The Polsky Center collaborates with entrepreneurs and organizations across the business community to hold industry-specific conferences that build on the strength of the regional economy.
As part of the Donald W. Hamer, '58, Small Business Initiative, the Polsky Center launched the Exploring Entrepreneurship Series in 2006 to examine specific industries that are key to the economic growth of the region. Through this program, students, faculty, alumni, and members of the regional business community are brought together to study both the challenges and opportunities facing an industry's ability to grow and maintain leadership. The series has focused on the education industry (2010), the food industry (2009), and the futures trading industry (2006).
In January 2010, Chicago Booth collaborated with the University of Chicago's Urban Education Institute and Harris School for Public Policy, to hold Exploring Entrepreneurship: Innovations in the Midwest Education Industry. The event brought together educators, administrators, entrepreneurs, investors, and other leaders across the industry, who examined the trends taking place in this sector and made recommendations for its future growth. Watch video of all the program sessions.
In April 2009, Chicago Booth and the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC) collaborated to sponsor From Farm to Fork: Innovations in the Chicago Food Industry, which explored the trends and opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurial ventures in the Chicago food industry. A follow-up white paper (PDF) includes insights and recommendations from the conference proceedings. In addition, the CEC developed a resource handbook (PDF) for Chicago and Illinois food entrepreneurs to help them grow. Watch video of all the program sessions and read the event coverage.
In May 2006, the Polsky Center examined the Chicago Futures Trading Industry. Read the white paper (PDF) compiled by Chicago Booth students who recommend six ways the Chicago Mercantile Exchange can promote Chicago's prominence in the trading industry. Read event coverage.
For more information on this initiative, please email Linda Darragh, clinical associate professor of entrepreneurship and director of entrepreneurship programs.
Together with a number of partnering organizations, the Polsky Center sponsors the Midwest Energy Forum (MEF), which brings together researchers, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and others interested in green technology to learn about some of the most exciting developments within the renewable technology sector. This year, through the Clean Energy Challenge, $130,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to the top company presentations at the Midwest Energy Forum.