Entrepreneurship Center Gets $8M from Namesake
HYDE PARK — A University of Chicago graduate, whose generosity has helped launch several successful local businesses, has donated $8 million to the business incubator that bears his name.
Michael Polsky's most recent gift brings the green energy entrepreneur’s support of the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to $15 million.
“Entrepreneurs lead the way in innovation and job creation, which in turn benefits our entire society,” Polsky said in a statement released Tuesday by the university. “I am proud that we are investing further in our efforts to foster and celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit among the entire University of Chicago community.”
Entrepreneurship has grown in popularity among incoming students at the university’s Booth School of Business and the Polsky Center will expand its mission to include more new venture development.
“This gift will allow us to have more direct impact on the commercialization of the university’s intellectual property,” said Sunil Kumar, dean of the business school, in a prepared statement. “It will provide more opportunities for our business school students to interact with others across the University, and more opportunities for them to create new ventures.”
Polsky graduated from the evening MBA program at Booth in 1987. In 2001, after the sale of his business Sky Gen Energy, he founded Invenergy, the nation’s largest privately owned wind power-generation company. In 2002, Polsky donated $7 million to start the endowment for entrepreneurship center, where companies such as GrubHub, Braintree and Bump got their start.