Entrepreneurship at Notre Dame

IDEA Center

Standing for Innovation, De-Risking and Enterprise Acceleration, the IDEA Center is the fundamental resource for all commercialization and entrepreneurial activities at the University of Notre Dame.  It provides the necessary space, services and expertise for idea development, commercialization, business formation, prototyping, entrepreneurial education, and student entrepreneurial efforts.  It is designed to bring the best Notre Dame faculty, staff, and student ideas and innovations to market.  The ESTEEM Program, the Office of Technology Transfer (now called the Commercialization Engine Team), the McCloskey Competition and the staff of Innovation Park joined with several new initiatives to comprise the IDEA Center, which will also help to support student entrepreneurship and innovation with curricular and extracurricular programs.

Innovation Park

At Innovation Park, ESTEEM students have the opportunity to interact with other entrepreneurs, Notre Dame faculty and researchers, alumni, and commercial mentors.  The Park serves as a site of nucleation where productive collisions between individuals such as entrepreneurs and inventors, students and investors, and subject matter experts and University staff regularly take place.

Leighton Hall, a 55,000 sq. ft. structure housing incubation facilities, state-of-the-art lab space, high-tech conference rooms and collaborative areas, as well as administrative offices, was joined in late 2017 by Quinn Hall, a 40,000 sq. ft. building. The Innovation Park facility is home to the IDEA Center.

Irish Innovation Fund

The Irish Innovation Fund (IIF) is a $3.5-million fund at the University of Notre Dame established to help launch student-led ventures and further strengthen the educational component of the University's ESTEEM Program.  It was created in honor of Philip J. Purcell, III, a member of the University’s Board of Trustees. 

Notre Dame California

Notre Dame California accelerates opportunities across Notre Dame, especially for students in the Master of Science in Engineering, Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Program, who are well-prepared to leverage the broader connections with companies in the heart of 21st-century technology and innovation. The multi-pronged plan includes establishing career opportunities and internships for Notre Dame students and graduates with both large companies and fast-growing startups in the Silicon Valley area and beyond.

Notre Dame’s heightened profile in the leading center for venture capital and philanthropy also aims to attract significant funding for startup companies based on faculty and student discovery, as well as create innovative partnership for further research and discovery. Many of the 7,300 Notre Dame alumni in the area are participating enthusiastically in the initiative that will strengthen networking ties in the state.