The mission of the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is to advance the knowledge and practice of entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago by supporting all students, faculty, staff, and alumni. To accomplish this goal, the Polsky Center provides immersive, experiential learning and venture acceleration resources such as the Edward L. Kapan, '71, New Venture Challenge (NVC).

The NVC is not just a competition. It is an intense, year-long business launch program that includes a classroom phase. Participants come out of the program armed with essential leadership skills, one-of-a-kind experiences and connections, and a strong sense of rigor and discipline that can help them continue on the journey of entrepreneurship or transition to a successful leadership position. Participation in the NVC is by application only and requires at least one member of the team to have a current UChicago affiliation.

View eligibility requirements for all tracks »

Only the program’s top teams are selected to participate in each track’s Finals event, which takes the form of a Demo Day investor pitch competition. A panel of seasoned entrepreneurs, investors, and faculty comprise the judging panel. Winners receive prize money in the form of a SAFE, which stands for a “simple agreement for future equity.” Y Combinator helped popular this new type of investment instrument, which the Polsky Center has adopted as part of the NVC program.