Niamh O'Donnell

Class of 2023-2024

Dublin City University
Bachelor of Business Studies International and French

Why did you choose ESTEEM?

I chose ESTEEM because it encompassed what I was looking for in my entrepreneurial journey. For the past three years, I dedicated myself to a role with Enterprise Ireland, the esteemed Trade & Investment Arm of the Irish Government, operating in both Dublin and Silicon Valley. My primary mission was to facilitate the market entry of Ireland's most promising technology entrepreneurs into the Western US region. The unwavering determination and innovative spirit I observed in these founders served as a profound source of inspiration for me, inciting a strong desire to cultivate further expertise in product management and embark on my own entrepreneurial journey in the software space.

What is your Capstone Project and why are you excited about it?

Within the realm of education, the convergence of mixed reality (MR) and generative AI offers unprecedented opportunities for immersive, data-driven learning experiences that can significantly impact Ascend Learning's mission of accelerating learning, enhancing job readiness, and promoting employment success. This capstone project aims to formulate a strategic perspective on promising business models for Ascend, encompassing critical considerations such as target markets, customer segments, use-case scenarios, and pricing structures with the potential to unlock substantial value. Moreover, it will explore how these innovative technologies, particularly mixed reality, intersect with generative AI solutions in the context of education, ultimately charting a course toward more personalized, interactive, and industry-standard-aligned learning experiences for Ascend's diverse learner base.

What do you hope to do after ESTEEM?

After ESTEEM, my career aspirations revolve around immersing myself in the forefront of emerging Generative AI and Extended Reality solutions. I aim to accomplish this by either serving as a product manager for these groundbreaking technologies or by launching and expanding my own startup within this domain. Additionally, I hold a deep passion for Venture Capital, driven by my commitment to bolster cutting-edge innovation and empower visionary founders in securing the necessary funding to transform their concepts into market realities.

What do you like to do in your free time?

When I am not working I would characterize myself as an enthusiast of life, someone who embraces adventure wholeheartedly, whether it involves hiking, skiing, surfing, or immersing myself in the vibrant atmosphere of music festivals. While I may not be the star athlete, I find immense joy in being part of the Notre Dame Gaelic Football team. Beyond sports, I hold a deep passion for art, fashion, and culture. During my school years, a teacher recognized my artistic talent and suggested I pursue art college, although I chose the entrepreneurship path. Recently, I've reignited my artistic side by enrolling in oil painting classes at Notre Dame, reigniting my creative spirit!

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