Donate   //   Visit Us   //   Member Login
Success Stories

Success Stories

Helping bring ideas to life

The Polsky Center is proud to have supported many successful startups incuding Braintree, Grubhub, and Simple Mills. Spanning various industries, the Polsky Center is a resource for hundreds of community members, students, faculty, and alumni looking to bring an idea to life. Learn more about an assortment of these companies by clicking on the logos below.

AgileMD

Agile MD, formerly known as Agile Diagnosis, is a web, mobile, and EHR-integrated application that provides clinicians fast access to guidelines, protocols, and reference information. Thanks to AgileMD, organizations are improving the quality of care, reducing unnecessary utilization, and lowering the risk of medical error. In fact, founder, Borna Safabakhsh, MBA ’11, and his team won first place at the 2011 NVC, and $25,000, with this idea. Now headquartered in San Francisco, AgileMD has supported over 40,000 clinicians and over 15,000 medical documents are published through the platform. AgileMD is also the only clinical decision engine and guideline platform available on every device. Go give @agileMD a follow to stay up-to-date on their journey — no excuses Droid users.

 

Stats:

  • Founded by Borna Safabakhsh, MBA ’11
  • 1st place at the 2011 NVC ($25,000)
  • Headquartered in San Francisco, CA
  • @agileMD

Appiness

Jump in, we’re going to Belgium. Appiness is a video commerce company that allows time-stamped products and brands in local and international videos to be made shoppable via any smart device. A product of the Global New Venture Challenge, the Appiness team and founder Jonas De Cooman, MBA ’16, wowed judges at the 2016 finals and took home $7,500. Their app, Spott enables users to find out where to buy items they see on screen during advertisements and certain television programs. Using metadata linked to what is happening on the screen, the app is able to identify the price of items users can see and links to the website where they can be bought. Give @appiness_inc a follow and start deciding what you want to add to your online order queue while you’re at it.

 

Stats:

  • Founded by Jonas De Cooman, MBA ’16
  • 1st place at the 2016 GNVC (awarded $7,500)
  • Headquartered in Belgium (London Executive MBA program )
  • @appiness_inc

BallotReady

BallotReady is an online voter guide that provides tailored, easy-to-digest information on the candidate and referendums listed on local ballots. The BallotReady app is designed to raise the number of informed voters and increase voter turnout. Sharing a vision to create a more informed electorate and strengthen democracy by helping voters vote informed, all the way down a ballot, founders Alex Niemczeweki, AB ’09, Aviva Rosman, and Sebastian Ellefson, AB ’03, joined forces in 2014. Less than a year later, BallotReady won the John Edwardson, ’72, Social New Venture Challenge (SNCVC) taking home $30,000. Today, BallotReady aggregates information from candidates’ websites, social media, press, endorsers, and board of elections data for the latest, most accurate details about the candidates and referendums on ballots. Follow @BallotReady before checking any boxes during the next election.

 

Stats:

  • Founded by Sebastian Ellefson, AB’03 , Alex Niemczewski, AB ’09, and Aviva Rosman
  • 1st place at the 2015 SNVC ($30,000)
  • Innovation Fund invested company (Spring 2016)
  • Headquartered in Chicago, IL
  • @BallotReady

Base

When Base was first founded in 2009, we knew the company as Future Simple. Despite this tweak in the name, the company has continued to leverage cutting edge technologies to deliver a seamless web and mobile experience that will change the way you sell. Founded by Uzi Shmilovici, MBA ‘11, Bart Kiszala, and Pawel Niznik, Base has raised $53 million in capital across three rounds of funding from Index Ventures — all within 10 years of participating in the 2010 Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge (NVC). Base is on a mission to power a seamless and scientific sales experience. And, with a data-driven team of over 7,000 employees they are certainly heading in the right direction. Follow @getbase to see why this big data company is a big deal.

 

 

Stats:

  • Founded by Uzi Shmilovici, MBA ‘11, Bart Kiszala, and Pawel Niznik
  • 2nd place at the 2010 NVC ($15,000)
  • Headquartered in Mountain View, CA
  • @getbase

BloomNation

BloomNation is a community marketplace for people to list, discover, and send unique bouquets handcrafted by local florists across the country. Founded by David Daneshgar, MBA ’12, Farbod Shoraka, and Gregg Weisstein, this company won $10,000 in the Edward L. Kaplan’ 71, New Venture Challenge. Today, BloomNation, which has been featured in TIME Magazine, Forbes, The New York Times, and on the Today Show, among others, continues to hand deliver unique, local blooms across the country. Follow @Bloomnation as they continue to make your holidays, anniversaries, or any occasion a little more special.

 

 

Stats:

  • Founded by David Daneshgar, MBA ’12, Farbod Shoraka, and Gregg Weisstein
  • 3rd place at the 2012 NVC
  • Headquartered in Los Angeles, California
  • @Bloomnation

Braintree

Braintree provides payment processing options for thousands of online mobile companies including Airbnb, Uber, Fab, and LivingSocial. Braintree is now a subsidiary of PayPal, and is in 46 markets across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Founder, Bryan Johnson, MBA ’07 started the company in 2007 and placed first in the Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge and taking home $25,000. Braintree was acquired by eBay PayPal in 2013. Today, Braintree has seven global locations, over 500 employees, and an infinite passion for payments. Give them a follow — and think of them the next time you send a friend money — @braintree.

Stats:

  • Founded by Bryan Johnson, MBA ’07
  • 1st place at the 2007 New Venture Challenge
  • Acquired Venmo, which lets you pay friends for things like drinks or a cab ride using a bank transfer, debit card, or credit card, in August 2012
  • Acquired by PayPal for $800 million and joins the eBay PayPal family in September 2013

CancerIQ

CancerIQ is a digital health company that is lowering barriers to personalize cancer care. CancerIQ empowers your everyday doctor with the knowledge and skills needed to deliver cancer risk assessment, prevention, and genetically-informed treatment. Co-founded by Feyi Olopade, Moe Alkhafaji, Haibo Lu, and Olufunmilayo in 2013, the team assembled to solve the growing problem of patient success. With this in mind, the company opted to compete in the 2014 New Venture Challenge and took home $10,000 after placing fourth. Today, CancerIQ offers capabilities in diverse practice settings such as breast centers, genetics practices, and OBGYN making it easy for providers to offer geneticapp cancer risk assessment programming to every patient. Follow @CancerIQ as they make strides in the healthcare industry to grow highly impactful cancer programs at lower costs.

 

 

Stats:

  • Founded by Feyi Olopade, Moe Alkhafaji, Haibo Lu, and Olufunmilayo Olapade
  • 4th place at the 2014 NVC ($10,000)
  • Headquartered in Chicago, IL
  • @CancerIQ.

CaptainU

CaptainU LLC recruiting software is changing the recruiting game of college sports. Whether you’re an athlete following your dream or a college coach building towards a championship, CaptainU has the tools to take you to the next level. Founders Avi Stopper, MBA ’06, and Michael Farb, MBA ’09, started their company in 2008 to empower high school athletes and college coaches to make and build college teams. The Captain U NVC team won first place in 2008 and took home home $25,000. Today, more than one million athletes use CaptainU to promote themselves to college coaches and over 5,000 college coaches have managed their recruiting process from beginning to end using its service. Lace up your sneaks, snap on your snapback just right, and give CaptainU a follow @CaptainU.

 

Stats:

  • Founded by Avi Stopper, MBA ’06 and Michael Farb, MBA ’09
  • 1st place at the 2008 NVC ($25,000)
  • Headquartered in San Francisco, CA
  • @CaptainU

ClostraBio

ClostraBio is dedicated to understanding and treating food allergies and other disease of the immune system. Founded in 2016 by Cathryn R. Nagler, PhD and Jeffrey A. Hubbell, PhD, ColstraBio is making strides in the discovery and development of new therapeutics that modulate the protective ability of the microbiome. ClostraBio’s team is passionate about treating diseases linked to allergic reactions like eczema, asthma, and allergic rhinitis. With assistance from the Polsky Center’s Technology Commercialization and Licensing team, the company was advised on how to define and protect its intellectual property. With this knowledge and their goals in mind, the company set its sights on the 2017 New Venture Challenge and the UChicago Innovation Fund. John Colson, PhD, Director of Operations, along with Chicago Booth students, William Aubin, Su Fu, and Monica Vajani were awarded $40,000 and a fourth place finish at the NVC. That same week, ClostraBio was awarded up to $200,000 by the Innovation Fund advisory committee after the team’s presentation on their work that targets food allergies. The company has been featured by CBS News, BBC News, and Time Magazine among others. Go give this company a follow @ClostraBio as they look to transform the classification of allergic reactions as we know it.

Stats:

  • Founded by Cathryn R. Nagler, PhD and Jeffrey A. Hubbell, PhD
  • 4th place at the 2017 New Venture Challenge
  • Awarded up to $200,000 at the 2017 Innovation Fund Finals
  • Headquartered in Chicago, IL
  • @ClostraBio

Cubii

Cubii is a compact, connected, and affordable under-desk elliptical that integrates wirelessly with mobile devices and existing fitness trackers in order to make sitting healthier and more social. Founded by Arnav Dalmia, AB ’13, Ryota Sekine, AB ’13, and Shivani Jain, after learning that moderate amounts of exercise all day helps reduce risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even some forms of cancer, these three College students at the University of Chicago decided to make their workday more active. Since placing 2nd at the 2013 College New Venture Challenge, Cubbi has since been featured by Fox News, Forbes, NBC, ABC, the Huffington Post, Chicago Tribune, and more. Next time you’re bored on the elliptical, check out @MyCubii.

Stats:

  • Founders by Arnav Dalmia, AB ’13, Ryota Sekine, AB ’13, and Shivani Jain
  • 2nd place at the 2013 NVC
  • Headquartered in Chicago, IL
  • @MyCubii

 

Darby Smart

Darby Smart is a video community where people watch and share snappy how-to videos. Founded by Nicole Farb, MBA ’09, Darby Smart has become a resource for people to learn and be inspired every day. Today, over 6,000 videos have been created equating to 67 million monthly impressions all backed by a 25-person team. If this doesn’t make you want to pick up a paintbrush then perhaps knowing that Nicole has D-I-Y’ed with your morning friends at Good Morning America like Michael Strahan, your co-to recipe connoisseur, Rachel Ray, and even impressed actress Sarah Michelle Gellar will. Go on, you know you want to do some arts and crafts. Following @darbysmart can get you started.

 

Stats:

  • Founded by Nicole Farb, MBA ’09
  • Headquartered in San Francisco, CA
  • @darbysmart

ExplORer Surgical

ExplORer Surgical is an interactive surgical playbook that promotes optimal teamwork in the operating room. Best practices are built into a surgeon-customized workflow for each case. Surgical activity can be tracked and adjusted as part of a learning health system. Founded by CEO Jennifer Fried, MBA ’15, and CMO Alexander Langerman, MD ’05, SM, ’15, the company launched with a goal to create safer and more efficient surgery in 2015. The company worked with the Polsky Center’s Technology Commercialization and Licensing team to license their technology. That same year they were the runner-ups at the New Venture Challenge taking home $50,000. Today, ExplORer Surgical aligns with many health systems’ goals of improving quality of care and lowering costs. Whether you’re a patient, member of a surgical team, an administration or are just obsessed with medical television dramas, visit explorersurgical.com to see how they are changing what it’s like to be in an operating room.   

Stats:

  • Founded by Jennifer Fried, MBA ’15  and CMO Alexander Langerman, MD ’05, SM, ’15,
  • 2nd place at the 2015 NVC ($50,000)
  • Polsky Incubator Alumn
  • Awarded $64,300 at the 2014 Spring Innovation Fund Finals
  • UChicago Startup Investment Program recipient (2017)

FoxTrot

What started out as a mobile app letting users shop a curated collection of drinks, food, and everyday essentials that are delivered to you in under an hour, now has two brick-and-mortar locations for those of you running to a party without a bag of chips and dip in hand. Founded in 2013, FoxTrot is a combination of “1 part store, 1 part curator, and 1 part delivery” giving the public access to quality goods in a convenient manner. Taking their idea and business model through Phase II of the 2013 NVC, founder Michael LaVitola, MBA ’14, has become a favorite Chicago startup that’s been recognized by the likes of CNN, and the always trendsetting, Thrillist. Whether you want some pie delivery to you from your favorite Chicago spot on a Friday night or you plan on bringing some party staples to your friends house, FoxTrot is proving it has you covered for any occasion. Go ahead, follow @foxtrotchicago and try not to order something, we dare you!

 

Stats:

  • Founded by Michael LlaVitola, MBA ’14
  • 2013 Phase II team of the NVC
  • Headquartered in Chicago, IL
  • @foxtrotchicago

GrubHub

Grubhub is an online food ordering and delivery service dedicated to connecting hungry diners with local takeout restaurants. The company’s online and mobile ordering platforms allow diners to order directly from approximately 50,000 takeout restaurants in more than 1,100 US cities and London. CEO and cofounder, Matt Maloney, MS, ’00, MBA ’10, and his team, started the company in 2004 and now processes more than 290,000 daily orders. The Grubhub NVC team won the competition in 2006 taking home $17,500, plus an additional $7,500 from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Today Grubhub has offices in Chicago, New York and London. Follow Grubhub, and order a snack while you’re at it @grubhub.

Stats:

  • Cofounder and CEO Matt Maloney, MS, ’00, MBA ’10
  • Tied for first place at the 2006 NVC ($17,500)
  • Headquartered in Chicago, IL with offices in Chicago, New York, and London
  • @grubhub

LuminAID

LuminAID Lab develops cost-effective, solar-rechargeable lighting products in order to make light more affordable, portable, and sustainable. Its first product, the LuminAID light, is an inflatable, lightweight, waterproof solar lantern that can be packed and shipped flat, and is ideal for use in emergency and disaster situation. Cofounders, Andrea Sreshta, MBA ’16, and Anna Stork started their company with the thought that in addition to basic human needs such as food, water, and shelter, another critical need is light. LuminAID is now lighting the way for hikers in Yosemite, backpackers in Whistler and emergency workers in Nepal. LuminAID also sparked the interest of ABC’s Shark Tank. In addition to impressing the investors on the television show, the company also wowed the judges at the 2012 Social New Venture Challenge winning first place and taking home $25,000. Today, LuminAID lights have been used in more than 70 countries and after disasters, including Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Harvey, Typhoon Haiyan, and the earthquakes in Nepal. You can buy a light, give a light, and follow @luminAIDlab to see what light bulb idea they’ll come up with next. 

Stats:

  • Founded by Andrea Sreshta, MBA ’16, and Anna Stork
  • 1st place at the 2012 SNVC ($25,000)
  • Headquartered in Chicago, IL
  • LuminAID was featured on Shark Tank and received offers from all 5 investors in 2015
  • @luminAIDlab

Mighty

Mighty believes that you are just as impactful as the banking industry. As a Polsky Incubator alum, we think Mighty is pretty impactful too. The company brings transparency into your choices to bank for impact, and to keep you connected to the impact of your money. Founded by Megan Hryndza, Mighty is dedicated to developing a technology that helps everyone experience greater transparency of impact in banking. Since 2013, these next-generation leaders have embarked on building next-generation banking experience. Follow @mightydeposits to see how they continue to make an impact.

 

Stats:

  • Founded by Megan Hryndza
  • Polsky Incubator Company — Community Affiliation
  • @mightydeposits

MoneyThink

MoneyThink is the only movement of young people working to restore the economic health of America through financial education. Founded by College alum Ted Gonder, AB ’12,  Moneythink is a resident of the Polsky Incubator with a vision that by the year 2030 every student will enter adulthood equipped with the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to navigate the financial decisions of the real world. Combining time-tested learning techniques with evidence-driven innovation, Moneythink is extending learning beyond the classroom. Follow @moneythink to see how they continue to change financial stats of young people across the country.

 

Stats:

  • Founded by Ted Gonder, AB ’12
  • Headquartered in Chicago, IL
  • @moneythink

NetEnergy

NETenergy is a thermal energy storage (TES) company known for its thermal battery that stores cold energy which can save building owners 30% or more on their energy usage and reduce carbon emission by 50%. Named Black Ice technology, this battery creation, works like an electrical battery, but is an intelligent energy storage solution. Founders Said Al-Hallaj and Mike Pintar, MBA ’16, developed the company to address the problem with on-peak energy consumption. With this in mind, the team competed in the 2015 New Venture Challenge and finished in second place bringing home $40,000, which included the inagual Khosa Maker Award. In addition, NETenergy is a former Polsky Exchange Incubator company. Follow NETenergy on LinkedIn and see how they are heating up the thermal energy game.

Stats:

  • Founded by Said Al-Hallaj and Mike Pintar, MBA ’16
  • 2nd place at the 2015 NVC (including the inaugural Khosa Maker Award)
  • Headquartered in Chicago

Parallel Works

Parallel Works is a Software-as-a-Service provider that removes the complexities of advanced computation to make large-scale modeling, simulation, and data analysis simple. In order to do so, technology was developed by the Computation Institute at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory. With a team made up of tech, industry, and business leaders, Parallel Works is dedicated to building a sustainable business that enhances the design, research, and development efforts of its customers while supporting the development and innovation of parallel computing technology. With its founder and CEO, Michael Wilde, leading the way, the company is driven by its mission to accelerate innovation in organizations around the world. Incubating with the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Polsky Exchange was one step in furthering this mission. Give Parallel Works a follow @ParallelWorks to see how they are shaking things up by advancing technical studies with high performance computing in the cloud. 

 

Stats:

  • Polsky Incubator Company
  • Argonne National Laboratory and Computation Institute at the University of Chicago affiliate
  • @ParallelWorks

PartySlate

PartySlate is a digital community for party hosts, professionals, guests, and spectators who want to find resources, photos, ideas and be in the know—across the country and world. It is a digital platform and mobile app dedicated to capturing, sharing, and curating party photos. Founded by Julie Novack and Kristin McMillin in 2015, this company is driven by the idea that inspired events inspire people. Whether it’s the venue, food, photography or entertainment, this former New Venture Challenge team has fine-tuned their craft. Follow @PartySlate to plan a gathering even Jay Gatsby would be proud of. 

 

Stats:

  • Founded by Julie Novack and Kristin McMillin
  • NVC Team
  • @PartySlate

PrepMe

PrepMe combines innovative technologies with the highest quality educational content to provide students with scalable, personalized feedback while engaging them through quality curricula. That’s right, PrepMe, which was acquired by Ascend Learning in 2011, has changed the game in the test preparation industry. Starting with exams like the SAT and ACT, the company offers online resources for standardized achievement tests, in particular those offered by the Educational Testing Service. With founders Karan Goel, MBA ’06, Avichai Garg, and Joe Jewell, leading the way, the company’s NVC team finished in first place at the 2005 competition taking home $20,000. Check out the impact they’ve made on education by following @ascend_learning.

 

Stats:

  • Founded by Karan Goel, MBA ’06, Avichai Garg, and Joe Jewell
  • 1st place at the 2005 NVC ($20,000)
  • Acquired by Ascend Leaning in 2011

Rise Interactive

Rise Interactive, formerly Internet Marketing Institute, is a digital marketing agency that specialized in digital media and advanced analytics. Founded in 2004 by Jon Morris, MBA ’05, with what was initially an idea to teach traditional marketers about digital has since grown into an award-winning digital marketing agency. After a second place finish at the 2008 New Venture Challenge, and taking home $10,000, Rise Interactive continues to help clients shift marketing investments while delivery relevant experiences for their customers. It its tenure, Rise Interactive has been recognized by Moxie, AdAge, Fortune and OMMA. Follow @RiseInteractive and see how your favorite companies like Atkins, Pandora Charms, Ulta Beauty, and more have benefited from their services.

 

Stats:

  • Founded by Jon Morris, MBA ’05
  • 2nd place at the 2008 NVC ($10,000)
  • @RiseInteractive

Seurat Therapeutics

Seurat Therapeutics is based on years of research by Richard Kraig, MD, PhD, at the University of Chicago that targets a naturally-derived cure for migraines aimed at the root cause rather than alleviating the symptoms. Based at the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s Polsky Exchange, the team has a vision to give the roughly 4 million people in the US who suffer from migraine their lives back. The migraine treatment is an Insulin-like-growth factor-1 (IGF-1) nasal spray formulation that can relieve migraines within 30 minutes. Seurat Therapeutics licensed their technology through the UCGo! express license program, participated in the Polsky I-Corps program, and was awarded up to $250,000 to support their developments by the University of Chicago Innovation Fund. Check out their LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on their efforts in eliminating the ever-pesky migraine.

 

Stats:

  • Research conducted by Richard Kraig, MD, PhD
  • Founded in 2016
  • Invested by the UChicago Innovation Fund (Fall 2016)
  • Headquartered in Chicago, IL

Simple Mills

Simple Mills makes delicious almond flour baking mixes with simple, nutrient-rich ingredients. Founder, CEO, and Chicago Booth student Katlin Smith started her company in 2013 based on a desire to create simple, healthy, and delicious food. Katlin and her team won first place at the 2014 New Venture Challenge taking home $30,000. Today, you can find their products at Whole Foods Market, Jewel Osco, Marianos, and Target. And, trust us, you’ll want all of them in your pantry. Follow their tasty, yet healthy journey @SimpleMills.

Stats
  • Founded by Katlin Smith
  • Won 1st Place of the NVC in 2014 ($30,000)
  • Headquartered in Chicago, IL
  • @SimpleMills

SoCore Energy

SoCore Energy LLC is humble, hungry, and smart — it’s actually the company’s motto. SoCore Energy is the market leader in solar portfolio development and commercial rooftop installations. By combining engineering excellence and financial innovation, the company has discovered how to reduce the operational and bottom-line expense of solar energy implementation, cut energy costs, and hedge against utility-rase increase. Founder Pete Kadens and his NVC team finished in third place at the 2008 competition and took home $10,000. Almost 10 years later, SoCore Energy continues to live up to their motto. Follow @SoCore_Solar, to see how they continue to heat up.

 

 

Stats:

  • Founded by Pete Kadens
  • 3rd Place at the 2008 NVC ($10,000)
  • Headquartered in Chicago, IL
  • @SoCore_Solar

Tovala

Tovala, formerly Maestro, is a smart counter-top appliance that cooks a fresh, complete meal by itself, after customers insert fresh grains, vegetables, and proteins into custom pods. CEO and founder, David Rabie, MBA ’15, started his company in hopes of creating a home-cooked meal in less time. With the mission to live and eat well, David and his team won first place at the 2015 New Venture Challenge bringing home $70,000, along with some great meals. Today, the Tovala team is based in Chicago and exceeded its kickstarter campaign goal of $100,000 in less than 24 hours. Today, you can buy your very own Tovala steam oven and impress all your dinner guest with some impressive meals. Follow @tovalafood and see what’s for dinner.

Stats:

TransparentCareer

TransparentCareer is a network-based compensation sharing platform that allows users to understand their fair pay and visualize their entire career paths. Founded in 2015 by Mitch Kirby, MBA ’16, and current Chicago Booth student, Kevin Marvinac, the company’s first platform, TransparentMBA enabled business professionals to make smarter career choices and matches employers with the right business talent. Today, nearly half of all MBA students in the US use TransparentCareer to discover better data on what different companies paid MBAs, overall job enjoyment, how different choices impact long-term careers, and more. Not only are other MBA students impressed, so were the judges at the 2016 NVC. So much so that TransparentCareer was awarded $90,000 and named the first place winner of the competition that year. Give @get_transparent a follow to see how to position yourself for your next big career move.

Stats:

  • Founded by Mitch Kirby, MBA ’16 and Kevin Marvinac, MBA candidate.
  • 1st place at the 2016 NVC ($90,000)
  • Accepeted into the Pritzker Group Venture Fellows Program for summer 2016 (earned $20,000 in funding)
  • Partnering with MBA programs across the United States including Chicago Booth
  • Headquartered in Chicago, IL
  • @get_transparent

Select Licensees and Partners

The Polsky Center has partnered with a number of company partners to further develop University-based technologies through licenses and sponsored research. The Polsky Center is proud to continue these relationships and seeks to build new partnerships. Learn more about some of our current partners by clicking on the logos below or visiting the Select Licensees page.

AbbVie

AbbVie provides funding for a collaboration with UChicago that supports preclinical research, clinical trials and possible future programs at the University resulting from this partnership. The overall collaborative efforts provide University of Chicago physicians and researchers with the opportunity to participate in AbbVie-sponsored clinical trials, access to new therapies developed by AbbVie for use in preclinical research funded under the collaboration, and engagement with AbbVie’s research and development teams to promote scientific knowledge exchange. Stay up-to-date on all AbbVie’s biopharmaceutical news @Abbvie.

 

Stats:

  • Five year partnership with UChicago
  • Learn more about AbbVie’s partnership with the Polsky Center here.

 

AduroBiotech

This company is transforming lives and isn’t looking back. As pioneers in immunotherapy, Aduro Biotech is transforming lives by discovering, developing, and commercializing immunotherapies that are making big changes in the treatment of challenging diseases like cancer. Collaborating with the Polsky Center’s Technology Commercialization and Licensing team, Aduro Biotech is paving the way with several leading-edge proprietary technologies designed to initiate and sustain the immune system to mobilize and attack tumors. With an extensive pipeline of three proprietary technology platforms — Live, Attenuated Double-Dated (LADD), STRING Pathway Activators, and B-select monoclonal antibodies –immunotherapies have been developed to target a variety of cancers as well as infectious and autoimmune diseases. Follow along with Aduro Biotech’s journey on LinkedIn as they look to continue changing the landscape of cancer care.

 

Stats:

  • Principal Investigator – Tom Gajewski
  • Headquartered in Berkley, CA
  • Deal Date- 2016
  • Current Status- Phase I: Clinical Trial Launched

AgileMD

Agile MD, formerly known as Agile Diagnosis, is a web, mobile, and EHR-integrated application that provides clinicians fast access to guidelines, protocols, and reference information. Thanks to AgileMD, organizations are improving the quality of care, reducing unnecessary utilization, and lowering the risk of medical error. In fact, founder, Borna Safabakhsh, MBA ’11, and his team won first place at the 2011 NVC, and $25,000, with this idea. Now headquartered in San Francisco, AgileMD has supported over 40,000 clinicians and over 15,000 medical documents are published through the platform. AgileMD is also the only clinical decision engine and guideline platform available on every device. Go give @agileMD a follow to stay up-to-date on their journey — no excuses Droid users.

 

Stats:

  • Founded by Borna Safabakhsh, MBA ’11
  • 1st place at the 2011 NVC ($25,000)
  • Headquartered in San Francisco, CA
  • @agileMD

ClostraBio

ClostraBio is dedicated to understanding and treating food allergies and other disease of the immune system. Founded in 2016 by Cathryn R. Nagler, PhD and Jeffrey A. Hubbell, PhD, ColstraBio is making strides in the discovery and development of new therapeutics that modulate the protective ability of the microbiome. ClostraBio’s team is passionate about treating diseases linked to allergic reactions like eczema, asthma, and allergic rhinitis. With assistance from the Polsky Center’s Technology Commercialization and Licensing team, the company was advised on how to define and protect its intellectual property. With this knowledge and their goals in mind, the company set its sights on the 2017 New Venture Challenge and the UChicago Innovation Fund. John Colson, PhD, Director of Operations, along with Chicago Booth students, William Aubin, Su Fu, and Monica Vajani were awarded $40,000 and a fourth place finish at the NVC. That same week, ClostraBio was awarded up to $200,000 by the Innovation Fund advisory committee after the team’s presentation on their work that targets food allergies. The company has been featured by CBS News, BBC News, and Time Magazine among others. Go give this company a follow @ClostraBio as they look to transform the classification of allergic reactions as we know it.

Stats:

  • Founded by Cathryn R. Nagler, PhD and Jeffrey A. Hubbell, PhD
  • 4th place at the 2017 New Venture Challenge
  • Awarded up to $200,000 at the 2017 Innovation Fund Finals
  • Headquartered in Chicago, IL
  • @ClostraBio

Electrochaea

UChicago licensee Electrochaea, named one of the 100 Global Cleantech companies in 2014, uses electricity generated by the sun or wind to convert water and carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into methane, the chief ingredient of natural gas. Electrochaea’s technology developed by Laurens Mets, PhD and UChicago allows storage of renewable energy as natural gas, making it a more attractive energy option and providing the potential for European countries to reduce dependence on foreign sources of natural gas.

Stats:

  • Principal Investigator – Laurens Mets
  • Deal Date – 2010
  • Current Status – Venture backed, building commercial scale facility in Denmark
  • Industry – Clean Tech
  • Learn more about Electrochaea in this press release 

Evelo Therapeutics

Licensee Evelo Therapeutics will advance an immunotherapy developed by University of Chicago oncologist Thomas Gajewski that employs certain gut microbes to boost the immune system’s attack on cancer cells and improve the effectiveness of anti-cancer drugs. Evelo, Gajewski, and UChicago will work together to bring this technology to the patient setting as quickly as possible, while continuing to explore the mechanisms of the microbiome in cancer.

Stats:

  • Principal Investigator – Tom Gajewski
  • Deal Date – 2016
  • Industry — Microbiome
  • Current Status — Venture backed
  • Learn more about Evelo Therapeutics in this press releases

Everyday Learning

Each year, approximately 4.3 million students in 220,000 US classrooms use Everyday Mathematics, a comprehensive pre-K through grade 6 mathematics program developed by the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project and initially distributed by a University start-up, Everyday Learning.

Stats:

  • Principle Investigator – Max Bell and Zalman Usiskin
  • Deal Date – 1998
  • Industry — Education
  • Current Status – Acquired by McGraw-Hill, widely used curriculum

ExplORer Surgical

ExplORer Surgical is an interactive surgical playbook that promotes optimal teamwork in the operating room. Best practices are built into a surgeon-customized workflow for each case. Surgical activity can be tracked and adjusted as part of a learning health system. Founded by CEO Jennifer Fried, MBA ’15, and CMO Alexander Langerman, MD ’05, SM, ’15, the company launched with a goal to create safer and more efficient surgery in 2015. The company worked with the Polsky Center’s Technology Commercialization and Licensing team to license their technology. That same year they were the runner-ups at the New Venture Challenge taking home $50,000. Today, ExplORer Surgical aligns with many health systems’ goals of improving quality of care and lowering costs. Whether you’re a patient, member of a surgical team, an administration or are just obsessed with medical television dramas, visit explorersurgical.com to see how they are changing what it’s like to be in an operating room.   

Stats:

  • Founded by Jennifer Fried, MBA ’15  and CMO Alexander Langerman, MD ’05, SM, ’15,
  • 2nd place at the 2015 NVC ($50,000)
  • Polsky Incubator Alumn
  • Awarded $64,300 at the 2014 Spring Innovation Fund Finals
  • UChicago Startup Investment Program recipient (2017)

Phillips 66

Dr. Luping Yu developed new chemical compounds to generate highly efficient organic photovoltaic solar cells as a source of clean energy. Dr. Yu’s compounds have reached record efficiencies compared to other material. The technology was licensed to Phillips 66 in early 2014.

Stats:

  • Principle Investigator – Luping Yu
  • Deal Date – 2014
  • Industry – Clean Tech
  • Current Status – In-development

Seurat Therapeutics

Seurat Therapeutics is based on years of research by Richard Kraig, MD, PhD, at the University of Chicago that targets a naturally-derived cure for migraines aimed at the root cause rather than alleviating the symptoms. Based at the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s Polsky Exchange, the team has a vision to give the roughly 4 million people in the US who suffer from migraine their lives back. The migraine treatment is an Insulin-like-growth factor-1 (IGF-1) nasal spray formulation that can relieve migraines within 30 minutes. Seurat Therapeutics licensed their technology through the UCGo! express license program, participated in the Polsky I-Corps program, and was awarded up to $250,000 to support their developments by the University of Chicago Innovation Fund. Check out their LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on their efforts in eliminating the ever-pesky migraine.

 

Stats:

  • Research conducted by Richard Kraig, MD, PhD
  • Founded in 2016
  • Invested by the UChicago Innovation Fund (Fall 2016)
  • Headquartered in Chicago, IL