The University of Chicago has announced a $35 million gift from alumnus and trustee Michael Polsky (MBA '87) to establish a unified center for entrepreneurship and innovation.
The gift will be used to expand the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation by combining in a single facility the university's programs in venture creation and education, technology commercialization, and business incubation. Among other things, the unified center, which will be led by John Flavin, an entrepreneur who is currently executive director of the university's Chicago Innovation Exchange, is expected to streamline access to venture support resources for faculty, students, staff, and corporate partners, create new programs, and provide increased support for alumni entrepreneurs.
Polsky, founder and CEO of Invenergy, graduated from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 1987 and currently serves as a UChicago trustee. His latest gift boosts his total giving to the university since 2002 to $50 million, including gifts to endow and expand the Michael P. Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Chicago Booth.
"The University of Chicago has an expanding commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship, driven by the increasing interest among our students and faculty across academic disciplines," said UChicago president Robert J. Zimmer. "This gift will create new ways for individuals to turn their ideas into solutions in fields as diverse as science, engineering, business, policy, and education. We are grateful to Michael Polsky for his generosity and continued support of innovation and entrepreneurship at the university."