Exposure to the Venture Capital World: Janaeé Wallace's ESTEEM Experience

Author: Notre Dame ESTEEM

Janaeé Wallace, an ESTEEM alumna, shares how the program equipped her with valuable skills in business, technology, critical thinking, networking, and pitching, enabling her to succeed as a technical product manager and angel investor, and empowering her to drive change in the Bahamas.

Janaeé Wallace ’16 M.S. now excels as a Technical Product Manager at Ernst and Young. Beyond her corporate role, Janaeé is making waves in the field of angel investing. Her involvement spans three diverse angel investment groups, concentrating on nurturing pre-seed and seed-stage companies with crucial financial backing. This initiative aligns with her commitment to fostering growth in emerging businesses. Hailing from the Bahamas, a country traditionally reliant on tourism, Janaeé recognized early on the critical need for diversifying talents, particularly advocating for STEM-oriented enterprises.

Janaeé's journey took a transformative turn with the ESTEEM program, a critical gateway to venture capital and private equity. She credits ESTEEM for harmoniously blending her STEM enthusiasm with her professional ambitions, providing key insights to aid startups and growth-focused companies. Her career path is a source of inspiration for budding entrepreneurs and prospective ESTEEM students, exemplifying the significant influence of the program.

Reflecting on her education, Janaeé shares, “The business model canvas, design thinking, product management focus, and introductory coding skills I acquired at ESTEEM are integral to my everyday professional life, benefiting not just my personal business ventures and investments but also my role at Ernst & Young.”

While in ESTEEM, she participated in the first annual Ara Parseghian charity bike ride, a testament to her commitment to causes that enact positive change. The ride, from the Kentucky Derby to South Bend, not only showcased her athletic prowess but also her deep-seated passion for contributing to meaningful causes. By supporting the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Fund (APMRF) at Notre Dame in tandem with the ESTEEM graduate program, Janaeé helped to raise significant awareness and funds for Niemann-Pick Type C (NPC) disease. This involvement aligns perfectly with her broader mission of leveraging her skills and influence to back initiatives that are forces for good, demonstrating how her professional and philanthropic aspirations are intricately interwoven.


What sets ESTEEM apart from other graduate programs? According to Janaeé, it’s the program's unparalleled integration of business strategy and technological innovation. ESTEEM doesn’t just teach its students the fundamentals of business or the intricacies of technology; it weaves them together, creating a comprehensive curriculum that prepares graduates for the multifaceted challenges of today’s professional world.

“ESTEEM focuses not only on the business aspect of building a business but also on technology. It’s the middle ground between business and technology that gives you a different set of skills than you’d get from a traditional master's in engineering or MBA program,” noted Janaeé.

Networking and mentorship are also central to the ESTEEM experience. Janaeé speaks highly of the program’s vast network of industry professionals, alumni, and entrepreneurs who are integral in guiding and mentoring students. This network not only provides invaluable insights into the business and tech world but also opens doors to career opportunities post-graduation.

To join us on the journey of innovation and entrepreneurship, discover more about the ESTEEM program and take the first step toward a rewarding future today.

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