BUILD Accelerator

BUILD Accelerator


The 2023 Polsky BUILD Accelerator application is now open. Applications are due on April 3, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.



The BUILD ACCELERATOR allows students to spend their summer building the key elements of their venture, and validating assumptions around their market or customers.

The following people/teams are eligible to apply:

  • Full and part-time students of the University of Chicago
  • UChicago Alumni within 5 years of graduation
  • For-profit or non-profit ventures

Eligible companies plan to focus on:

  • Customer and market validation
  • The creation or advancement of a pilot or minimal viable product
  • Early stage venture creation education

Apply if:

  • You have an idea and want to validate it
  • You are still building your pilot or MVP, or still need to build these
  • You plan to apply to one of the New Venture Challenge tracks the following academic year (optional)
  • You are not yet in the market, or are minimally in the market

The BUILD Accelerator is not differentiated from the LAUNCH Accelerator based on the quality or potential of your business idea. Each serves a different stage of teams. Applicants are highly encouraged to apply for ONLY the accelerator program that fits the stage of their venture. If you would like to talk to someone about which track might best fit your goals, do not hesitate to reach out to the Polsky Center.


Participation expectations

  • Participants must be committed to working full-time on their business (at least 40 hours/week). Participants CANNOT split the 40 hour time commitment amongst themselves.
  • Participants must attend all mandatory programming days.
  • Participants must agree to work from provided co-working space, unless an accommodation has been provided by the accelerator team, or unless business operations necessitate otherwise.
  • Participants must agree to remain accountable to coaches and mentors.
  • Participants must agree to stay on track with milestones
  • Participants are expected to communicate needs with program organizers
  • Participants must be ready to accelerate!

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