In 2015, the Polsky Center launched the Alumni Entrepreneurs Growth Forum. Rotating between Chicago, San Francisco, and New York City, this invite-only program includes faculty-led sessions on topics of great interest to growth-stage entrepreneurs, such as scaling the sales organization, HR, leadership, organizational strategies, and company culture. In 2019, using the highly successful Alumni Entrepreneurs Growth Forum as a model, the Polsky Center is launching the Polsky Global Forums, a three-part series targeted towards alumni living and working outside the US. The Polsky Global Forums focus on three aspects of entrepreneurship: launching, scaling, and investing. Each event in the series is a stand-alone offering designed to serve a distinct populations of alumni in a targeted geography. By creating three distinct Forums, this program reaches alumni at various stages of their entrepreneurial journey and captures a wide array of constituents, providing resources to support their continued development. The programs will be run in multiple geographies throughout the year for alumni, current Executive MBA students, and a select number of non-alumni.
Polsky Global Forum: Launch your Venture
July 27, 2019 | Hong Kong
This event is intended for entrepreneurs in the initial phases of launching businesses. The program focuses on key-building blocks of starting a new business: customer discovery and entrepreneurial selling. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with other entrepreneurs working through similar challenges and learn from the experiences of guest speakers and instructors. This one-day workshop is meant for University of Chicago and Chicago Booth alumni, and current Executive MBA students that have an entrepreneurial idea or are in the early stages of developing a venture. There are a limited number of spots available for those interested in attending that are not affiliated with the University. Attendees do not need to have revenue, customers, or even a solidified business model to attend. The purpose of the workshop is to provide attendees with some of the fundamentals necessary to start a business.
Polsky Global Forum: Angel Investing
September 13, 2019 | London, UK
This Forum is designed to teach participants about angel investing as an alternative investment class. The event will feature a session on ‘Angel Investing 101’, where participants will learn the basics of angel investing, why not to do it, how to start investing, the due diligence process, and how to close a deal. Attendees will hear from experienced angel investors and work through an investment simulation. This Forum will also feature special sessions related to impact investing and current opportunities in sectors such as energy, financial services, and healthcare. The event in London will conclude with a University of Chicago Alumni Entrepreneur Demo Day, featuring startups from the region that are currently fundraising.
Polsky Global Forum: Scale your Venture
November 6, 2019 | Singapore
The Polsky Global Forum: Scale your Venture is designed for UChicago and Chicago Booth alumni-founded startups with $500,000+ USD in revenue that are working on the next phase of their business and looking to scale. The one-day event serves as a platform to engage entrepreneurs with growth-stage businesses and help them address challenges such as gaining market traction, scaling their sales organization, HR, leadership, organizational strategies, and company culture. The Forum provides attendees with the opportunity to learn from other alumni founders working through similar challenges related to scaling a business. The event will feature sessions led by Waverly Deutsch, Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship at Chicago Booth; moderated group breakout sessions; and a fireside chat with an alum founder of a startup that has successfully scaled their business in the region. Professor Deutsch will use data gleaned from U.S. startups and incorporate these best-practices for achieving traction and growth into her sessions.
Visit the Polsky Center events page to learn more about programs and events taking place across the globe.