ESTEEM students can choose to work on an idea or product they have invented as part of their capstone thesis. In order to work on a Founder's Idea, the student must submit a one-page description of the idea, its technical merit, and the ability of the student to execute the project. The ESTEEM staff reviews the project internally as well as with experienced Notre Dame faculty and decides whether to allow the student to pursue the project. The student is then matched with a Notre Dame faculty member who acts as a technical adviser to the student during the duration of the Program.
Recent Founder's Idea projects include:
- commercialization of a surgical instrument designed to enhance the suction and irrigation capabilities in laparoscopic surgeries;
- development of marine aquaculture in order to launch innovative, sustainable food production across developing island and coastal nations; and
- the creation of eHealth systems to enhance patients' physical therapy, medication, and nutrition adherance and healthy behaviors.