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Maroon and Gray Chicago Booth's 125th Anniversary Logo

Booth has been at the forefront of innovation for 125 years. One of the first two business schools in the United States, we pioneered a new approach to business education in the early 20th century and have been leading the way ever since.

Here are just a few examples. We were the first business school in the nation to offer a PhD in business—and the first to award that degree to a woman. We were the first to expand business education to experienced executives when we introduced the world’s first executive MBA program. We were the first US business school with permanent campuses on three continents. And we pioneered MBA leadership development with our pathbreaking LEAD program.

Today, Booth continues to drive innovation on a global scale. Our 13 research centers support groundbreaking work on everything from financial markets and international business to leadership and the social sector. Our Healthcare Initiative, for example, brings together scholars from across disciplines to improve the delivery of healthcare, while the Center for Decision Research supports pioneering work on how we make judgments and choices, including with Mindworks, a working lab and an interactive discovery center for behavioral science.

Our innovative spirit and history of entrepreneurship education also permeates the student experience. Students with an entrepreneurial drive compete each year for startup funding in the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s New Venture Challenge (NVC). One of the top-ranked university accelerator programs in the world, the NVC has helped launch more than 370 businesses, including now-familiar brands such as Grubhub, Braintree/Venmo, and Simple Mills. The NVC has expanded to include separate tracks for Booth alumni, students in the College, and social entrepreneurs.

125 Years of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Learn more about our history as a place for innovation and entrepreneurship, and discover the history behind the leaders of our business school whose ideas and innovative approach to business education have helped pave the way for our students to create enduring, global impact.

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Discover the Impact of our Alumni

Our alumni have launched disruptive companies, transformed industries, and made enduring impact globally. Discover more about their bold ideas and leadership across the globe. 

Learn More About Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Booth

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Catalyzing Ideas into Impact

Catalyzing Ideas into Impact

The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation fuels the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators with the knowledge, skills, and experience they need to turn their ideas into successful companies, products, and services.

The Polsky Center runs the Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge (NVC), which is recognized as one of the top accelerator programs in the nation along with accelerators such as Y Combinator and Techstars. Polsky has more than 60 professionals on staff and works with seasoned entrepreneurs and investors to provide guidance and support along the entrepreneurial journey.

The center manages the Svider Private Equity Program, which includes a variety of networking opportunities and experiential programs such as the Private Equity/Venture Capital Lab class and the Innovation Fund Associates program. These opportunities prepare students for a potential career in private equity and venture capital.

In recent years, the Polsky Center has helped Chicago Booth emerge as a leading university for training students on the model of entrepreneurship through acquisition (ETA), the process of running a search fund and seeking a company to acquire and manage. ETA resources include an annual conference, podcast series, and class at Booth, as well as additional resources for students interested in this career path.

Polsky is also home to the University of Chicago’s technology transfer office, which manages the technology and invention portfolio emerging from faculty research. Through events such as the Collaboratorium, MBA students and scientists come together to bring these nascent scientific discoveries to the market.

Learn more about the Polsky Center

Stories from our Community

Engage with us on social media to learn more about the Booth community.

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A New Way to Teach Math

Some of the most effective solutions for students struggling with math are expensive and difficult to scale. That’s why Gabriela Arismendi, ’21, and current student Qian Deng cofounded a startup that turns STEM education on its head. Learn more about the SNVC winners.

A New Way to Teach Math

Explore More

Interested in one of our MBA programs? Looking to attend an event that celebrates our 125th-year anniversary, or give to Booth? Continue your engagement with us.

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MBA Programs

Achieve more with an MBA degree from Chicago Booth. Offered in four formats—including Executive MBA programs based in Chicago, London, and Hong Kong—to suit your personal and professional goals.

MBA Programs
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Discover the impact, diversity, and reach of our global alumni community.