Conor O'Donoghue

Conor O'Donoghue

Conor is a 2013 graduate of the ESTEEM program. He received a BEng in Civil and Environmental Engineering from University College Cork in Ireland, before being awarded a Naughton Fellowship to study at Notre Dame. Conor developed an interest in technology commercialization while in his final year at UCC, where he was part of an academic team involved in the commercialization of novel medical devices.  The ESTEEM program offered him the perfect opportunity to build on this foundation and complement his technical background with an immersion in fundamental business concepts.

"I think the ESTEEM Program was an incredible opportunity to become immersed in the world of entrepreneurship. It truly was a game-changer for my career prospects.  The program was very hands on, and I had the chance to collaborate with the inventors of the technology to help them craft a strategy to take the innovation form the lab into the marketplace."

While studying at Notre Dame, Conor’s thesis involved developing a commercialization strategy for a novel production method for silicon carbide nanopowder, a technology emerging from the university’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. The technology is capable of producing the highest quality nanopowder in a more efficient process, making a multitude of its applications cost-effective for the first time.

Conor also became involved in many endeavors outside of his ESTEEM work. As a member of two successful teams in the University’s McCloskey Business Plan Competition, he made use of his skills developed through the program in the founding efforts of two new organizations.

Upon graduation, Conor joined enFocus, a talent incubator and social innovation engine founded by seven of ESTEEM’s 2012 graduates. enFocus, a unique non-profit in South Bend, Indiana, retains recent university graduates and engages them in solving regional challenges to help bring transformative economic development to the community.

After finishing his one-year fellowship at enFocus, Conor moved to the West Coast, where he joined ZS Associates, a consulting firm focused on solving the most challenging sales and marketing problems for their clients around the world.  Since moving to San Diego, he has had the opportunity to put his ESTEEM skills into practice, helping clients to develop innovative strategies for growth.