For the past four years, University of Chicago’s Polsky Center has held a summer accelerator as a way to grow student startups over summer break.
This year’s cohort includes a variety of businesses that range from a student loan repayment app, to a makeup guide, to a service that provides mental health treatments to members of the military.
Here’s a look at the UChicago student startups growing in the Polsky summer accelerator (descriptions per UChicago)
AptAmigo helps multi-family properties stand out to consumers through detailed neighborhood guides, building rankings, and reviews. All of the Chicago Booth’s startup’s reviews include feedback on an apartment’s amenities and neighborhood, which allows users to visualize living in an apartment before they move in.
CommonCents is a student loan management and repayment app focused on helping students save money through easy, mobile-based repayment options. The goal of the app is to educate students about their loans, and empower them to take control of their student debt. CommonCents just won the UChicago College New Venture Challenge.
CostByte helps individual and group owned restaurants to improve their bottom line by reducing their food, labor, and other operating costs. The Chicago Booths startup determines target food and labor cost numbers appropriate to specific restaurants via a mobile/desktop product.
Ember creates personalized looks based on makeup you already own, as well as providing step-by-step tutorials for how to achieve those looks. Ember will suggest new products, as well as offer a premium subscription service that will send users a box of makeup that will increase the number of ‘looks’ they receive, as well as Skype tutorials for extra help with makeup artists.
ExoWear is a health and fitness company made up of UChicago and UIUC students that creates wearables to monitor medical exercises of patients undergoing physical therapy. This device serves as a coaching aid by reminding the patient to complete their exercises and providing real-time feedback. The application of the device will focus on knee therapy and rehabilitation.
Ezza Salon disrupts the nail industry by guaranteeing a nail care experience that consistently provides high quality services at an affordable price. The Chicago Booth startup mirrors a retail business model similar to Starbucks, Trader Joe’s, etc. where an investment in staff is prioritized on the front end as a strategy to increase quality and consistence in the customer service experience.
Finalyze is a business intelligence platform that helps human analysts query, analyze, and visualize large datasets. The team competed in the UChicago College NVC.
Flag Analytics is a predictive analytics company created to address problems in the public safety space. Flag Analytics’ first product is a police Early Intervention system that is more effective at identifying officers at risk of having an adverse interaction with the public, while reducing the number of false accusations against officers and identifying officers with a low risk of having an adverse interaction. It was a UChicago NVC finalist.
Mind Matters will provide telemental health services to U.S. veterans. Individual and group counseling will be provided via video, voice, and web-based chat by licensed clinicians including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and substance abuse counselors. The team is made up of students from Chicago Booth and the Schools of Social Service Administration.
Portefino makes affordable and casual blazers for men to wear for everyday occasions. We will start with a winter & summer collection of blazers, and later expand to other collections and potentially products. (Affiliation: Chicago Booth)
SLAP’D — Surviving Life After A Parent Dies (SLAP’D) is an online social media for teens who have lost a parent. The rise of social media provides increased opportunities for parentally bereaved adolescents to seek and receive support. As an extension of those opportunities, the website Surviving Life After A Parent Dies serves as an online community for teens to find resources, ask questions, share thoughts and stories, and memorialize their loved ones. (Affiliation: University of Chicago Lab School)
Speak Easy is a language learning educational technology that address the two pain points of language learning: Dedicating time and learning irrelevant words. It slowly introduces foreign words into digital media analyzes commonly-used words. As users browse the internet or look at a phone, they are learning relevant, foreign words. (Affiliation: Chicago Booth)