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When you’re logged into the member portal, you gain access to member exclusives, room bookings, and additional resources curated just for members.

This week's featured Mentor

Jason Ullman is the CEO of RhinoBox, ​which provides an enterprise-wide content management and workflow automation software​ called WorkLight. ​He began programming professionally in 1999, has an MBA in finance and marketing, and now works at the intersection of business, technology, and operations. He can help with any of these areas, as well as accountability, communication, and values based leadership.


Member-Only Exclusives

As part of your membership, we are happy to extend exclusive offers from generous partners of the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Hyde Park Art Center

The Hyde Park Art Center inspires creativity through dynamic art-centered interactions. Joint programming between the Polsky Center and the Hyde Park Art Center creates opportunities for innovation that serve our respective member and artist communities. The Hyde Park Art Center also offers Polsky members complimentary Art Center Membership, which includes the following:

  • Invitations to members-only exhibition previews and special events
  • $20 off regular tuition on 10-week studio art courses in the Oakman Clinton School & Studios at the Art Center
  • $10 off 5-week studio art courses in the Oakman Clinton School & Studio
  • $20 off Creativity Camp, the Art Center’s summer camp for kids
  • $20 off children’s birthday parties hosted at the Art Center

The Hyde Park Art Center offers free membership and discounts on classes when using the code CIEMEM15


Stripe is a multi-channel service that allows your business to accept payments online and in mobile apps. This member-only exclusive will waive all fees on your first $15,000 of card transactions processed in your first year with Stripe. If you are already processing using Stripe, the company will waive fees on your *next* $15,000 in processing.

Terms and edge cases: There is a one-year expiration. If you haven’t processed $15,000 one year after activating, you’ll return to Stripe’s regular fee schedule. Dispute fees are not waived.

Active the deal by emailing Stripe and providing your email address associated with the account.


Braintree is a full-stack payments platform that makes it easy to accept payments on your app or website.

When you sign up with Braintree Ignite, there are no fees on your first $50,000 of sales volume. After your business crosses the $50,000 threshold, the standard 2.9% + $.30 per transaction rate applies. Chargebacks will still incur a $15 fee during this promotion.

For activation and further details on exclusive programs, send an email to Eric Baumgartner and mention your affiliation with the Polsky Center.

AWS activate

Amazon Web Services provides startups with low cost, easy to use infrastructure needed to scale and grow any size business. AWS Activate is a program designed to provide startups with the resources needed to get started on AWS.

AWS Activate provides the following:

  • $10,000 in AWS credits valid for 2 years
  • Free access to the AWS Essentials 1 day web-based or instructor-led training (normally ~$600/course), plus 8 tokens for self-paced labs (normally ~$30/lab)
  • One year of premium AWS Business Support (up to $5,000)
  • Free access to 1:1 virtual office hours with AWS solutions architects
  • Special offers from other companies that help startups, including Chef, Cloudability, Bitnami, Amazon Payments, SOASTA, Alert Logic, CopperEgg and more.

Visit the AWS Activate page to learn more and register using Organization ID: uYCH. Please do not share this ID outside the Polsky Center. Amazon will ask the Polsky Center to verify your membership, and then apply credits to your future invoices within the month.

Fine print: Generally available to companies that have raised less than $1.5M in capital. Some rational judgment will be made in cases where multiple redemptions have been requested.


Zipcar offers rental cars by the hour or by the day, with 24/7 self-service access — gas and insurance included.

The Polsky Center has partnered with Zipcar to offer our members a sweet deal. Members can set up a Zipcar account for free ($75 set-up fee waived) and employees can join the account for only $35 a year (a $35 savings), plus enjoy 10-20% off driving rates Monday-Friday.

To set-up your Zipcar account

Hyatt Place

The Hyatt Place hotel is located around the corner from the Polsky Exchange at 5225 S. Harper Ave, Chicago.  The offer to Polsky members is 15% off best available rate.

Growth of Private Equity in a Challenging Environment: the 23rd Annual Private Equity Conference

Last week the Polsky Center and the Chicago Booth Private Equity Group hosted the 23rd annual Private Equity Conference, bringing investors, students, and entrepreneurs together to network and share insights…

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