct Professor for Entrepreneurship

Ellen Rudnick, MBA ’73, previously served as executive director of the Polsky Center and clinical professor of entrepreneurship and, together with Steve Kaplan, was instrumental in the creation of the entrepreneurship programming at Chicago Booth. Prior to joining the Booth faculty she spent 25 years in business management and entrepreneurial activities, primarily in the health care and information services industries. During this time, she was president and CEO of Healthcare Knowledge Resources, president of HCIA, chairman of Pacific Biometrics, and corporate vice president of Baxter Healthcare Corporation. She works with the many startups that emerge from Chicago Booth’s entrepreneurship programs. Both her governance activities and startup interests help her to bridge the gap in the classroom between the theoretical and the real world.  She serves or has served on numerous corporate boards including Liberty Mutual, First Midwest Bank, HMS Holdings, Patterson Companies, Oxford Health Plans, Northshore University Healthcare Research and Development, the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center/1871 and MATTER. She received a BA from Vassar College and an MBA from Chicago Booth.

Mark Tebbe
Mark Tebbe

Mark Tebbe

Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship, Chicago Booth; Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Polsky Center

Mark Tebbe brings a wealth of successful entrepreneurial experience into the classroom by leveraging his founding of two NASDAQ-listed corporations as well as direct involvement in numerous start-up and high-growth companies over the past thirty years. As both an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Chicago Polsky Center, Tebbe aids students in their entrepreneurial efforts and helps other professors enhance their classes. He has spent many years of judging and mentoring in Polsky’s New Venture Challenge (NVC). Outside of the classroom, Tebbe serves as Chairman of ChicagoNEXT, a dedicated public-private effort to improve Chicago’s competiveness in science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.

In 1984, Mark founded Lante Corporation, (NASDAQ: LNTE) a Chicago-based technology-consulting firm in which he served as CEO and Chairman. Using $10,000 borrowed on his credit card, Tebbe launched the technology advisory firm that helped to create over 250 new businesses as well as building backend infrastructure and websites for established companies including Microsoft, Dell, American Airlines, American Express and Charles Schwab. Lante was taken private by SBI Group in September 2002 and sold (as Razorfish) to aQuantive in July 2004.

Coaches

Michael Alter
Michael Alter

Michael Alter

Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship, Chicago Booth

Michael Alter is Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship and a recent Entrepreneur in Residence at Booth. Previously, Alter was the Chief Executive Officer of The Tie Bar – the #1 e-commerce destination for stylish men’s accessories. Prior to The Tie Bar, Alter was a co-founder and President/CEO of SurePayroll, a SaaS technology company that is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Paychex®. Alter co-founded SurePayroll in 2000 after six years with McKinsey and Company, where he was a co-founder and leader of its Service Operations Practice. Prior to receiving his MBA from the Harvard Business School, Alter worked in various sales positions at IBM. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Northwestern University.

Alter is an active board and advisory board member for leading industry and entrepreneurial organizations including: MAX Digital/FirstLook — the SaaS leader in Mobile Showroom and Digital Performance Management for Auto Dealers, Nambe, LLC — a leading design and lifestyle brand known for their award-winning tabletop giftware, and Vanco Payment Systems – the leading payments provider to the Faith-based Community.

A past recipient of the Illinois Technology Association CityLIGHTS CEO of the Year Award, Alter has been a nationally recognized spokesman on business issues, having served as a columnist for INC.com and appearing regularly in media outlets nationwide, including Bloomberg TV, and the Wall Street Journal.

Larry Berlin, AB ’89, MBA ’94
Larry Berlin, AB ’89, MBA ’94

Larry Berlin, AB ’89, MBA ’94

CFO, Freedom Fries

Larry Berlin, AB ’89, MBA ’94, is CFO at Freedom Fries, an IT company working on data privacy issues.  He was a senior vice president at First Analysis until April 2019, where he led investment efforts and provided research coverage of leading private and publicly-traded companies in the financial technology and digital marketing sectors.  He remains affiliated with First Analysis and its 12 and 13th funds.  He is an observer on the board of Freeosk for First Analysis and a member of the board of Solve, Inc. He is also an independent member of the board of Incapital and serves on its audit committee. His work has been cited for excellence in the StarMine analyst awards. Prior to joining First Analysis in 1999, he was acting CFO at Doculabs, a Chicago-based information technology consulting firm. Earlier, he was a consultant for Ganymede Corp., an associate in corporate finance at UBS, and a member of the Chicago Board Options Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade. He earned a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from the University of Chicago. Outside of work he curls, bikes, sails, and is a photographer.

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

Mus Chagal, MBA ’97

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, Chicago Booth

Mus Chagal. MBA ’97 is CEO and chairman of UICO and has been serving on the Board since 2013.  Mus has been involved in international private label manufacturing (Turkey & Israel) and distribution of products & components for the industrial and building materials sectors in USA for almost 20 years – product design, prototyping, certifications, global manufacturing, supply chain optimization, logistics, merchandising, post sales-support. Mus started his entrepreneurial career at FastWeb, a technology start-up, 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 & customer acquisition platform for companies targeting the youth market – two-sided market (acquired by TMP Worldwide).  After receiving his MBA from Chicago Booth, Chagal was recruited by Booz Allen & Hamilton and helped launch their office in Istanbul. Mus joined Ameritech Executive Development Program after college and held several senior corporate and operating positions with increasing responsibilities for a decade.

Mus is an entrepreneur-in-residence and faculty coach at the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Mus has been a judge and mentor for the New Venture Challenge for over a decade. Mus was born and raised in Cyprus and came to the USA on a Fulbright Scholarship in 1984. Mus Chagal was admitted to the Lincoln Academy in 1988 as a Student Laureate, the highest award given to students by the State of Illinois. Mus is passionate about soccer and has coached AYSO for 14 years. Mus lives in Lincoln Park with his wife and two sons.

Waverly Deutsch
Waverly Deutsch

Waverly Deutsch

Academic Director for University-wide Entrepreneurship Content

Waverly coaches the NVC and runs the Global NVC. In her role as academic director of University-wide entrepreneurship content, she works with the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to ensure that both for-credit classes on entrepreneurship and extracurricular content like conferences, workshops, and online materials meet the needs of all students, faculty, and staff at the University of Chicago with an interest in entrepreneurship. She created Chicago Booth’s award winning course, Building the New Venture that received the US Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship’s Innovative Teaching Pedagogy award in 2005. Waverly serves as an advisor to OCA Ventures, a leading venture capital organization in Chicago. She is also on the board of Smart Bet Charities, which raises money for organizations that promote entrepreneurship education for young Chicagoans. She is an active adviser to many startups in the Chicago area including NVC former participants Markit Medical, Ascent Technologies, Appiness, Stylisted, TAINA and AMOpportunities. Formerly, as a managing director of NetFuel Ventures, she helped launch three tech companies before the firm merged with ARCH Development Partners. Prior to moving to Chicago, Waverly spent seven years with Cambridge, MA-based Forrester Research, helping it grow from a 20-person boutique to a publicly-held market leader with 450 employees. Waverly holds a BS from the University of Pittsburgh and a PhD from Tufts University.

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