From the Director

Author: Jeff Bernel

It has been a very busy few months for the Gigot Center: a transition of leadership, the McCloskey Business Plan Competition, Startup Weekend, courses to be taught, internship programs filled and the annual meetings of the Gigot Advisory Board and IrishAngel Network highlight the list.

The Center is blessed with the intelligent and hard working staff of Karen Slaggert, who has been promoted to associate director; Melissa Paulsen, social entrepreneurship program manager; and Patti Reinhardt, who has been promoted to program assistant.  It is a great pleasure to work with such talented, smart and dedicated colleagues.

My role of late is to “evangelize” the work of the Center by a conscious “in-source” effort to re-introduce the Gigot Center to the constituencies we serve at Notre Dame.  The effort has been an enjoyable process for me by providing the opportunity to share our capabilities and value-added contributions of entrepreneurship education at Notre Dame.

Our vision of “A Sense of Possible”— supported by a mission focusing on entrepreneurship education, assisting the launching of new businesses through the IrishAngel Network and McCloskey Competitions and social entrepreneurship programs — continues to guide our work.

We now have a new name, “The Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship.”  This is a shortened version of the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies moniker.

The Center’s education component continues to see increased enrollment due to the excellent teaching capability of our faculty. A complete curriculum review is under way and we have finished benchmarking the top ten U.S. entrepreneurship centers against our current course offerings.  A great deal has been learned and additional courses will be added for AY 2013-14.

Notre Dame is at an interesting crossroads. With the addition of Innovation Park at Notre Dame; the ESTEEM (Engineering, Science, Technology, Excellence in Entrepreneurship Masters) program, now in its third year; and the University’s commitment to commercialize its research, Notre Dame is creating a vibrant entrepreneurial climate.  There is much work ahead, but we truly are at a convergence of opportunity that should bode well for the future of the University’s new venture aspirations.

Karen, Melissa, Patti and I wish you a warm and enjoyable summer season.