City Club of Chicago: John Flavin, Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
July 26, 2017
John Flavin – Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
John Flavin leads the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which drives the creation of new businesses at the University of Chicago and on Chicago’s South Side. In this role, he helped the University of Chicago Medicine attract a $100 million gift from the Duchossois family to further research into how the bacteria in our bodies influence wellness and disease, and then commercialize the new treatments that emerge from laboratory discoveries.
Prior to leading the Polsky Center, Flavin launched the Polsky Exchange, a 34,000-square-foot incubator, fabrication lab, and co-working space for university and community entrepreneurs. The Exchange, located on 53rd Street in Hyde Park, now has more than 3,500 members.
Flavin helped launch and scale Chicago Innovation Mentors, a consortium of Illinois universities and national labs supporting faculty-led startups, and co-founded MATTER, Chicago’s health-tech startup hub. He also has co-founded and built several biotech companies, raised more than $250 million in private and public capital, and led two successful NASDAQ IPOs.
Flavin holds a BS from Marquette University and a MBA from Lewis University. He is a board member at the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition. He serves on Governor Bruce Rauner’s Illinois Innovation Council, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s ChicagoNEXT technology council, and the City of Chicago’s Small Business Advisory Committee.