Napkin2Launch

Napkin to Launch

Resources for Aspiring Notre Dame Entrepreneurs

The Napkin to Launch process is a journey, from the initial idea, sketched out on a napkin over coffee with a friend, to validating the opportunity, establishing a business, launching and securing funding. The following resources are available for aspiring entrepreneurs at the University of Notre Dame.

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Center for Digital Scholarship

Located in the Hesburgh Library, the Center for Digital Scholarship is a hub for research and data analysis.  CDS offers affordable 3D and large-format printing, provides consultation resources and hosts workshops. The Center for Digital Scholarship supports the process of applying statistical techniques to describe and illustrate, condense and recap, or evaluate data. These methods are extremely important in benefitting from customer feedback and industry research during the prototyping and iteration phases.  CDS empowers and equips our next generation of scientists and scholars to create new knowledge in a digital environment and make a more profound impact in the world. 

Keywords

  • 3D Printer
  • Analysis
  • Archives
  • Data
  • Digital
  • Prototyping
  • Research
  • Technology
  • Validation

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Clubs and Student Organizations

Many active graduate and undergraduate student clubs and organizations are devoted to fostering innovation, entrepreneurship, technology and investing on the Notre Dame campus. Student Clubs and Organizations in this field include Business Action in Social Entrepreneurship (Base ND), Design for America, Entrepreneurship Society of Notre Dame, NDesign, MBA Entrepreneurship Club, University Innovation Fellows, Student Entrepreneurship Leadership Council, Net Impact (MBA), Net impact (Undergraduate) Club, Student International Business Council (SIBC), Technology Investment Club, Unleashed (Impact Investing Initiative), the Four Horsemen Society (Engineering), and more.

Keywords

  • Clubs
  • Entrepreneurship Groups
  • Ideation
  • Investment
  • ND Venture Capital
  • Organizations
  • Student Entrepreneurs
  • Team

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Courses: Entrepreneurship and Design Thinking

Countless graduate and undergraduate courses in several colleges are devoted to the study of entrepreneurship, innovation, commercialization and design.  Courses can be a valuable resource to students who desire to incorporate the latest strategies in design thinking and the entrepreneurial process to their own start-ups.  Many courses in Design, Entrepreneurship, and ESTEEM can be available cross-disciplinarily to provide students with an opportunity to work with other students of diverse interests and skillsets. For example, Entrepreneurial Insights is a 1-credit lecture series providing an overview of each of the vital stages of development facing an entrepreneur.

Keywords

  • Academic
  • Courses
  • Credit
  • Cross-Disciplinary
  • Design Thinking
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Human-Centered Design
  • Ideation

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Design School & Associated Resources

Resources related to design and prototyping are available through the Department of Art, Art History & Design. West Lake Fabrication Shop is a production facility featuring a wide range of tools for developing 3D prototypes and presentation models in a variety of materials. Additionally, students pursuing assistance with design work or technologies can use resources within the Riley Hall of Art.  Riley Hall contains a digital printing studio, metal shop, wood shop, and printmaking studio while West Lake Hall contains 2D and 3D computer labs, a design studio and a maker space.

These resources are very helpful in creating the first prototype of your idea!

Keywords

  • 3D Printer
  • Art Design
  • Design Studio
  • Digital
  • Maker Space
  • Production
  • Prototyping
  • Training
  • Validation

Location

Entrepreneurs-in-Residence

Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, supported by the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship, provide early stage feedback, mentoring and networking assistance for ND student, faculty and alumni entrepreneurs. Hailed as one of the very best resources on campus for aspiring entrepreneurs, our EIRs can meet with students on campus or virtually throughout the globe. Entrepreneurs-in-Residence provide advice for developing proposed business ideas, assistance for early stage start-ups, and invaluable networking aid.  Each of the EIRs specializes in different areas of expertise and can be assigned to work with you on your entrepreneurial endeavor. Networking assistance provided by our EIRs is extremely important, connecting aspiring entrepreneurs to others within the ND community who are better qualified to help them tackle issues surrounding the commercialization of their new ventures, in specific areas such as intellectual property, legal issues, funding.

Entrepreneurs in Residence pdf

Keywords

  • Advice
  • Assistance
  • Connections
  • Expertise
  • Feedback
  • Guidance
  • Ideation
  • Mentor
  • Networking
  • Validation

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ESTEEM Program

ESTEEM is an 11-month collaborative entrepreneurship master’s degree program in commercialization and launching new ventures, integrating the Colleges of Business, Science and Engineering. Unlike the traditional M.B.A., a masters in entrepreneurship focuses on the direct application of business skills to an entrepreneurial environment. ESTEEM sets itself apart from other entrepreneur masters programs by putting students in the middle of real-time startup development. In addition, a wide network of investors and alumni is available to help launch ventures inspired by students' capstone projects. ESTEEM builds the skillset and mindset necessary for entrepreneurial success and provides student entrepreneurs with the help and advice they need to move forward with their ideas.

Keywords

  • Commercialization
  • ESTEEM
  • Graduate
  • Masters
  • Research
  • Scaling

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FISH (Fellow Irish Social Hub)

Located at Innovation Park at Notre Dame, Fellow Irish Social Hub (FISH) is an independent, non-profit organization which invites members to help develop socially innovative ideas into for-purpose enterprises. It exists to enable social entrepreneurs to translate research into sustainable commercial vehicles by building a broad base of business skills, providing extensive research resources and offering development tools critical to start-up organizations. This support hub connects inspired intellectual and human capital with vital sources of professional and financial capital to deliver positive, sustainable change to the afflicted populations among us. FISH guides social entrepreneurs through the process of commercializing their research for some societal good.

Keywords

  • Impact
  • Mentor
  • Networking
  • Non-Profit
  • Scaling
  • Social Entrepreneurship

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Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship

Located in the Mendoza College of Business, the Gigot Center serves as the campus-wide hub for entrepreneurship education, programs and resources available for aspiring ND alumni, faculty and student entrepreneurs. The Gigot Center welcomes students from all majors to explore course, lecture series, and workshop options while taking advantage of the many resources offered on campus. The Gigot Center is the springboard from which student entrepreneurs can access vast networks across the university. Students have the opportunity to experience immersive learning and internships, enabling them to embed with startups, incubators, venture capital firms, social enterprises and other entrepreneurial organizations.  The Center hosts an annual Irish Impact Conference and the McCloskey Business Plan Competition each year.  Additionally, they serve as a liaison for Innovation Park at Notre Dame, Irish Angels, Entrepreneurs-in-Residence and more.

Keywords

  • Advice
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Feedback
  • Gigot Center
  • Ideation
  • Networking
  • Research
  • Starting Point

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Ideas Challenge

A wild and crazy kickoff for entrepreneurship at Notre Dame, the Ideas Challenge celebrates innovation and student entrepreneurship, provides a fun and competitive pitch environment, a chance to win some great prizes, and serves to jumpstart the McCloskey Business Plan Competition each year. Students come prepared with a 60-second “pitch” to explain their new business venture. This fall semester kickoff event is an outstanding opportunity for students to share ideas with their peers, celebrate the best ideas, and network with other like-minded entrepreneurial thinkers. It also provides an environment for students of cross-disciplinary majors to connect and build upon each other’s ideas. All ideas are welcome and encouraged.

Keywords

  • Challenge
  • Ideas
  • Ideation
  • Innovation
  • Pitch Competition
  • Prizes

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Innovation Park at Notre Dame

Notre Dame’s premier environment for accelerating startups from within the Notre Dame network, Innovation Park serves as our commercialization hub, providing vast resources for clients to help ND entrepreneurs connect, collaborate and commercialize. It is located just off campus beyond Compton Ice Arena.  Innovation Park helps students cultivate marketable innovations through access to cutting edge research, faculty and a global network of Notre Dame entrepreneurs.  It serves as a valuable resource to ambitious students seeking an innovative environment for start-up work with its “greenhouse” space made specifically for creative brainstorming and ideating processes.

Keywords

  • Accelerator
  • Commercialization
  • Commitment
  • Feedback
  • Incubator
  • Maker Space
  • Mentor
  • Scaling
  • Startups

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Irish Entrepreneurs Network

The Irish Entrepreneurs Network is a vast network of experienced entrepreneurs and investors from within the ND community who are willing to help aspiring ND entrepreneurs by providing early stage feedback, mentoring and networking assistance.  The IEN represents a wide variety of industries and broad expertise. It is an integral part of the Gigot Center, serving to encourage networking and the development of new business opportunities.  Although members of the IEN are diverse in that they include senior executives, small-business owners, venture capitalists, bankers, engineers, and more, they all have one uniting goal: to provide students with the advice and support they need in almost any sector, specialty, or geography. This network also serves to support many of the important initiatives of the Gigot Center, serving as mentors and judges in the annual McCloskey Business Plan Competition, on campus guest speakers, and ambassadors for the immersive learning and internship programs offered by the Gigot Center.

Keywords

  • Advice
  • Commitment
  • Early-Stage
  • Expertise
  • Mentor
  • Networking
  • Team

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Irish Impact

An initiative of the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship, Irish Impact serves as Notre Dame’s hub for social entrepreneurship by exploring financially-sustainable, impact-driven enterprises that seek to address significant social, humanitarian or environmental challenges.  Through classroom ​engagement, experiential and service learning (including domestic and international internships), ​as well as the annual Irish Impact Conference, Irish Impact seeks to educate students, engage experts in ​vigorous dialogue​ and encourage social enterprise creation. The initiative provides extensive resources for students interested in social entrepreneurship, including connections with existing social entrepreneurial ventures that have been started by previous Notre Dame alumni.  These ventures address key social problems such as sustainability, clean water, job creation, autism and more.

Keywords

  • Commitment
  • Double-Or-Triple Bottom Line
  • Impact
  • Irish Impact Conference
  • Service
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Social Venture

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Irish Innovation Fund

The Irish Innovation Fund is a $3.5-million fund established in 2013 to help launch student-led ventures and strengthen the educational component of the ESTEEM Program.  Every idea/business plan submitted by student entrepreneurs for funding is reviewed by ESTEEM graduate students (along with outside advisors) as part of their curriculum. All investments from the fund are determined on an annual basis through a formal and robust proposal and review process. Business plans are accepted from any undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in the University.  This fund is designed to commercialize research and develop viable business opportunities in a way that delivers on Father Sorin’s vision for this great university to be a 'powerful force for good in the world.'

Keywords

  • ESTEEM
  • Funding
  • Scaling
  • Ventures

Location

IrishAngels

A Notre Dame inspired angel investing group, the IrishAngels is dedicated to furthering startup growth through early stage investments in which a founder, Board member, or active investor is a student, graduate, parent, or faculty member at the University of Notre Dame. The IrishAngels is comprised of over 140 investors with startup or finance backgrounds in a variety of sectors. IrishAngels is dedicated to funding high potential startups both in Chicago and across the country. IrishAngels facilitates entrepreneurial success and exceptional ROI through close advisory relationships with their portfolio companies. The management and operational experience of the collective group as well as the network of connections is an invaluable resource to the companies in which they invest.

Keywords

  • Angels
  • Early-Stage
  • Funding
  • Investing
  • Scaling
  • Seed Investing
  • Ventures

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Law School: Community Development Clinic

In the Community Development Clinic, advanced law students, certified by the State of Indiana to practice law as legal interns, offer free non-litigation legal services to nonprofits and small businesses. Supervised student interns advise, prepare documents and represent clients regarding a range of business, nonprofit and real estate law matters. Some valuable resources for student entrepreneurs include counseling in corporation structure, contract drafting, advising on real estate leasing and purchase, and assistance with licensing.  When taking your business to the next level, the expertise offered from this program will be extremely beneficial to the success of your company.

Keywords

  • Commitment
  • Contracts
  • Entity Formation
  • Legal
  • Licensing
  • Real Estate

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Law School: Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Clinic

The Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Clinic provides students with valuable experience in applying substantive intellectual property law to client problems, and offers assistance to local businesses and entrepreneurs with counsel on intellectual property related issues. Students work under the close supervision of the clinic director, a patent attorney who has substantial private practice experience. The clinic is free for all students who are interested.  It will assist on a variety of intellectual property related matters and is focused on transactional matters. Some of the work that they will assist student entrepreneurs with includes patent searches and provisional patent preparation, trademark searches and registration, as well as intellectual property agreement and licensing issues.

Keywords

  • Commitment
  • Intellectual Property
  • Patents
  • Protection
  • Trademarks

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Lecture Series

Three notable lecture series related to entrepreneurship and innovation are offered through the Mendoza College of Business.  Boardroom Insights, Entrepreneurial Insights and Ten Years Hence feature experienced entrepreneurs and business leaders, and address many of the key topics relevant for any aspiring entrepreneur. The Boardroom Insights series highlights corporate leaders and senior executives who choose current business issues to discuss.  Entrepreneurial Insights is a fall lecture series that features entrepreneurs, investors, innovators and business leaders who offer their experience and advice in areas critical to the creation of new ventures, the ongoing viability of existing business, economic growth and the betterment of society. The Ten Years Hence speaker series explores issues, ideas, and trends likely to affect business and society over the next decade.

Keywords

  • Advice
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Experts
  • Ideation
  • Lecture Series
  • Speakers

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Licensing Department

The Notre Dame Licensing program is available to help aspiring ND entrepreneurs who hope to design products that would qualify for Notre Dame Licensing.  The ND licensing website contains much helpful information, and personnel from the licensing office are happy to speak with student entrepreneurs. They have a central focus of integrating brand building activities. They promote internal partnerships on campus, external partnerships with key licensees and national retail accounts in developing product lines and retail programs. Their process is a proactive vs. reactive licensing program with product category management strategy that can help student entrepreneurs get the help they need for licensing their ideas.

Keywords

  • Branding
  • Commitment
  • Copyright
  • Licensing
  • Notre Dame
  • Scaling
  • Trademarks

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Mahaffey Business Library

Located in the Mendoza College of Business, the Mahaffey Business Library is an invaluable resource for aspiring ND entrepreneurs.  The Notre Dame Library System – and especially the Business Library branch – is a critical resource-provider and source for market research on campus. Given access to vast databases that would otherwise be unaffordable, Mahaffey serves to help entrepreneurs find the data necessary for crucial customer validation and market research. Not only are the resources present, but the library team and staff interested in entrepreneurship are excited to work with student entrepreneurs and assist them in the important process of customer discovery and market research.

Keywords

  • Customer Discovery
  • Ideation
  • Library
  • Market Research
  • Validation

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McCloskey Business Plan Competition

The McCloskey Business Plan Competition is an exciting opportunity for entrepreneurial-minded members of the Notre Dame community to come together for the purpose of fostering new business development. All members of the ND community – students, faculty and alumni – are invited to participate as teams compete for cash and in-kind prizes. The Gigot Center provides vital resources such as networking, feedback, mentoring, online business planning software and much more.  Launching early in the fall, the Competition culminates in April with live pitches before a distinguished panel of judges including successful entrepreneurs and investors. It is a valuable networking opportunity, as successful entrepreneurs as well as representatives from incubators and venture capital firms throughout the country attend the final events. The competition is an opportunity for ND entrepreneurs to work through the process of writing and executing a business plan with mentoring from highly successful ND entrepreneurs, while also competing to win up to $300,000 in cash and prizes.

Keywords

  • Advice
  • Business Plan
  • Commitment
  • Competition
  • Feedback
  • Mentor
  • Networking
  • Prize
  • Team
  • Validation

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Notre Dame Design Deck (N3D)

N3D provides workspace, equipment, and training to facilitate hands on learning for Notre Dame undergraduate engineering students involved with class activities, design competitions, personal projects, and other endeavors. N3D offers an array of tools helpful in building prototypes in various materials, including a laser cutter, 3D printer, Techno Router and more.  All of these tools allow for fast drilling, cutting, shaping through additive processes that allow entrepreneurs to bridge the gap between computer code and real physical circuits.  Students are encouraged to take a 1-credit tutorial-based course giving instruction for use of the various equipment at N3D.

Keywords

  • 3D Printer
  • Design Studio
  • Prototyping
  • Validation

Location

Office of Technology Transfer

The mission of the Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) is to help Notre Dame researchers turn great ideas into great products and services, so they may benefit society and help the University realize its call to be a “powerful means for doing good.”  Working with faculty researchers, OTT helps to explore possible commercial applications and business opportunities. The OTT strives to identify useful technologies from research, evaluate technical feasibility and market potential, identify commercial partners, and legally protect the research or product. The OTT is valuable for student entrepreneurs because it provides the opportunity to partner with faculty who may have experience in your areas of interest for your venture.

Keywords

  • Commercialization
  • Commitment
  • Faculty
  • Intellectual Property
  • Patent
  • Research
  • Validation

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Springboard Engineering Solutions

Turning a great idea into a working product is an art, and expertise in the right areas can be the difference between an idea making its way to market or staying a dream. Springboard Engineering Solutions can help with providing product design development, product development engineering, or rapid prototyping services. Springboard primarily serves paying clients for the purpose of prototyping and innovating with vast experience in engineering solutions. They also hire students to work on their team at Springboard, giving students hands-on experience with the start-up culture. Whether you are a startup or an established business in the Michiana area, Springboard Engineering Solutions works with local vendors and sources to put your idea on a springboard of its own.

Keywords

  • 3D Printer
  • Engineering
  • Professional Prototyping
  • Validation

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Survey Research Center

The Center for Social Research (CSR) is dedicated to improving the quality and efficiency of social research at Notre Dame by working with faculty, students, and staff across all academic disciplines.  Using sophisticated survey software and facilitating access to external survey data collection resources, CSR offers a variety of services and tools for survey research needs. The CSR is able to offer support in the development of survey research designs, scale development, and optimization of many data-collection programs. Their staff specializes in statistical analysis, survey design and implementation, data acquisition and management. Their help and expertise can be a great way for student entrepreneurs to learn more about the target markets for their respective business ventures.

Keywords

  • Data Analysis
  • Ideation
  • Market Research
  • Mentoring
  • Software
  • Validation

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