The Polsky Accelerator, launched in June 2012, gives student teams the opportunity to work intensively and solely on their businesses and social enterprises in a collaborative and dynamic environment over the summer. The Accelerator Program accepts teams to participate through a competitive selection process. All applications will be reviewed by committee with consideration given to stage of business, strength of the team and business idea, potential for growth during the summer, and current and past affiliation with the University of Chicago and its entrepreneurship programs. These teams receive funding, coaching from Polsky Center staff, mentorship from alumni entrepreneurs and Chicago-area investors, and weekly programming designed to help them overcome many of the hurdles to launching a business. By talking with consumers, investors, and mentors, building prototypes, and continually refining their business models, these start-ups make notable progress over the course of the program and in many cases move from business plan to launch.
This year, there will be two programs available to student ventures. These two summer accelerators are differentiated by the stage of your venture.
// The BUILD ACCELERATOR will allow students to spend their summer building the key elements of their venture, and validating assumptions around their market or customers.
// The LAUNCH ACCELERATOR will allow students to spend their summer fundraising for their venture, selling, and gaining/maintaining momentum.