IDEA center resources for Graduate students

Standing for Innovation, De-Risking and Enterprise Acceleration, the IDEA Center is the fundamental resource for all commercialization and entrepreneurial activities at the University of Notre Dame. We are the hub for entrepreneurship and innovation on campus, and we exist to help support and bring the best Notre Dame faculty, staff and student ideas and innovations to market.  We provide the necessary space, services and expertise for idea development, commercialization, business formation, prototyping, entrepreneurial education and student entrepreneurial efforts.


We are VERY eager for graduate students to engage with us at the IDEA Center.  Here are just a few opportunities – ways that graduate students can get involved.  Read below and check out our website -- then let us know if you have any questions!

INVENT – We want students to submit their own ideas or work with other student inventors.  We will surround you with amazing resources including coaching, mentoring, feedback, networking, industry expertise and funding -- YES, we have $$ available to support student startups!! Read here about our resources for student inventors, then click here to submit your idea -- we'll follow up immediately to surround you with great resources!

COMPETE – Competitions are a great opportunity for students to learn, have great experiences and potentially win great prizes – students compete for more than $400,000 in cash and prizes in the McCloskey New Venture Competition.  For students who do not yet have their own ideas, we encourage students to connect with other teams to help, and we provide a platform called McCloskey Connections to help facilitate these interactions.  If you’re interested, check out the McCloskey Connections website to learn more. 

LEARN – The IDEA Center provides many educational programs including our one year master's program in entrepreneurship and innovation (ESTEEM), workshops, brainstorming sessions and much more.

EVENTS – The IDEA Center sponsors many very cool events, such as our Innovation Rallies before home football games, New Venture Launch Weekend, etc.  Check out the IDEA Center website (News & Events) to learn more.

TINKER – We have a brand new makerspace, an integrated design, fabrication and makerspace located on the 1st floor of Innovation Park.  Students are encouraged to create their own unique ideas, design them, and then turn them into physical products!  We have many, many resources to help you. Come check it out!

Information about ALL of these opportunities can be found on the IDEA Center website under the Student Entrepreneurship tab.


If you have additional questions, don't hesitate to reach out to us via email at