It will help them turn their ideas and technologies into start-up business and products.
Artist renderings show what the Chicago Innovation Exchange will look like.
"Our economic engines are our universities," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "That is the driving force behind the city. That's the place we get ideas, innovations."
The new center is scheduled to open late next year in the 53rd Street commercial district in Hyde Park.
It will be paid for from a fund of up to $20 million created by the University of Chicago.