My Week in ESTEEM- Week 13

Author: Laura Shute

Laura ShuteLaura Shute

Welcome back to "My Week in ESTEEM" where students reflect upon their experiences in our program.  This week's blog is brought to us by Laura Shute, a University of Notre Dame graduate, who discusses new ESTEEM classes, special guest Tim Connors, and the final Irish home game.

While this week started with a few firsts- first project in Current Trends in IT, first Launch Strategy class- we concluded on Saturday with the first of the lasts- the last home football game!

The beginning of our week, for many of us non-computer science folk, was devoted to learning how to navigate Amazon WorkSpaces (AWS) to set up a WordPress blog for our Current Trends in IT course. With only five sessions, this course is designed to give us a hands-on overview of the large movements currently impacting information technology, including cloud computing: what better way to learn about the power of AWS technology than to dive headlong into the platform? With lots of help from our instructor, a persistent spirit, and a good sense of humor, each IT team successfully wove a WordPress blog out of lines and lines of code. This week, we’ve moved on to designing intuitive and user-friendly app interfaces through the clever app mockup platform Fluid UI with the challenge of matching the ease of our favorite apps (Snapchat, anyone?).

Tuesday marked the first day of Launch Strategy 1.0, a key course in the construction of our theses’ business plans. Taught by Sam Miller, the current director of the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship, Launch Strategy focuses on utilizing the Business Model Canvas (BMC) and customer validation approach to crafting a relevant, marketable, and expandable business from the ground up. Over the next few months each ESTEEM student will be drawing upon our BMC experience over the summer to make many phone calls and send countless emails with the intent to validate our thesis business strategy.

Not only did we dive into IT and Launch Strategy, but the final draft of Chapter 2 of our theses (Applications and Market Sizing for our technologies) was also due Tuesday night: who could blame us for looking forward to Saturday’s final home game against Wake Forest?

The Wake Forest Game Day started with a special treat for ESTEEMers: at 9 AM before the commencement of final ESTEEM tailgate festivities, the founder of PivotNorth Capital and ND Alum Tim Connors spoke to us about the history and current climate of VC funding. We learned about the subtleties between micro VC “builders” and large VC “bettors,” the dangers of overfunding new ventures, and the intricacies of the VC funding relationships over bagels and coffee. As the day progressed, ESTEEM gathered in the Joyce lot for a final unofficial tailgate (we collectively hosted 6/6 tailgates! Way to go guys!) celebrating our undefeated home football season over hamburgers, chili, brownies, and way too much ND spirit. Marshmallows in tow (it was Senior Day, after all), we enjoyed our final Notre Dame win over Wake Forest and even got to hang out on the field after the Alma Mater for some celebratory pictures (and for me- some wistful reflection at the end of my 5 football seasons at Notre Dame).

Although the week was full of close-cut deadlines and accompanying celebrations, as Sunny always says, thesis never stops- here’s to a productive upcoming week!

The final ESTEEM Tailgate in the Joyce lot

ESTEEM storms the field and takes the ND bench