My Week in ESTEEM - Week 1

With the end of the fall semester’s syllabus week comes the onset of this semesters workload. Everyone is highly anticipating the year’s first football came against the University of Texas. It will surely be an exciting first game for those that have never experienced football at a university with as hailed of a program as Notre Dame’s.

Faculty Spotlight: Professor Michael Kitz

Michael Kitz, who earned dual degrees in engineering and theology at Notre Dame in 1985, and an MBA from the University of Michigan, spent more than two decades in industry, focused on product development, marketing, and management. His globetrotting career included years at Procter & Gamble, Motorola, Honeywell, Chrysler, Goodyear Tire, and OfficeMax, where he was chief marketing officer, head of product development, and leader of a large sourcing operation in China.…

Notre Dame-SAP Alliance Brings Data Home

Don Ginocchio, a 1981 Notre Dame graduate and employee of SAP, the global enterprise software firm, has worked at Innovation Park for the past year as the University and SAP seek innovative ways to use Big Data analytics. One partnership involves ESTEEM students’ work with Indiana state officials on traffic data that involves 160 million records of incidents across the state.…

Alum Creates Startup with Industry Sponsor

Kevin O’Keeffe, who earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at University College Cork in Ireland and worked in industry for a year before he joined ESTEEM’s Class of 2015, gained a broad business understanding and his dream job from the program. O’Keeffe is engineering lead for Slipstream, a startup company focused on sustainable power generation and storage.…

ESTEEM Alum creates New Venture: DeluxeMaid

Finn Pegler, who graduated from ESTEEM in 2014, recently launched a startup in the South Bend area. Pegler, working remotely in London, opened DeluxeMaid (, a home cleaning service.

DeLuxeMaid Logo

“My thought process behind starting this business was as simple as: 1) Is there a market for the service 2) Can I create a better service than 99% of the providers in that market? and 3) Can I make this service a luxury that people can feel good about by incorporating the triple bottom line feel-good-factor?” he says. “For maid services, creating a better product meant increasing peace of mind and convenience for the consumer.…

SerendipitiBus: It was the Best of times, it was the Bus(t) of times

ESTEEM 2015 alum Michèal Lyne talks about the highlights of the bus adventure.  Michèal will be joining Deloitte in Houston in a few months.

Having completed our journey on the SerendipitiBus one question that everyone always asks us is what was our favourite moment or best destination of the trip. I thought I would delve into the highlights of the journey from my perspective and pick out a few times to illustrate what we got up to along the way.…

ESTEEM Hosts Career Panel Featuring Successful Alums

The following is a brief reflection by current student, Tim Jacque, about a panel held at Innovation Park on Friday, July 17, 2015

“Learn how to spin (ESTEEM) in a good way, 15 seconds of what we’re working on will go over their head, but that’s a good thing,” said program director David Murphy to the student audience. It was a Friday afternoon at Innovation Park in South Bend, Indiana and the students were gathered at tables listening to a panel of three alumni. The panel was discussing how their work in the ESTEEM program shaped their career through the resources at the University of Notre Dame.…

ESTEEM Alum and His Team Win at Civic Hackathon

Indianapolis native James Sallee was contemplating a career change from his six-year federal government job in Washington, D.C., last year when a notice about ESTEEM appeared in his inbox. He saw the opportunity to return to his roots and, having satisfied his interest in national security, pursue his twin interest in aerospace.…

Faculty Spotlight: Professor Chris Stevens

Chris Stevens, who came to Notre Dame on a basketball scholarship and graduated with an economics degree in 1974, entered the world of entrepreneurship while he was playing professional basketball in Europe – he helped open a bar in Belgium. When he returned to the United States, he honed his intrapreneurship skills in seven years at Proctor & Gamble, including five moves in five years. He settled in Boston and practiced his creativity as president of an Anheuser-Busch distributorship that he transformed into a thriving operation.…

Faculty Spotlight: Prof. Wendy Angst

Wendy Angst, who took a personal medical records business from startup to sale across more than a decade, has included ESTEEM students in her Commercialization Analytics course in the Mendoza College of Business since she started teaching at Notre Dame in 2011. This summer, she’s teaching Design Thinking in the ESTEEM program.…

Faculty Spotlight: Prof. Mark Bourgeois

Mark Bourgeois has pursued both engineering and philosophy in alternating stages of his career. Now they’ve come together in the Technology and Ethics course he will teach to ESTEEM students, developed in part from a philosophy of technology undergraduate course that he teaches as a postdoctoral research associate in Notre Dame’s Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values.…

The Serendipitibus: Six Things We Learned

ESTEEM 2015 alumn Rory Dunne gives his take on how taking on a bus renovation is similar to starting a company. Rory will be taking a job with Deloitte following his time on the “Serendipitibus”.

As with any entrepreneurial endeavor, this one began with the voicing of a crazy idea to some trusted confidants. On a summer break drive to a friend’s house, we were discussing the kinds of possibilities that might give us something to look forward to after the grueling demands of the Master’s program that lay ahead of us. A school bus passed us by and so the idea was born. Over the next year, we would buy and renovate a school bus into an RV so that we could see the United States.…

ESTEEM Alum Launched Second Startup in 5 Years

When he was an undergraduate mechanical engineering and industrial design major at Notre Dame, Will McLeod was already working in his basement on SmarterShade, a Smart glass that can switch between clear and opaque on command. His team was the first composed of undergraduates to win the McCloskey Business Plan Competition, and it won an NSF grant to take the concept to production.…

ESTEEM Spinoff enFocus Assists with Talent Retention

Since its inception in 2009, the ESTEEM Program has been about the commercialization of innovative research and technology, bridging the gap between academia in business.  However, in addition to that, the ESTEEM program has also focused on an emerging national trend of social entrepreneurship.

At ESTEEM that focus on social entrepreneurship begins at home and includes investment in the local community.  Through an ESTEEM spinoff enFocus

The Year in Review

John Vernon, a recent ESTEEM graduate, provides a reflection on the past year as a member of the Class of 2015. John will be starting in August with enFocus, a South Bend Start-up consulting firm, and continuing with the business project developed from his Master’s Thesis.

ESTEEM Alum and His Team Develops Sleep-Enhancing App and Tools

Somni products

A team of Notre Dame entrepreneurs has developed a sleep-enhancing kit and app designed to boost college students’ healthy rest, memory, learning, and mental health. The approach is based on the research of Jessica Payne, the Nancy O'Neill Associate Professor of Psychology and director of the Sleep Stress and Memory Lab. Matt Berg, who received his undergraduate degree in science-business in 2012 and master’s degree in the entrepreneurship master's program (ESTEEM) in 2013, and junior Ryan Gannett work with Payne. Their company, Somni, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for kit manufacturing and app development.

2015 Naughton Fellowship awardees announced

Trinity College

Twenty-one winners of the Naughton Fellowships were announced today by the Graduate School. The research fellowships were awarded to undergraduate, Master’s, and Ph.D. students from Notre Dame and from Ireland. This year’s winners from Notre Dame represent three Notre Dame colleges and schools, including arts and letters, engineering, and science.