$35 Million Gift Boosts U. of Chicago Innovation Programs


Clean-energy executive Michael Polsky has donated $35 million to the University of Chicago to expand a center he helped establish to aid young entrepreneurs taking new ideas to market. An article in the Chicago Tribune quoted Polsky saying that he hopes the move will ingrain the center's ethos of sparking innovation and entrepreneurship both on and off campus into the entire university's culture. The larger goal is to create a research, innovation and entrepreneurship hub around the university. 

The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation will be integrated with the campus's other business-innovation programs making it easier for entrepreneurs to connect with the necessary resources. "To go from early idea to initial commercialization, you need a clear path and you need transparency," Polsky said. "Barriers need to be removed. By coming together in one unified structure, all parts will be working together." U. of C. also plans to add programming, such as training for early startup leadership, especially in science-based companies, which will benefit from having a physical presence near University scientists and students.