Venture Philanthropy Chicago Style: Starting from Scratch to Solve Our Most Significant Problems

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Last month the University of Chicago started the first School of Molecular Engineering in the United States. If the university world had the equivalent of a venture backed unicorn, this might well be the role model. Starting with an idea, Bob Zimmer worked with his faculty to conceptualize an effort around designing and building from the molecular level up. Starting at that same conceptual stage, Tom Pritzker partnered with Bob and the university to accelerate the effort from concept to reality. The Pritzker Foundation put in the seed money to found the Institute of Molecular Engineering. It quickly grew to more than 25 faculty members. The Pritzkers then put in the “Series A” capital to build a fabrication facility and grew the Institute to more than 25 faculty members. They have now created the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering with the expectation of tripling its faculty size. The school’s organizational structure is as unique as its mission. In less than seven years it has taken its place as a national leader in the field of quantum engineering. Its aspiration is to change science and to change the profile of Chicago in the sciences. David Rubenstein, a trustee of the university will interview Bob and Tom to understand how they became thought partners to move the needle for society.

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Venture Philanthropy Chicago Style: Starting from Scratch to Solve Our Most Significant Problems

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