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Kristin Barrett

Senior Director of the Polsky Exchange, Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Chicago

As Senior Director at University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Kristin leads the strategy and operations of the University’s 34,000 square foot coworking space and educational content for entrepreneurs looking to scale their businesses.

Prior to the Polsky Center, Kristin served as vice president of 1871, one of the nation’s largest startup hubs, and led educational content for the organization, including mentorship, workshops and developing large-scale talks, as well as playing an active role in 1871’s operations.

Kristin was the COO of Excelerate Labs (now Techstars Chicago), a top-ranked technology startup accelerator, helping build educational programming and mentorship as well as ensuring the program ran smoothly. Kristin also worked with startups and early-stage investments through Hyde Park Angels. 

Kristin started in entrepreneurship while working on new ventures and corporate strategy for Redbox, participating in the company’s growth from 6,000 kiosks to more than 30,000. She has also worked in management consulting with A.T. Kearney, touching a variety of industries including pharmacy, logistics, and agricultural goods.

Kristin earned an MBA with Honors at University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and her BS in journalism and economics from Northwestern University.

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