The University of Chicago’s culture of inquiry and intellectual rigor has led to several breakthroughs in medicine, science, and business that have changed the way we live and the way we think. As the spirit of innovation thrives across campus and beyond, the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation fuels the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators with the knowledge, skills, and experience to make a powerful social and economic impact.
Focus on Experiential Learning
The entrepreneurship curriculum dates back to 1998 when the first course was offered at Chicago Booth. Today, the university offers a wide range of entrepreneurship courses, which pair the fundamentals of finance, economics, and strategy with innovative hands-on learning.
Learn more about the entrepreneurship courses offered at Chicago Booth and find out which courses are open to faculty and students enrolled at the College and in other graduate programs at the University.
Courses for Scientists
The Polsky Center offers two free, non-credit courses for scientists at the University of Chicago and affiliated national labs who are interested in learning more about entrepreneurship and venture capital. Both courses are taught by Booth faculty members and catered to the scientific community. Each course requires a separate application to be considered for enrollment – current graduate students, faculty, researchers, and staff conducting scientific research and study at UChicago, Argonne National Lab, Fermilab, and the Marine Biological Laboratory are eligible to apply. Interested participants should complete the application; the Booth registrar’s office does not register students until after you have been accepted to the respective course. Please note that Booth students are not eligible to participate. Attendance at all class sessions is mandatory. Additional details on the courses for scientists are below.
BUSN 34501: Entrepreneurship for Science and Medicine
Taught by Prof. Robert Altman, Entrepreneurship for Science and Medicine will provide an introduction to the field of entrepreneurship, not only familiarizing participants with common topics and frameworks, but also introducing them to real-life entrepreneurs and investors. Given its audience, the course will have a special focus on entrepreneurship in scientific fields and how scientists can play a role in the commercialization of their research and inventions. The goal of the course is to provide a greater understanding around what it takes to bring a research discovery or idea to market for a larger societal impact.
Individuals interested in an introduction to entrepreneurship are encouraged to apply; neither a team nor an idea is necessary for acceptance. This course can serve as a precursor to or a continuation of the Polsky Center I-Corps Program. Entrepreneurship for Science and Medicine will be offered in the Autumn 2022 quarter. The application is available here and due on Friday, September 23 at 5pm CT.
Questions? Contact Anna Wislocki, assistant director, sciences and the Duality Accelerator at the Polsky Center, at firstname.lastname@example.org
BUSN 34502: Introduction to Venture Capital: A Toolkit for Analyzing and Financing Startups
The Introduction to Venture Capital class is a combination of Professor Scott Meadow’s Commercializing Innovation and Entrepreneurial Finance + Private Equity classes taught at Chicago Booth. This class will serve as a comprehensive introduction to the world of venture capital and equip you with the tools to analyze a private enterprise (startup). The first half of the course will focus on “building intellectual proof of concept” – a research- and data-driven approach to communicating the strategy and underlying economics of a new venture in an effective manner. The second half of the course will focus on the venture capitalist’s perspective on financing new enterprises and provide you with an understanding of valuation, security design, term sheet design, and the legal documentation and negotiation process that occurs around a startup financing event and exit. You’ll learn the methods of analysis to make the proper judgment from the investor’s point-of-view. The course will require that you develop primary and secondary research skills, a data-driven approach to creating referenceable projections, presentation skills, negotiation skills, and the ability to do meaningful analysis (i.e. to think creatively and logically).
Introduction to Venture Capital will be offered in Winter 2023. Additional details on the application process will be updated during the Autumn 2022 quarter.
Questions? Contact Ellen Zatkowski, associate director for science programs and initiatives at the Polsky Center, at email@example.com.
Meet the Faculty
Meet the entrepreneurship and private equity faculty at Chicago Booth who rank among the top educators in the world.