Notre Dame and Community to Host Inaugural IDEA Week

Author: Ryan Millbern

The South Bend-Elkhart region was built on innovation—from the forward thinkers at Studebaker to the Singer Sewing Company to Honeywell. The same entrepreneurial energy that put this county on the map nearly a century ago has reinvigorated the region in recent years.

Main Story Idea WeekBryan Ritchie, Associate Provost and Vice President for Innovation at Notre Dame's IDEA Center


That’s why the University of Notre Dame's IDEA Center is partnering with these surrounding communities to host IDEA Week, which takes place April 20 – 28, 2018. The event is a celebration of the innovative, entrepreneurial and creative energy and leadership that is reshaping the region. 


The weeklong event will include startup competitions offering hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money; speakers (like Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh); a concert by The Chainsmokers and stand-up comedy from Gabriel Iglesias; workshops and other opportunities for entrepreneurs, makers and investors.


Notre Dame MBA Students Kick Off Inaugural IDEA Week

IDEA Week presents a wide range of opportunities for Notre Dame MBA students to network with entrepreneurs, hear from established industry veterans and test their own ideas and inventions in a number of competitions. In fact, MBA students are kicking off the week’s festivities with a competition of their own.  


The MBA Tech Club recently announced the first-ever Thomson Reuters Notre Dame MBA Technology Innovation Challenge. On April 20, 2018, teams of four (comprised of MBA students and other graduate students) from top universities across the country will develop innovative strategies to address a real business challenge involving Blockchain, the technology that powers Bitcoin. The winners will write history as the inaugural champions of the event, and also claim their share of $10,000 in total prize money.


There’s something for every MBA student at IDEA Week

During IDEA Week, Notre Dame MBA students can participate in a diverse range of panel discussions, pitch competitions and informal events, including a TEDx session and social activities, throughout the region. Other events include:  


The McCloskey New Venture Competition

Held at the Mendoza College of Business, this competition invites Notre Dame students, faculty and researchers to pitch emerging and cutting-edge Notre Dame technologies in front of an audience of alumni, industry experts and venture capitalists. The goal: to take their ideas to the next level.


If I Can, You Can: How to Become an Entrepreneur

Held at the Century Center in South Bend, this is a panel discussion featuring a collection of self-proclaimed “typical” entrepreneurs who will share actionable advice for how to start your business—and what pitfalls to avoid.


Big Data/IT Industry Panel

Held at South Bend’s Century Center, this panel will explore the concept of “Big Data” and why companies are collecting it.


How to Fund Your Startup

Also at the Century Center, this panel discussion features investors and entrepreneurs who will address everything from major types of startup funding to what investors are looking for in new ventures.


Graduate School Shaheen Three Minute Thesis (3MT)

Held in the Mendoza College of Business, this competition empowers graduate students from all across Notre Dame to explain how their research matters through language appropriate to specialists and non-specialists, all within three minutes.


And these are just a few of the events open to MBA students and to the South Bend and Elkhart community. Here is the complete event listing for IDEA Week.