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SOUTH SIDE COWORKING SPACE PROVIDES MENTORS AND WORKSHOPS FOR LOCAL ENTREPRENEURS

8/28/2019, noon | Updated on 8/28/2019, noon
The University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is home to Polsky Exchange, a co-working space on Chicago’s ...
Polsky Exchange, a co-working space in Hyde Park, is operated by the University of Chicago and hosts hundreds of entrepreneurship and innovation workshops and activities every year for both members and the broader community. Photo Credit: The University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

South Side Co-Working Space Provides Mentors And Workshops For Local Entrepreneurs

BY KATHERINE NEWMAN

The University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is home to Polsky Exchange, a co-working space on Chicago’s south side. As a Polsky Exchange member, small business owners and entrepreneurs gain access to new resources, mentors, workshops, and events to help them succeed.

The Polsky Exchange is located on 53rd Street in Hyde Park and is home to co-working space, a state-of-the-art Fabrication Lab, and weekly programming and workshops that are all designed to help entrepreneurs build their ideas and technologies into startup businesses, according to information provided by the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

“The Polsky Exchange is a location, and a community, in which entrepreneurs and those that are interested in innovation or entrepreneurship and business can connect on the south side and look at growing their ideas or their businesses alongside a community of mentors,” said E. J. Reedy, senior director of the Polsky Exchange.

As part of the University of Chicago, Polsky Exchange aims to engage not only University staff and affiliates but also the community by offering several ongoing educational events and activities that are open to the public.

“We engage the broader community with resources that support entrepreneurship and innovation in many different ways,” said Reedy. “For those that are wishing to engage in a deeper way, through the use of space, through the use of mentors, and through the use of some of our conference rooms and other meeting facilities, then they could look to become a member of the Polsky Exchange.”

Membership is available to University of Chicago students, alumni, faculty, staff, researchers, and to local community members. Membership costs $150 per quarter, but is free for anyone currently affiliated with the University of Chicago, according to information provided by the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Currently, there are about 4000 members at the Polsky Exchange and about 1000 of those are not affiliated with the University, according to Reedy.

Members are also able to apply to be part of the Polsky Incubator which provides even more in-depth and structured support for businesses through mentorship, networking, legal support, training, and dedicated office space for early-stage startups.

“Some of our members decided to become part of a cohort and to become part of a kind of a more intense program that grows entrepreneurship, that is the Polsky Incubator,” said Reedy.

The full-time entrepreneurs who are selected to participate in the Polsky Incubator, get their own desk at the Polsky Exchange and receive a deeper level of support and engagement from their mentors. They also receive support from a cohort of 10 to 20 other startup entrepreneurs who are all in the early stages of growing their businesses on the south side of Chicago.

To learn more about the Polsky Exchange visit www.polsky.uchicago.edu.