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The Kaplan Institute will attract innovative and entrepreneurial students from across the campus (and beyond) who will come to learn how to convert their creative ideas into significant and viable businesses, services, and new solutions. They will become the leaders, inventors, and entrepreneurs of the future discovering, addressing, and solving serious and consequential problems. New faculty, donors, sponsors, and other business and industry partners will also be attracted to the new initiative and the abundant opportunities which it will provide for all.


The Kaplan Institute will nurture the advancement of critical and creative ideas, foster interdisciplinary and external collaboration, and create a culture that enables innovation and tech entrepreneurship to flourish on campus and throughout the larger community as well. In addition, the institute will aggressively contribute to its surroundings and to Chicago’s overall economy by encouraging, supporting, and assisting its students and faculty in creating new businesses and other entrepreneurial endeavors.

Educational Experience and Lifelong Skills

The emphasis of the educational experience within the institute (once the students have completed some of the basic introductory programs) will be on the application of knowledge rather than merely its acquisition. Additional and essential learning will, of course, occur during the entrepreneurial process along with innovative thinking as the students engage in multidisciplinary collaborations across all of the disciplines offered within the broader context of the entire university.

In fact, part of the entire purpose of the KI is to supplement the technical education of the students with critical and future-proof skills including intellectual curiosity, a commitment to change, team-building ability, an entrepreneurial mindset, a willingness to accept challenges, and a bias toward action. Special leadership programs will be developed and offered to identified cohorts of undergraduates as well as graduate students, focusing on the development critical-thinking skills, resilience and perseverance, adaptability and agility, and strategic design and planning.


Howard A. Tullman, entrepreneur and former chief executive officer of 1871, executive director of the Kaplan Institute

Barbara S. Pollack, senior director of the Kaplan Institute

Jeremy Alexis, director of the Interprofessional Projects (IPRO) Program