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Chicago Booth MBA Admissions & Related Blogs

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New post 07 May 2014, 15:00
FROM Booth Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship: The New Venture Challenge tests student startups to their limit....
The New Venture Challenge tests student startups to their limit. Follow the Journey.

Episode 1: At Chicago Booth, founder Katlin Smith is learning how to take her growing baking-mix company to the big time through the New Venture Challenge.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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New post 19 May 2014, 14:00
FROM Booth Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship: Join Us for UChicago Innovation Week! May 22-30
Join Us for UChicago Innovation Week! May 22-30: Join UChicago students, faculty, researchers, staff, and alumni for a weeklong celebration of innovation, entrepreneurship, and collaboration across the University of Chicago campus and beyond.Over 15 activities and workshops, guest presentations and special events will be hosted throughout the week, providing numerous opportunities to learn about UChicago’s innovation network, and entrepreneurship resources, including the newly-created Chicago Innovation Exchange.

Click through to see the full lineup of Innovation Week events!
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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New post 22 May 2014, 10:00
FROM Booth Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship: Announcing the Finalists for the 2014 Social and Traditional New Venture Challenge!
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Congrats to the 2014 New Venture Challenge and Social NVC Finalists!
The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Social Enterprise Initiative are pleased to announce the finalists for this year’s Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge (NVC) and the John Edwardson, ’72, Social New Venture Challenge (SNVC). Congratulations to all of the teams for another superb competition this year! We invite you to join us for the finals events, which are a part of UChicago Innovation Week. Winners of all tracks of the NVC and the Mobile App Challenge will be recognized at the Innovation Showcase, which immediately follows the NVC finals on May 29.

Read about the finalists after the jump!

Tuesday, May 274th Annual John Edwardson, ‘72, Social New Venture Challenge Finals and ReceptionHarper Center C-25, 12:30 – 5 p.m.Join us on May 27 to watch SNVC finalist teams present to a panel of distinguished judges and compete for $50,000 in cash prizes and legal services:

  • FarmStacker (www.farmstacker.com), the winning hack at Hack//Meat Silicon Valley in July 2013, is an online platform to connect beginning farmers with available land. By reducing barriers to entry, we hope to promote organic and sustainable farming and provide consumers with greater access to healthy food.
  • Hello Tractor is a services company that provides two-wheel tractors to small farmers to increase crop yields and combat against income and food insecurity. The company is focused on easing small farmer pain by providing them reliable, well-maintained, and quickly accessible tractor service to solve their most crucial need - timely preparation of the land.
  • HeroTechForge is a federal IT sub‐contractor that assists veterans’ transitions from the military to high paying in‐demand careers in the technology sector through on‐the‐job training. It provides the counseling, support, and training needed for veterans that might otherwise be locked into low-paying employment.                                 
  • InterChange is a new and efficient way for international students to transfer money from their home countries to the US, and acquire financial knowledge that will make their lives easier. 
  • Moxie Leadership is an intensive, four-year out-of-school program teaching girls the 85% of tools for success they don’t learn in school. Women of color make less than 60 cents on the dollar, so while they graduate college at faster rates, they aren’t seeing the fruits of their academic success. Moxie Leadership develops the social and emotional intelligence of middle school girls, which constitutes 85% of their success, in order to increase their long-term earning potential and develop a generation of women catalyzing change in our communities.
  • YogaCare provides affordable access to yoga in underserved communities.  We improve individual and community health by providing low-cost therapeutic tools to manage stress, pain, and lifestyle diseases in safe spaces where community members are empowered to live healthy lifestyles.
 Thursday, May 2918th Annual Edward L. Kaplan, ‘71, New Venture Challenge FinalsHarper Center C-25, 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is pleased to announce the nine teams that will compete in the NVC finals and vie for $100,000 in cash prizes and business services:

  • Ameus is a distribution start-up that provides a data-driven online B2B e-commerce platform to help small- and medium-sized businesses source high quality, low cost electronic components from the most competitive Chinese manufacturers. 
  • AutoBike (www.evolvethebike.com) enhances the bicycle riding experience through an automatic shifting system designed to keep riders in the perfect gear at all times.
  • CreditServe is an online platform that gives members of self-identified affinity groups the opportunity to crowd-source loans as a viable alternative to predatory PayDay loans and the otherwise limited financial assistance available to the underserved and under-banked. In it’s inception, CreditServe will focus on the active duty military community.
  • HighStride (www.highstriderun.com/) is a web and mobile app that makes personalized training accessible to a larger mass of runners by providing adaptive training plans to individual runners and training management services for coaches.
  • Inscites Research is a National Science Foundation-funded digital start-up developed by scientists to integrate into a researcher’s workflow and allow easy and secure knowledge curation and collaboration.
  • Janus Choice uses mobile technology to optimize and improve current hospital discharge processes. It works to reduce healthcare costs and 30‐day readmission rates and promote patients’ choice and satisfaction by providing patients with better transitional care.
  • RoomVa is a web site (www.roomva.com) and mobile app (Google Play Store) that allows couples in Latin America to find a hotel on the spot. As most of Latin American young adults live with their parents, the demand for private space is very high. RoomVa shows couples the nearby options, gives descriptions of the hotel and rooms, and provides a room reservation platform for couples.
  • Simple Mills (www.simplemills.com) is a rapidly growing Chicago-based food start-up that’s transforming the baking mix grocery aisle. They make almond flour baking mixes with simple, nutrient-rich ingredients that also taste great. The products are low-sugar, low-glycemic, paleo-friendly, non-GMO, free of gluten, soy, dairy and hard-to-pronounce ingredients.
  • SmartLine is a mobile waitlist management solution that replaces the traditional pen/paper and buzzer system.
 UChicago App Challenge FinalsHarper Center 104-A, 3 – 4 p.m.From an original 141 entries and 18 semi-finalists, UChicago IT Services selected the top three finalists for the second annual App Challenge, who will compete for the $10,000 grand prize at the Harper Center on May 29. Plan to come out and show your support for your favorite app! Winners will be announced at the UChicagoInnovation ShowcaseUChicago Innovation ShowcaseHarper Center Winter Garden, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.The third annual Innovation Showcase will bring together students, faculty, and staff from across the campus for an interactive celebration of entrepreneurship, innovation, and collaboration in the university community. More than 35 groups and start-ups will be featured, including the winners of the NVC, SNVC, College NVC, and the UChicago App Challenge.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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New post 29 May 2014, 07:00
FROM Booth Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship: Today’s the day! Prepping for the 18th Annual Edward L....
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Today’s the day! Prepping for the 18th Annual Edward L. Kaplan, ‘71, New Venture Challenge. Follow #ChicagoNVC throughout the day for updates! #ChicagoBooth #UChicago #startup #entrepreneur #challenge
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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New post 30 May 2014, 05:00
FROM Booth Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship: RoomVa and Simple Mills win 2014 New Venture Challenge!
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Photo source: Twitter

Bright lights, cameras, and big crowds. The atmosphere at the 2014 Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge (NVC) finals, held on May 29, fortified the fact that entrepreneurship in Chicago is thriving with creatively viable businesses, now more than ever. The Winter Garden at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business was packed with hundreds of eager audience members and finalists waiting to hear the big announcement – which teams would win a share of the $100,000 cash prizes and $100,000 in business services?

After a few introductory remarks, the winners of this year’s NVC were announced:

Earlier in the day, the large semi-circular room, which boasted standing room only, held a captivated and engaged audience as the nine NVC finalists pitched their businesses to investors, entrepreneurs, and fellow classmates. The pressure was palpable, as each team was competing for cash and in kind prizes in order to further promote successful, high-growth companies.

Read more about each team after the jump:

Ameus: a distribution start-up that provides a data-driven online B2B e-commerce platform to help small- and medium-sized businesses source high quality, low cost electronic components from the most competitive Chinese manufacturers.

AutoBike: a company that enhances the bicycle riding experience through an automatic shifting system designed to keep riders in the perfect gear at all times.

CreditServe: an online platform that gives members of self-identified affinity groups the opportunity to crowd-source loans as a viable alternative to predatory PayDay loans and the otherwise limited financial assistance available to the underserved and under-banked. In its inception, CreditServe will focus on the active duty military community.

HighStride: a web and mobile app that makes personalized training accessible to a larger mass of runners by providing adaptive training plans to individual runners and training management services for coaches.

Inscites Research, Inc: a National Science Foundation-funded digital start-up developed by scientists to integrate into a researcher’s workflow and allow easy and secure knowledge curation and collaboration.

Janus Choice: a company that uses mobile technology to optimize and improve current hospital discharge processes. It works to reduce healthcare costs and 30‐day readmission rates and promote patients’ choice and satisfaction by providing patients with better transitional care.

RoomVa: a web site (www.roomva.com) and mobile app (Google Play Store) that allows couples in Latin America to find a hotel on the spot. As most of Latin American young adults live with their parents, the demand for private space is very high. RoomVa shows couples the nearby options, gives descriptions of the hotel and rooms, and provides a room reservation platform for couples.

Simple Mills: a rapidly growing Chicago-based food start-up that’s transforming the baking mix grocery aisle. They make almond flour baking mixes with simple, nutrient-rich ingredients that also taste great. The products are low-sugar, low-glycemic, paleo-friendly, non-GMO, free of gluten, soy, dairy and hard-to-pronounce ingredients.

SmartLine: an integrated customer engagement and marketing application that replaces the traditional pen and paper and buzzer wait list system. The application allows restaurants to better engage with their walk-in guests while providing customers a way to join the line remotely and swap positions on demand.

With each presentation came a rigorous Q&A section that pulled no punches from the audience. The questions ranged from financial concerns to partnerships and further clarification on the future of the business models. Each team performed admirably, with courage and firm belief in their ideas. Entrepreneurs, through and through!
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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New post 01 Jun 2014, 09:00
FROM Booth Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship: CHICAGO BOOTH ANNOUNCES 2014 WINNERS OF THE NEW VENTURE CHALLENGE AND SOCIAL NEW VENTURE CHALLENGE
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Simple Mills, RoomVa, and Hello Tractor Take Top Prizes at Annual Business Competition; Winners Receive More Than $313,000 in Cash Prizes and Business Services

Chicago (May 30, 2014) – The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and its Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Social Enterprise Initiative are pleased to announce the winners of the Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge (NVC) and the John Edwardson, ’72, Social New Venture Challenge (SNVC), the school’s premier start-up program.

Winners of the 2014 NVC:

  • RoomVa and Simple Mills tied for first place. Each company received $30,000 in prize money. RoomVa provides on-line reservation capabilities for small family-run hotels. Simple Mills makes delicious almond flour baking mixes with simple, nutrient-rich ingredients. 
  • AutoBike placed second and received $20,000 in prize money. AutoBike makes riding a bike fun again via a ‘smart’ automatic transmission system.
  • CreditServe placed third and received $10,000. CreditServe gives service members better access to credit through a dual-sided network of active-duty military borrowers and institutional and individual investors.
  • HighStride placed fourth and received a $5,000 prize. HighStride is a scalable web and mobile app that provides personalized training to ensure that each runner successfully crosses his or her finish line.
This year’s other finalists include Ameus, Inscites Research, Inc., Janus Choice, and SmartLine. Each finalist received $2,500.

“This year’s program comprised a diversity of ideas ranging from manufacturing to health-care services to productivity-enhancing tools,” said Ellen Rudnick, executive director of the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. “We were pleased with the progress and the dedication that all of the teams in the program made—not just those that reached the finals.”

Winners of the 2014 SNVC, which launches businesses with a social impact mission and a plan for financial sustainability, are:

  • ­Hello Tractor won first place, receiving a cash prize of $30,000. Hello Tractor rents two-wheel tractors to small farmers in Nigeria to increase crop yields and combat against income and food insecurity.
  • Moxie Leadership Academy placed second and received $20,000 in funding. Moxie brings high-quality summer programming to middle-school girls in low-income communities, building the emotional intelligence and STEM skills necessary for long-term success.
This year’s finalists include FarmStacker, HeroTechForge, InterChange, and YogaCare.

“My congratulations to the winners and participants of the 2014 John Edwardson, ’72, Social New Venture Challenge,” said Robert H. Gertner, Joel F. Gemunder Professor of Strategy and Finance, deputy dean for the Part-Time MBA Programs, and faculty codirector of the Social Enterprise Initiative. “This year’s winners succeeded in finding the combination of viable, scalable business and significant impact required of effective social enterprises. I look forward to seeing their next moves.”         

About the New Venture ChallengeLaunched in 1996, the New Venture Challenge was designed to help students build and run new businesses. It has expanded to include four tracks, offering tailored programming to meet the needs of the University of Chicago’s diverse student body:

  • Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge (NVC) The original track of the NVC has helped launch successful, high-growth companies.
  • John Edwardson, ’72, Social New Venture Challenge (SNVC) Co-organized by the Polsky Center and the Social Enterprise Initiative at Chicago Booth, the SNVC helps students launch for-profit and nonprofit ventures with social-impact missions and models for financial sustainability.
  • Global New Venture Challenge (GNVC) In 2008, the NVC added a track for Executive MBA Program students from the Chicago Booth London, Singapore, and Chicago campuses. An online platform allows globally-based alumni to participate as mentors.
  • College New Venture Challenge (CNVC) The Polsky Center supports the CNVC to help UChicago undergraduates craft innovative and sustainable for-profit and non-profit enterprises.
The programs span the full academic year. In the fall, more than 100 teams applied to the SNVC and NVC tracks, which culminated in day-long finals competitions on May ­­27 and May 29, respectively. Fifteen finalist teams presented their start-ups to panels of distinguished judges, comprising established entrepreneurs, angel investors, and venture capitalists, with each team vying for its share of over $313,000 in cash and in-kind prizes. In-kind prizes for the winning teams include legal services, profes­sional consulting, and office space in the ARCH Venture Partners New Business Incubator, housed within the Polsky Center, and 1871 in downtown Chicago.

Since its launch in 1996, the New Venture Challenge program has awarded more than $1.28 million in cash prizes, plus more than $2 million in business services. Over the past 18 years, the program helped launch more than 100 companies, which have gone on to raise over $365 million in funding and have created several thousands of jobs. NVC alumni companies include AgileMD, Base, BenchPrep, BloomNation, Braintree, brightroom, Brilliant, CareMerge, GrubHub, InContext Solutions, LuminAID, MedSpeed, and Moneythink, among others.

The NVC is made possible through the generous support of corporate and individual sponsors. The title sponsor is Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, founder, former chairman, and CEO of Zebra Technologies. He has sponsored the NVC since its inception and endowed the program in 2012. Kaplan also serves on the Polsky Center’s Entrepreneurship Advisory Board.

The SNVC is grateful for the generous support of John Edwardson, ’72, retired chairman and chief executive of CDW, who endowed the program in 2013, as well as other individual and corporate sponsors. Edwardson is also a supporter of the Chicago Booth Social Enterprise Initiative, which includes as part of its programming helping students launch and grow businesses in the social sector.

For a full list of program supporters, visit the NVC website.

About the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation The Polsky Center advances the knowledge and practice of entrepreneurship and innovation across the University of Chicago. The center fosters entrepreneurial learning and interdisciplinary collaboration by delivering:cutting-edge curriculum, frameworks and best practices,innovative hands-on learning experiences,leading faculty research, conferences, mentorship, and community and outreach programs.For more information, visit the Polsky Center website.

About the Social Enterprise InitiativeLaunched in 2012, the Social Enterprise Initiative (SEI) at Chicago Booth supports the aspirations of students and alumni to impact societal issues and furthers research on how institutions help solve social problems. Through ongoing curricular development, alumni and student programming, and support of faculty pursuits, SEI seeks to foster both the leadership on the ground and rigorous academic research which are vital to addressing the complex issues our society faces. To learn more, visit the Social Enterprise Initiative website.

# # #
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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New post 18 Jun 2014, 08:00
FROM Booth Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship: Polsky Center News: June 2014
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Check out the June issue of the Polsky Center newsletter for updates on entrepreneurship and innovation at UChicago!
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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New post 23 Jun 2014, 12:00
FROM Booth Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship: Introducing the 2014 Polsky Center Accelerator Program Teams
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We are excited to announce the 10 start-ups that will participate in the 2014 Polsky Center Accelerator Program!

Now in its third year, the 10-week program is designed to help 10 UChicago start-ups accelerate their business over the summer. In addition to funding, the teams will work out of office space at the Chicago Innovation Exchange, have access to Polsky Center staff, coaching from faculty, mentorship from alumni, entrepreneurs, and Chicago-area investors. Programming is designed to help them overcome many of the hurdles to launching a business.

A Demo Day will be held on September 4, where the teams will pitch their idea and share progress made over the duration the program. We’ll post more info on this and other Accelerator Program news throughout the summer. Follow the blog and #PolskyAP for updates!

 Read about year’s class after the break.

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All Rise is an all in one, smartphone based courtroom companion for litigators, providing them with access to judge information, standing orders, and a unique courtroom ticker. http://www.allriseapp.com/

Team: Asha Sarode (Booth), Prashant Vallury (Graham School)

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AnonyMonkey provides a safe platform for young adults to express their opinions and emotions freely and without judgment through anonymous posts. http://anonymonkey.com/

Team: Zihan Xu (College), Parker Tikson (College), Walter Nash

Credence matches people to jobs by leveraging advanced statistics and big data to accurately determine personality, skills, and suitability for a given task far more effectively than traditional application processes.

Team: Austen Mance (College), Nina Lu

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HighStride is a scalable web and mobile app that provides personalized training to ensure that a runner safely and successfully makes it to her finish line. http://www.highstriderun.com/

Team: Aparna Misra (Booth), Stefano Galiasso, Frederick Kilbourn

 Image

Janus Choice is a mobile technology designed to optimize and improve current hospital discharge processes. It works to reduce health care costs and 30-day readmission rates and promote patients’ choice and satisfaction by providing patients with better transitional care.

Team: Sasha Goodwin (Booth), Darryl Palmer, Steven Pasalich (Booth), Jon VanderPlas

Lumi Health helps small businesses save time and money on employee health insurance by meeting with businesses, analyzing their situation, and providing a plan of recommendations tailored to their needs. For companies that want to self-fund their insurance plans, Lumi Health handles the claims processing, customer service, and other administration.

Team: (Pei-Roan) Chin-Chin Lin (Booth), Pratyush Rastogi (Booth), Nathan Willar

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Norm’s Farms makes farm-fresh elderberry products designed to boost immune function.

Team: Erin Lenhardt (Booth)

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Sensei Prep is an education-based social enterprise that aims to provide low-income students access to high-quality standardized test preparation. The site includes organized and engaging videos and prep content, covering - for starters - all sections of the ACT. The vision is to build the KhanAcademy.org of test preparation.

Team: Shawn Thomas (Booth), Jay Subramanium (Booth)

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SmartLine is a mobile waitlist management solution that replaces the traditional pen/paper and buzzer system. The application allows restaurants to better organize their walk-in guests while providing customers a way to join the line remotely and receive alerts via SMS text or in-app notifications. http://www.smartlineapp.com/

Team: Barry Liang (Booth)

Unloader is a rental discovery service that enables individuals to rent products from local businesses and other individuals.

Team: Adam Gluck (College), Brian Strobach (CSPP Masters)
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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New post 24 Jun 2014, 10:00
FROM Booth Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship: The Accelerator teams listen to a talk on customer research from...
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The Accelerator teams listen to a talk on customer research from @IITDesign’s Hugh Musick #PolskyAP #Accelerator #Bootcamp #startup
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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New post 25 Jun 2014, 09:01
FROM Booth Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship: Free samples today in the Accelerator! @NormsFarms brought in...
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Free samples today in the Accelerator! @NormsFarms brought in samples of their different #elderberry jams for us to try. #PolskyAP
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New post 09 Jul 2014, 14:00
FROM Booth Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship: NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION AWARDS $300,000 I-CORPS SITE GRANT TO POLSKY CENTER
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION AWARDS $300,000 I-CORPS SITE GRANT TO POLSKY CENTER: This grant will support prototyping and proof-of-concept for promising early-stage ideas. Applications for University of Chicago students, faculty, and researchers will be available soon. Projects will be accepted on a rolling basis. Sign up here to receive notifications about the Polsky Center NSF I-Corps Site grant program, including application information.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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New post 11 Jul 2014, 13:00
FROM Booth Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship: Accelerator Program Spotlight On Lumii Health
Throughout the summer, we’ll feature updates on the progress of the 10 start-ups participating in the 2014 Polsky Center Accelerator Program. This week, Lumii Health shares their goals for the summer.

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The Lumii Health team at work in one of the Accelerator Program’s breakout rooms

Chin-Chin Lin and Pratyush Rastogi, who are both current students at Chicago Booth, and Nathan Willar, a graduate from Bethel University, found that small businesses were not adequately serviced by the existing insurance infrastructure. This inspired the idea for Lumii Health.

Lumii helps small businesses save time and money on employee health insurance by meeting with businesses, analyzing their unique situation and providing a plan of recommendations tailored to their needs.

Drawing upon their past experiences from UnitedHealth, the Lumii Health team plans to better serve small businesses with migrating to self-funded health insurance plans. By the end of the Accelerator Program, Lumii Health hopes to operationalize ideas and sign their first customer.

Stay tuned for more on Lumii Health’s progress and next week’s Accelerator Program updates!
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New post 17 Jul 2014, 07:00
FROM Booth Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship: Accelerator Alumni: Where are They Now? FitnessCubed
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Imagine burning calories and keeping fit while you sit. Now, there are no excuses left for letting work interfere with your fitness regimen.

FitnessCubed, a participant in the 2013 Polsky Center Accelerator Program, developed a product that allows you to burn calories at your desk while you work! We caught up with the CEO, Arnav Dalmia, AB, ’13, to learn more about FitnessCubed and what the team has been up to since participating in the Accelerator.

Arnav, a self-proclaimed “health freak”, was alarmed by the inactivity and lack of fitness at the office job he took following graduation. The epidemic of sedentary behavior inspired him to create a fitness solution for those who work at a desk all day. Just one year after graduating, Arnav and two of his peers from University of Chicago, Ryota Sekine and Shivani Jain, have launched their first FitnessCubed product, the Cubii.

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The FitnessCubed team, Arnav Dalmia, Shivani Jain, and Ryota Sekine, show off the Cubii at the recent MakerBiz Showcase in Chicago.

Arnav and his co-founders noticed the growing market for fitness trackers – namely the FitBit, Jawbone UP, and Nike Fuel Band – that came without a complementary source of exercise. While the fitness band could make a customer more aware of their sedentary behavior, it could not provide them with the ability to exercise.

Enter FitnessCubed:  FitnessCubed offers a compact and ergonomic under-the-desk exercise device, Cubii, which allows you to both work and workout. Cubii also has built-in Bluetooth that pairs wirelessly with its smartphone app or with a fitness tracker to track progress.

Arnav, Ryota, and Shivani worked closely with The Polsky Center ever since the team, then known as FunPower, competed in the 2013 College New Venture Challenge (CNVC), where they placed second.  The CNVC provided the team with a platform to launch their idea. During the Polsky Center Accelerator Program, they further refined their product and target market. Through their work with Polsky Center staff and the Accelerator Program, the team was able to form a relationship with IIT’s Idea Shop to build a prototype for the Cubii since none of the founders had a background in engineering or design.

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The team worked on the prototype at the IIT Idea Shop.

The company has been featured by Forbes, Chicago Tribune, Fox News, and many more news outlets for their Cubii under-the-desk elliptical. They are in the midst of a successful Kickstarter campaign and have raised almost $70,000 in less than one month for pre-orders of the Cubii.

Take a look at their Kickstarter page to see the Cubii in action!
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New post 17 Jul 2014, 12:00
FROM Booth Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship: One year ago, FitnessCubed (then FunPower) presented at the 2013...
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One year ago, FitnessCubed (then FunPower) presented at the 2013 Accelerator Program Demo Day. Today they’re raising funds on #Kickstarter for their under-the-desk elliptical, which keeps people fit at work. Read more on our blog! #TBT #PolskyAP #UChicago #alumni #startup
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New post 18 Jul 2014, 07:07
FROM Booth Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship: Accelerator Program Spotight On Creedence
When applying to college, it occurred to Austen Mance, a current undergraduate at The University of Chicago and Nina Lu, a student at University of Pennsylvania, that both application and hiring decisions are extraordinarily arbitrary and subject to random chance and manipulation. They then founded Credence.

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The Creedence team, minus Nina Lu.

Austen’s hope for Credence is to create a better system to match people to jobs using advanced statistics and big data to accurately determine whether someone will be effective at a given task.  Last summer, Austen worked for a professor in UChicago’s economics department building statistical models. There he learned the basic knowledge of practical statistics in order to build the model for Credence. Credence can calculate all sorts of personality characteristics to predict job performance by analyzing data from Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets. For example, liking curly fries is a strong predictor for intelligence!

Austin and Nina won first place in the 2014 College New Venture Challenge for their idea. The CNVC was the perfect opportunity for Austen to launch an idea he has been working on since high school. This summer the pair is using resources from the Polsky Center Accelerator Program to build a large enough customer and revenue base by the end of the summer in order to raise a full financing round.

Stay tuned for more on Credence’s progress and next week’s updates on the Accelerator program!
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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New post 18 Jul 2014, 13:00
FROM Booth Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship: Accelerator Program Spotlight On Credence
When applying to college, it occurred to Austen Mance, a current undergraduate at The University of Chicago and Nina Lu, a student at University of Pennsylvania, that both application and hiring decisions are extraordinarily arbitrary and subject to random chance and manipulation. They then founded Credence.

Image

The Credence team, minus Nina Lu.

Austen’s hope for Credence is to create a better system to match people to jobs using advanced statistics and big data to accurately determine whether someone will be effective at a given task.  Last summer, Austen worked for a professor in UChicago’s economics department building statistical models. There he learned the basic knowledge of practical statistics in order to build the model for Credence. Credence can calculate all sorts of personality characteristics to predict job performance by analyzing data from Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets. For example, liking curly fries is a strong predictor for intelligence!

Austin and Nina won first place in the 2014 College New Venture Challenge for their idea. The CNVC was the perfect opportunity for Austen to launch an idea he has been working on since high school. This summer the pair is using resources from the Polsky Center Accelerator Program to build a large enough customer and revenue base by the end of the summer in order to raise a full financing round.

Stay tuned for more on Credence’s progress and next week’s updates on the Accelerator program!
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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New post 22 Jul 2014, 11:00
FROM Booth Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship: Accelerator Program Spotlight on SmartLine
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A Smartline user selects a restaurant from a list of nearby locations.

Are you tired of waiting in line to be seated at a restaurant? Barry Liang, a student at Chicago Booth, and his co-founder Dan Reitman have a solution.

While waiting in line at the opening of a new Five Guys in New York City for an hour and a half, they came up with a business idea. SmartLine is a mobile waitlist management solution that replaces the traditional pen and paper or buzzer system. Restaurants can manage large lists, reservations, customer flow, and stage guests during busy times using the free SmartLine restaurant iPad application.

SmartLine started at Chicago Booth where Barry and his co-founder developed a prototype and launched a beta version of the app in January 2014. The app officially became available for download in the Apple App Store in March.

The SmartLine team was a named finalist in the 2014 Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge, and is using that experience to further develop their product and focus on sales. Right now you can find SmartLine in more than 80 restaurants around the world, including Kotobuki in New York City and CraftWorks Taphouse in Seoul, Korea.

By the end of the Polsky Accelerator Program, SmartLine hopes to increase their presence in restaurants around the world. The team plans to release consumer functionalities to provide restaurant go-ers with the ability to interact with restaurants in real-time, with the possibility of viewing their place in line, seeing menus and daily specials.

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Download SmartLine and waiting to be seated at a restaurant will never be the same!

Tune in next week for more updates on the Polsky Center Accelerator teams!
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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New post 22 Jul 2014, 12:00
FROM Booth Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship: REPOST FROM @chicagobooth:
“Stay in the know on 7/22 by...
REPOST FROM @chicagobooth:
“Stay in the know on 7/22 by watching #BoothITK . #ChicagoBooth #MBA #BusinessSchool cc: @polskycenter”
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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New post 24 Jul 2014, 08:00
FROM Booth Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship: Accelerator Program Spotlight on Sensei Prep
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When Sensei Prep’s founder, Shawn Thomas graduated from the University of Illinois, he helped design an ACT prep program at his former high school. Over the last seven years, Shawn continued to teach the course for a couple of weeks during the school’s winter break.

While teaching, Shawn realized that the academic abilities of each student in class were vastly different, some knew only basic math while others were experts at calculus. Shawn’s desire to truly help the students’ expand their knowledge base and improve their ACT scores lead him to develop a teaching method beyond the traditional classroom model.

Shawn, an MBA candidate at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and his co-founder, Jay Subramaniam, met in the Booth Winter Garden during orientation. They ended up in a couple of classes together and soon realized they shared an interest in education-related start-ups.

After discussing their ideas and developing a business plan over the course of the year, the pair pitched their idea to the Polsky Center Accelerator Program. Sensei is still in the very early stages. With the mentorship, creative energy and the resources from the Accelerator Program, Shawn hopes to foster more connections with other entrepreneurs in the test prep market and further develop Sensei Prep.

Shawn’s years of experience teaching ACT prep classes provided him with the knowledge to develop Sensei Prep. Jay’s familiarity with startups from his previous internship at TechStars, his practical education in finance and accounting, and his leadership responsibilities at Piramal Water have been vital assets to the team’s progress. The team’s plan is to provide students with high-quality standardized test preparation through online videos featuring prep content covering all sections of the ACT.

Sensei’s vision is to become the KhanAcademy.org of test preparation, an online and personalized approach to ACT preparation. By incorporating his personal high school and college experiences and the life lessons he learned along the way into his videos, Shawn hopes to inspire students to take a positive and effective approach to preparing for the ACT.

Keep checking back to see Sensei Prep’s progress and learn more about the 2014 Accelerator teams!
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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New post 31 Jul 2014, 09:00
FROM Booth Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship: Accelerator Program Spotlight on OpenShelf
Have you ever bought an item that you used only once? For example, you really would like to have a backyard barbeque, but you don’t want to purchase a grill that you may only use once. Enter OpenShelf, an on-demand delivery platform that can solve that dilemma.

Founder Adam Gluck, a 2014 graduate of the University of Chicago, found the inspiration for OpenShelf in his personal efforts to promote sustainability. Most people have at least one item in their possession that is not being used. OpenShelf allows users to rent items at an affordable price point from their online platform, and then conveniently delivers the item to the customer’s preferred location. Since items are usually produced in massive quantities, it is both efficient and convenient to rent items when you needed them.

Gluck’s idea began as a peer-to-peer platform called Unloader that enabled the rental of localized goods and services between individuals. He entered this initial business idea into the 2014 College New Venture Challenge and was a finalist in the competition. Gluck continued to develop his rental platform and applied to the Polsky Center Accelerator Program with his current business model, now called OpenShelf. Adam has used the Accelerator program to test his concept for the rental program, gather strong data on what items are the most successful rentals and develop a smart phone application.

OpenShelf’s first rental was a barbeque package for the 4th of July. Adam and his team packaged a grill, charcoal, lighter fluid and grilling utensils, all the items necessary to have a backyard barbeque, and delivered the items to customers. The campaign was successful! Adam hopes to create an end of summer party package for customers’ to rent for their next event.

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