Jay Schrankler

The executive who accelerated University of Minnesota’s commercialization of its technology and other research, is leaving for the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Jay Schrankler has been appointed associate vice president and top manager of “a comprehensive innovation strategy that integrates entrepreneurship and scientific commercialization initiatives across the university, according to a U-Chicago statement. “He will lead the next phase of the Polsky Center’s ongoing expansion plans as well as the launch of new programs and resources at the University’s international campuses.”

In 2007, Schrankler, a 27-year Honeywell veteran and executive, was hired to step up technology transfer at the U. Schrankler, serving as associate vice president of the Office for Technology Commercialization, is crediting with generating more than $560 million in revenue over the last decade for the university by driving increases in licensing, startup creation and industry sponsored research.

“Jay’s appointment comes at an important time as the Polsky Center continues to expand its entrepreneurship education and technology commercialization support for faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community entrepreneurs on campus and internationally,” said Bala Srinivasan, vice president for strategy and innovation at the University of Chicago. “His extensive leadership experience and proven track record will allow us to move faster on our bold ambitions.”

“I’m eager to get to work harnessing the Polsky Center’s existing momentum and scaling it to entirely new levels,” Schrankler said in a telephone interview. “We really hit our stride in Minnesota, and after doing the same job for a dozen years, I needed some growth possibilities. Chicago has an international footprint. In Minnesota we had a big local and national impact. In Chicago, I can make a global impact.”

Schrankler, 61, who makes about $290,000 at the U, earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the U and a master’s in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of Wisconsin.

Schrankler also is founder of Aero1217, an aviation technology accelerator based in Minneapolis

Three years ago the Polsky Center received a gift from a Chicago trustee to unite all innovation activities across campus under a single umbrella. As a result, the entrepreneurship curriculum and programs at U-Chicago’s business school,technology transfer office, the startup facility and fabrication lab and the George Shultz Innovation Fund, are all now part of the unified Polsky Center organization.

In December 2016, U-Chicago  designated $25 million from its endowment to invest in startups.

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