The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation offers financial resources for students interested in entrepreneurship. Financial support covers awards and scholarships, funding for internships, as well as competition prizes that serve as seed money for new ventures.
Prizes in the form of cash, legal services, professional consulting, and incubator space are awarded to the top teams that make it to the final stage of the New Venture Challenge business plan competition. A distinguished panel of judges determines how the funds are awarded among the finalist teams. In 2011, a total of $75,000 was awarded to the top businesses. This serves as seed money for the teams develop their business plans into fully functioning businesses.
The summer Entrepreneurial Internship Program provides half of a Chicago Booth student’s salary as well as benefits during a 10-week internship. Thanks to generous support from alumni and friends of the Polsky Center, this subsidy eases the monetary burden on the small and sometimes fledgling companies who employ Chicago Booth students.
The Herman Family Fellowship was established in 1995 by Karen and Michael Herman, '64, to provide incoming female students with an opportunity to pursue their entrepreneurial interests. Each year an incoming female student dedicated to studying entrepreneurship is given a financial award to span her two-year MBA education at Chicago Booth. She also will join the family of Herman Family Fellows, allowing her to participate in yearly reunions hosted by the Herman Family and the Polsky Center. There is no formal application process for the Herman Family Fellowship. Admitted students are nominated for the fellowship.
The Canfield Private Equity Fellowship was established in 1998 by Philip A. Canfield, '96. Each year, two incoming students are selected to receive a fellowship that includes financial assistance toward graduate study and internship at private equity firms in Chicago.
The Promising Entrepreneur Award, generated from the Sita and Vijay Vashee, ’77, and Promising Entrepreneur Endowment Fund, began in 2006 and provides a monetary award to one graduating student who has demonstrated leadership in entrepreneurship at Chicago Booth.
Students have the opportunity to participate in a number of nationally known business competitions during their time at Chicago Booth. The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation can provide financial support for travel and lodging expenses for these competitions and also connects students with an entrepreneurship faculty member to advise them in these endeavors. Funding is limited, so interested students are encouraged to contact the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation for more details.