University of Chicago’s Polsky Center Launches Venture Conference to Showcase Deep Tech Startups from Universities and National Labs in the Midwest

On April 20-22, the virtual DeepTechU conference will feature quick pitches and discussions with industry experts and entrepreneurs from deep tech, which focuses on significant scientific and engineering challenges. (Graphic: Business Wire)

CHICAGO--()--The University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is pleased to announce the launch of DeepTechU, a venture conference showcasing deep tech innovation and 48 investor-ready companies from universities and national labs.

“The Polsky Center launched DeepTechU to help shine a brighter light on all the emerging deep technologies coming out of the greater Midwest," said Jay Schrankler, Associate Vice President and Head of the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. “There is incredible work being done here and we are excited to partner with top research institutions and Big 10 schools in supporting breakthrough innovations that will change the way we live in the future.”

The virtual conference will take place April 20-22, 2021, and feature quick pitches as well as discussions with industry experts and entrepreneurs.

“The Midwest is uniquely positioned to lead in deep tech, meaning the types of early-stage technologies that require fundamental breakthroughs to advance science and move innovations into use in the world,” said Juan de Pablo, University of Chicago Vice President for National Laboratories, Science Strategy, Innovation, and Global Initiatives. “The Midwest is home to some of the world’s premier efforts in materials science and engineering, sustainability, energy storage, or quantum information sciences, to name a few areas that are central to deep tech development.”

The goal of the conference is two-fold: provide early looks into cutting-edge deep tech innovation emerging from universities, national labs, and partner organizations in the greater-Midwest, and educate other researchers and faculty inventors on what investors are looking for to successfully raise capital.

"We believe deep tech will play an essential role in addressing many of the challenges facing society today, by responding quickly to develop new therapies, agricultural solutions, and transformational uses for synthetic biology,” said Chris Meldrum, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at DCVC Bio. “I’m excited to participate in DeepTechU to not only draw attention to the breakthroughs happening in deep tech, but also to highlight the innovative work coming out of the Midwest."

DeepTechU is organized by the University of Chicago's Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which has a 25-year successful track record applying world-class business expertise from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business to bring new ideas and groundbreaking innovations to market.

The conference is presented in collaboration with Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University, Chain Reaction Innovations at Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Indiana University, Innovation Crossroads at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, The Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship at The Ohio State University, Penn State University, Purdue University, NuTech Ventures at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, Northwestern University, Rutgers University, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Iowa, University of Maryland, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska, Washington University in St. Louis, and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Additional partners include Clean Energy Trust, Discovery Partners Institute, Illinois Science & Technology Coalition, P33, Startup Chicago, and World Business Chicago.

For more information and to register for the conference, visit

About the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago

The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation applies world-class business expertise from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business to bring new ideas and breakthrough innovations to market. Home of the University’s technology transfer office, the Polsky Center’s dedicated team of professionals with deep technical expertise enabling technology commercialization perform market analysis, manage intellectual property, identify partners, and negotiate partnerships and licenses for discoveries and inventions developed by faculty, researchers, and staff. Learn more at and follow updates on Twitter @polskycenter.

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Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz

Release Summary

DeepTechU is a virtual venture conference convening investors and innovators from top universities and national labs in the greater Midwest.



Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz