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After ESTEEM: John Flatley

When the Bay Area company SharePractice closed a few months after he joined, John Flatley viewed it as another item checked off his bucket list -- experiencing being among the 9 out of 10 startups that fail. That’s how fully the 2011 ESTEEM graduate embraces the entrepreneurial mindset and the “middle space” bridge between technology, entrepreneurship, and business. “Even though things changed, it didn't scare me away because I still wanted the experience,” he says. Flatley already had four fast-rising years at Google and a break to explore Asia, Europe, and, on a motorcycle, North America. So he set a new goal – move to Chicago – and achieved it through a job with Raise Marketplace, the world’s largest gift card marketplace, where he’s working now.

After ESTEEM: Chris Freise

Photo of ESTEEM Alum Chris Freise

Chris Freise, who graduated with the third ESTEEM class in 2012, kept a copy of his thesis business plan for reference when he got an idea for his own company two years later – a fitness app to solve his own problem of inconsistent access to a gym and an unhealthy reliance on fast food. He learned to pivot from his original plan through real-world experience that has propelled his company, Updown Fitness, to better alignment with market needs.…

After ESTEEM: Kris Priemer

ESTEEM Alumni Kris Primier

South Bend native Kristopher Priemer had no formal entrepreneurship experience when he participated in Entrepreneur Magazine’s College Entrepreneur of the Year, where he was one of five finalists, as a senior at Saint Louis University. He stayed in St. Louis for a year after he earned his mathematics degree, working in financial services, until he heard of ESTEEM and came home to join the program in 2010. Now Priemer has a wealth of entrepreneurship experience – from “fail early, fail often” to a promising platform for connecting bands with campus organizations looking for performers. He’s also had a significant impact on his hometown as a consultant for the city’s efforts to advance its technology sophistication.…

After ESTEEM: Bianca Fox

Bianca Fox was expecting to go to medical school when she majored in Science-Business as a Notre Dame undergraduate, but by graduation she was seeking other avenues for a science and health care career.

After ESTEEM: Feranmi Okanlami

Feranmi Okanlami, who grew up in South Bend, graduated from Stanford University, and earned an M.D. at the University of Michigan, suffered a paralyzing spinal cord injury from a diving accident while he was an orthopaedic surgery resident at Yale-New Haven Hospital. After inpatient therapy in Chicago, he returned home for outpatient therapy and joined ESTEEM in 2014. His capstone thesis, in partnership with the Cleveland Clinic and Custom Orthopaedic Solutions, involved a patient-specific medical device intended to make pedicle screw placement in spinal surgeries faster and more accurate – equipment that could have enhanced his own surgeries.…