Blog » Archives » August 2014

Current ESTEEM class already Making an Impact

Students in Design Thinking/Business Model Canvas learn how to design a better wallet in a class exercise

Members of the 2015 entrepreneurship master's program, ESTEEM, launched their summer with service to South Bend as part of a Business Model Canvas course taught by Assistant Director Sunny Shah. Teams of students learned to gather and assess potential customers’ needs so that startup enterprises can address them effectively.…

Why Women Need to Be Leaders in Innovation

Rachael Marshall is a current student in our entrepreneurship master's program.  She graduated from the University of Arizona with her undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering.
 
In one of our first ESTEEM classes, on customer validation, we heard Henry Ford’s observation: “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” I think this captures our technology-driven world’s need for challenging the norm and defying limitations. New gadgets and devices are being invented before we even know we need them – the status quo is constantly changing. For me as a woman engineer, this raises a question: How can we be so obsessed with new ideas and technologies but not look for new ways and new people to discover them? …

He Left a Full-Time Job to Pursue his Dream

Derek Athy is a current ESTEEM student and a gradute of the University of Illinois.

A little under a year ago, I was spending my time working as a clinical research coordinator at the University of Chicago Medical Center, while also working in an evolutionary/developmental biology lab at the University. I enjoyed the exploratory nature and the science involved with these positions, however I began to realize that this work was ultimately not fulfilling the goals I had set for my career. I began to consider applying to medical school, for an MBA program, or for a job in healthcare/pharmaceutical consulting.  Yet, ultimately I was unsure of what would be best for my future aspirations.…

Faculty Spotlight: Prof. Michael Elwell

When he was a junior in Notre Dame’s industrial design program a decade ago, Mike Elwell created a pill bottle opener with a magnifying glass for people with arthritis. He’s still collecting royalties from the Magnifying Medi-Grip licensed and manufactured by Jokari Inc.

“That’s when I started learning how to harness the potential of my intellectual property,” says Elwell, who earned an M.F.A. in Industrial Design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, while working on a crib with a safer mattress to prevent SIDS. “While designing, I’m always thinking about how to commercialize the concepts to improve quality of life. If you never take it to market, it’s just a concept.”

ESTEEM's Commercial Partners: The Cleveland Clinic

Gaylene Anderson is a full-time Cleveland Clinic employee embedded in the University of Notre Dame’s Office of Technology Transfer – a unique academic-medical collaboration that includes five other health systems around the country to help move research discovery to commercial application.

Commercial Adviser Gaylene Anderson

Faculty Spotlight: Prof. Jeff Kantor

Professor Jeff Kantor

An ESTEEM student in Jeff Kantor’s class couldn’t wait to take what she learned about job shop scheduling back to her family’s small business in Michigan. When the license for the sophisticated software in the class turned out to be too costly for the company, Kantor developed a web application with open source tools for the task. Since it launched in early 2013, more than 3,700 people in 92 countries have visited the page – and Kantor has adjusted his teaching perspective.…

Faculty Spotlight: Prof. Sam Miller

Photo of Professor Sam Miller

Sam Miller, director of the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship at the Mendoza College of Business, has seen ESTEEM students place high and succeed in winning prize money in the prestigious McCloskey Business Plan Competition.  He was a judge for several ESTEEM students’ thesis projects last spring. Next spring, he’ll start teaching in the program, bringing his broad background that includes a Fortune 100 company, a family startup, and an innovative sustainability consulting firm.…

The Rise of the Entrepreneurship Master's: A Discussion with ESTEEM Student John Vernon

John Vernon, ESTEEM 2015is a recent ND graduate, where he studied neuroscience and psychology. He plans to focus his capstone thesis on studying concussions and speech pathology.


A recent article in Forbes explored the growing trend of new (and in some cases, not so new) Entrepreneurship Master's programs across the country. Everyone from Michigan to Stanford to BYU has one now, and most were founded within the last 20 years. To John Vernon, a current ESTEEM student, this feels like "validation," that people care. The Entrepreneurship Master's presents many advantages: shorter programs with unique focuses of study allow graduates to stand out and the opportunity for real business experience help them thrive. Additionally, these programs feed into the American psyche: "Everyone wants to own a company, to be their own boss," says Vernon, "It's the American Dream." That being said, Entrepreneurship Master's programs are not without their risks, since most programs are relatively new. Yet Vernon noted that the risks are not without their rewards, that the payoffs are worth it. As the Forbes article states, demand for alternate business education has "seismically" increased throughout the last two decades, mainly due to the dot com boom and the gargantuan successes it has produced.…