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My Week in ESTEEM: January 23-27

My week in ESTEEM began with a typical Monday, a long run in the morning in preparation for the Notre Dame Holy Half Marathon, thesis and school work in the afternoon, and classes in the evening. I could not believe it had already been a week since Zach arrived at my doorstep on Long Island after a long flight from Ireland, where we ended our winter breaks, before heading back to school. Our first class was sales and sales management, taught by Chris Stevens, the founder of Keurig and an individual with great impersonations. Not only does he teach us about the fundamentals of sales (as an occupation), but also his words go far beyond that, as he reveals the importance of values such as family, country, honesty, and integrity. …

Notre Dame students win second place in Disney Imagineering design competition

An interdisciplinary team of four Notre Dame students -- including current ESTEEM student Madeline Zupan -- won second place Friday (January 27) in the Walt Disney Imagineering Imaginations Design Competition.

Group 1

The competition, which aims to seek out and nurture the next generation of Disney Imagineers, challenged teams to apply the same design principles used in creating Disney’s famous theme parks and resorts in order to envision new outdoor spaces within their own universities that address the needs of students, faculty, and visitors, while providing a respite from the stresses of everyday life.…

Sandbox Stories: David Laston


“It seemed like the perfect mesh,” says Laston, who joined this year’s class after about 18 months at Cummins, where he started as a lab tech and moved to research and development. “Entrepreneurship was definitely something I’d thought about – later in my life I’d like to own my own business or manage a business or startup. When I came here I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to do. I knew it would open up a lot of career options.”David Laston, who earned a degree in chemistry from Franklin College and went to work for the giant engine manufacturer Cummins Inc. in Columbus, Ind., always knew he wanted to go back to school. When he heard about ESTEEM, he knew where to go.…

Thesis Spotlight: Horizon Pharma

Zupan Madeline

An orphan disease - also called a rare disease – is defined as any condition that affects less than 200,000 people in America. There are over 7,000 distinct orphan diseases today, affecting one in every ten Americans. Because these conditions are so variable and may only affect a few hundred people, diagnosis and treatment is complicated. Specialist physicians are scarce and therapies are even fewer in number. In fact, for 95% of the people with an orphan disease, there is no FDA-approved medication, treatment, or cure. Madeline hopes to change this.…

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.…

Sandbox Stories: Chris Stepien

Stepien Chris

Chris Stepien came to ESTEEM with a bachelor’s degree in chemical and biomolecular engineering from Notre Dame, a new-found interest in consulting, and no preparation for the big-league hiring process in that field. The program equipped him with resume-writing, networking, and interviewing skills, along with a supportive cohort of classmates, that have already paid off: Stepien is the first ESTEEM student who has landed a job with the world-class Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a management consulting firm that advises more than two-third of the Fortune 500 and ranks near the top of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For.…

Thesis Spotlight: EmNet

Foo Ken

EmNet "was formed in 2004 in partnership with the City of South Bend (Indiana) and the University of Notre Dame, for the specific purpose of solving South Bend’s combined sewer overflow problem using advanced control systems theory and civil engineering." The result of this effort was that the combined sewer overflow in the City was reduced by 70%. Additionally, this project cost about a 1/10th of the $100 million it would have cost using traditional engineering methods. Says South Bend's Mayor Pete, “We have the smartest sewers in the world!”…

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.…

Meet Our Neighbors: Elevate Ventures

(This post was originally published in 2015.)

Our Entrepreneurship Master's Program is housed in Notre Dame's Innovation Park, a commercial accelerator that houses startups taking research and innovation towards commercialization.  As such, Elevate Ventures, a private, non-profit VC firm is literally down the hall from (i.e. "neighbors") with ESTEEM's main offices.

Venture Founder's Program -- December Update #2

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As our Fall semester draws to a close, I realize that it’s been nearly five months since we embarked on our Venture Founders Program adventure. Looking back to mid-July, I can still recall the eager, hopeful attitudes that we Venture Founders began with. While we still maintain much of that enthusiasm, one undeniable fact has begun to sink in. Entrepreneurship can be exhausting. That’s not to say that I thought it would be a walk in the park, but I didn’t think it would be a trudge up a mountain.…

From Villanova to ESTEEM

Carney Kellan

While Minnesota native Kellan Carney was earning a pre-medical degree in biology at Villanova University in Philadelphia, he couldn’t help but gain exposure to business because of Villanova’s highly respected business school. He recalls creating fantastic entrepreneurial plans with his friends in finance, economics, or marketing, knowing they probably would never come to fruition. Yet his desire to turn fantastic ideas into actual ventures led him to seek a business minor by attending Villanova’s Summer Business Institute (SBI), which turned out to be great preparation for the ESTEEM Program.…

My Week in ESTEEM: December 5-11

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As December rolled in, so did the Christmas cheer, snow, and preparation for finals. The week followed a fun weekend, including an Irish tradition called the 12 pubs of Christmas where we all wore our ugly Christmas sweaters or “jumpers” as the Irish lads call them. Monday we had our last marketing class which was followed by a dinner party at Professor Kitz’ house. After class we all headed over there for pizza, but it was a short party since we were all stressing about our launch strategy final that was due the next day (the first draft of Chapter 5 of our thesis).

Venture Founder's Program -- December Update

Hardwicke David

Writing this post has come at a formative and exciting time in this rollercoaster human centred

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design journey!

 

In the midst of extensive thesis work, projects and football weekends, the progress each Venture Founders Program (VFP) member has made over the last couple of months is truly admirable:

ESTEEM Spring Break Silicon Valley Trek 2017

The ESTEEM Graduate Program is offering a unique spring break opportunity for junior STEM and Design majors! Every year, the ESTEEM Program takes all of its students to Silicon Valley for spring break, immersing them in one of the most innovative places in the world. Students tour start-ups and multi-billion dollar companies, have a chance to shadow a person/team at a company or venture capital firm for a day, and have multiple opportunities to network with venture capitalists, Notre Dame alumni, and others in the Silicon Valley entrepreneurship ecosystem. Past tours have included Uber, Google, Intersect ENT, Zeltiq, Lighting Motorcycle, IDEO, and the d.school at Stanford.

From Xavier University to ESTEEM

2017 Xavier 1

John Means, a member of the ESTEEM Class of 2016, returned to his undergraduate campus, Xavier University, and helped recruit four men to the Class of 2017. Ben Kelty, Roy Saikali, Alex Curry, and Mitchell Cornely say the program provides complementary skills – and the connection to the Notre Dame alumni network and career services help – that allows them to pursue their dream careers. The intense summer semester, with rigorous courses in mostly-new topics, helped the cohort bond and feel at home on the Notre Dame campus.…

Thesis Spotlight: Blockchain Technology: Revolutionizing Cross Border Payments

Hickey Zachary

Modern technology has revolutionized worldwide communication standards. Phone calls and e-mails, that travel directly from A to B, help maintain contact between people no matter how far apart they are. However, when dealing with wealth (or money) things become more problematic. In person, the process of transferring money is cheap, secure, and anonymous - if Alice needed to send $1 to Bob she could easily hand him the dollar with dependability and privacy. Yet, if Alice and Bob were living in different states, countries, or continents, they would have to trust a central authority to act as a validator and liaison for the transaction - adding unnecessary fringe fees and time delays.

From University of Portland to ESTEEM

Zellerhoff Tori

Victoria Zellerhoff came to ESTEEM from the University of Portland (UP), Notre Dame’s sister school in Oregon, to add business skills to the excellent technical background she gained with her mechanical engineering major and biology minor. She also found a national reputation, an unparalleled alumni network, overflowing career fairs, and an actual football team (Portland’s disbanded in 66 years ago, hence “Undefeated since 1950”). …