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Author's profile photo Don Ginocchio

Click-Start Event Connects Startups with Expert Mentors at Notre Dame’s Innovation Park

Together with our partners at the University of Notre Dame, I had the privilege of hosting CLICK-Start, an event to help Notre Dame student teams connect with experts to explore moving Apps from concept to the marketplace. The event was held at Innovation Park and featured a number of community experts who met with students in an informal roundtable setting. Our experts included:

  • Mike Vogel, Entrepreneur in Residence at Notre Dame
  • Gene Cavanaugh – Gene is the former Vice President at 1st Source Bank in South Bend, IN where he focused on the bank’s venture investment subsidiary, 1st Source Capital. Gene sits on numerous local Boards and is a member of the Irish Entrepreneurs Network.
  • Elevate Ventures – Elevate Ventures nurtures and develops emerging and existing high-potential businesses into high-performing, Indiana-based companies. The Elevate team accomplishes this by providing rigorous business analysis and robust advisory services that connect companies with the resources they need to succeed long-term. As a not-for-profit organization, Elevate Ventures is able to offer unbiased, in-depth perspective and recommendations.
  • Office of Technology Transfer – The mission of the Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) is help Notre Dame researchers turn great ideas into great products and services, so they may benefit society and help the University realize its call to be a “powerful means for doing good”

Teams from the recent Startup Weekend Notre Dame and the Notre Dame App Challenge were invited to the event. Everyone participated in short coaching and connection sections to explore issues related to commercialize these app startup ideas.

Collaborating with the University of Notre Dame and the city of South Bend, the leading minds of the area were joined together in a common effort at Startup Weekend Notre Dame. The 54-hour event is a one of a kind weekend where developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startups.

The Notre Dame App Challenge is a first-ever event to give anyone on campus—students, faculty and staff—the chance to build their app from concept to reality, get real-world help refining their idea, and compete for over $10,000 in prizes. The Challenge started September 2016, will conclude in March 2017, and is open to all Notre Dame students, faculty and staff at Notre Dame. It is funded by the university and SAP provides orchestration and technical assistance throughout the process.

Innovation Park at Notre Dame exists to cultivate marketable innovations in an inspiring environment, with access to Notre Dame cutting-edge research, world-class faculty and students, and the global network of Notre Dame entrepreneurial veterans. In simple terms Innovation Park CONNECTS aspiring entrepreneurs with ND faculty, students and other resources to COLLABORATE with Notre Dame industry experts to COMMERCIALIZE new ventures successfully.

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