Celebrating five years of Chicago’s south side neighborhood coworking space and startup hub

To celebrate the many innovators who have been supported over the past five years, the Polsky Center will host a special entrepreneurship showcase from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 16. In October 2014, a 34,000 square foot co-working space and facility opened up to not only serve all students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the University of Chicago, but also to be a dedicated resource for innovators and entrepreneurs in the surrounding South Side community without a formal affiliation to the University. Operated by the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago, the Polsky Exchange has hosted thousands of workshops, multiple cohorts of startups, and a variety of high profile speakers since opening its doors five years ago.

At the showcase, more than 15 companies will be on hand to discuss their businesses and share how the Polsky Center has been pivotal to their success. Additionally, attendees will have the chance to meet seasoned mentors for 1:1 walk-up support appointments, see demos from the Polsky Fab Lab, and have the opportunity to take free headshots.

Located on 53rd Street in Chicago’s vibrant, Hyde Park neighborhood, the Polsky Exchange acts as headquarters for thousands of startups, including the 15-20 companies accepted into the Polsky Incubator each year. Additionally, more than 4,200 members have access to a full suite of resources and activities offered at the Polsky Exchange. A uniqueness of this coworking space is that membership is free to all University of Chicago faculty, staff, and students and available to community-based entrepreneurs with no affiliation to the University of Chicago at a drastically lower rate than other area coworking spaces.

“Entrepreneurship is really hot on the South Side of Chicago. We are so proud to support entrepreneurs coming out of the University as well as our surrounding community,” said E.J. Reedy, Senior Director of the Polsky Exchange. “It’s really powerful to see the growth in our community on a daily basis.”

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