John Vernon

John Vernon

John graduated from the College of Science at the University of Notre Dame in 2014 after studying neuroscience and psychology and graduated from the ESTEEM program in 2015. He is originally from Annapolis, MD and enjoys movies, classic rock music, and Notre Dame Football. While an undergraduate student at ND, John was very active in research, especially in the field of Autism. John worked with robots as a potential method of therapy to help children with ASD improve their social skills development. Even though he misses the waters of the Chesapeake, South Bend has become John’s second home. John is now working with South Bend enFocus, a consulting firm startup founded by ESTEEM alumni. This local company focuses on small businesses, government, industry, and also non-profits, and works to revitalize the city of South Bend.

As part of his capstone thesis John worked with a rising startup company on speech diagnostics and processing. He investigated whether this technology can be applied to areas of speech pathology and assessment of neurological disorders. His business plan received an award at the McCloskey Business Plan competition and was a semi-finalist. John is still working on this project and has partnered with the Mayo Clinic to continue research and development.

John also worked as a member of the Program Development Team to enhance the ESTEEM program, and highlight its role promoting an entrepreneurial culture at Notre Dame. Throughout the year, he coordinated several collaborative events and initiatives between Innovation Park and the ND undergraduate campus. He also helped plan Startup Weekend, an annual event where students from Notre Dame as well as community members come together to build businesses in just 48 hours.

John’s interests include neurobiology, cognitive psychology, science and technology policy, social entrepreneurship, and leadership, ethics, and the law. John plans to continue the path of entrepreneurship by eventually working in the venture capital industry as well as by attending law school in the future. 

Fall 2016 update:  John is now a law student at Villanova University School of Law.