Society Caps Off 2008 by Earning a Bid to Join Nation’s Premier Network and Announcing Long-Term Strategic Partners
The fall semester of 2008 was one to remember for the Entrepreneurship Society of Notre Dame. To cap it off, the Society earned a bid from Entreprelliance to become the 20th member of the nation’s premier intercollegiate entrepreneurship network.
The other nineteen university entrepreneurship societies comprising Entreprelliance hail from: Babson, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Emory, Georgetown, Harvard, Michigan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), NYU Stern, U Penn, Tufts, USC, Virginia, and Yale. Entreprelliance has held national conferences at Babson in 2005, Penn (Wharton) in 2006, Emory in 2007, and Duke in 2008. The Entrepreneurship Society of Notre Dame is expected to become a leading member of the network in the near future.
Founded just in 2006, the Entrepreneurship Society of Notre Dame has grown at a torrid pace. The organization now has over 150 active members, a leadership team of over 20 students, and an e-mailing publication of nearly 1,000 subscribers. If the growth trajectory is maintained, the organization may challenge the University of Michigan for claiming the rank of the largest entrepreneurship society in the Great Lakes region. In recognition of such growth, potential, and accomplishments, the ND E-Society was named as one of the Top 50 University Entrepreneurial Groups in the World by entrepreneurship social networking website Younoodle.com.
The Entrepreneurship Society has also recently announced long-term strategic partnerships with high-powered entrepreneurship entities at Notre Dame including Innovation Park, the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, and the Irish Angels Network.
INNOVATION PARK: Officially launching in 2009, Innovation Park at Notre Dame will exist to facilitate the transformation of innovative ideas into viable marketplace ventures.
novation Park will be located on 12 acres of land at the south end of the Notre Dame campus. Its first building will be a three-story, 54,000 square foot structure that will include collaborative areas, conference rooms, administrative offices, incubation facilities, and lab space. Eventually, the 10-acre park could include as many as five buildings enclosing more than 200,000 square feet of workspace.
Innovation Park’s clients are regional, national, and international, ranging from ventures at their earliest stages to Fortune 100 companies. Clients include innovators and entrepreneurs drawn from the University’s faculty, student, or alumni community, as well as ventures that can benefit from access to expertise and resources available through the Park. Students will also benefit from increased access to Entrepreneurial Consulting, Business Networking, Internships, and Contact with Early Stage Capital Providers. Dave Brenner will serve as the president and CEO of Innovation Park. He is an accomplished entrepreneurial executive, with nearly 30 years of experience in leading successful start-up companies, acquisitions, and partnerships.
The enthusiasm of Entrepreneurship Society students will help drive Innovation Park activities while the Park will help the Society grow to a new level by providing world-class building space, technology, industry knowledge, and strategic contacts.
The Gigot Center is known to be thought leaders in two areas: Social Entrepreneurship Microventuring and the alumni outreach program, the IrishAngels. Both have been benchmarked by peers since 2000.
The Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Notre Dame has also sought out a long-term strategic partnership with the Entrepreneurship Society. The Society has been recognized as a student-engine that can draw 150 person crowds and help spawn new initiatives to complement the Gigot Center’s faculty experts, curriculum, Business Plan Competition, and Ideas Challenge.
IRISH ANGELS NETWORK: Through Innovation Park and the Gigot Center, the Entrepreneurship Society will likely increase its interaction with the IrishAngels network, which is comprised of select Notre Dame Alumni and friends who are experienced in entrepreneurial endeavors and interested in supporting new venture development. IrishAngels hail from all over the world and a variety of industries, from healthcare and manufacturing to technology and finance. Among the ranks are senior executives, small-business owners, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, lawyers, bankers, software engineers, scientists and manufacturers. Despite their varied backgrounds and areas of expertise, they all have one thing in common: Notre Dame.
Irish Angel and long-time executive Mike Vogel recently said, “I applaud the Entrepreneurship Society and its leadership team on breaking through the clutter of so many events on campus and getting so many students involved or attending the events…being able to have new, young students excited about business and entrepreneurship is super.”
However, the question still remains: what were the semester projects and events in the fall of 2008 that attracted such widespread attention in the first place?
Entrepreneurship Society Keynote Speakers:
- Kevin Connors: based out of Boston and educated at Notre Dame and Harvard, he has founded seven companies, served as CEO for nine, and is a renowned venture capitalist. Mr. Connors shared his perspectives with students on how to succeed as a venture capitalist and entrepreneur. Currently, his presentation materials are being used to generate interest in Venture Capitalism among younger students and to create a framework for launching a new Venture Capital division within the Entrepreneurship Society.
- Tom Suddes: based out of Ohio and educated at Notre Dame, he has founded nineteen companies, raised over $1 billion for non-profit organizations, and is CEO of For Impact. Tom’s presentation was a highlight of the year for many students who attended. Filled with energy, exercises, lessons, stories, props, and jokes, the presentation by Tom inspired students to want to become an entrepreneurial leader. Sophomore Kate Von Hoffman, the Chair of Keynote Speakers and Dinners, noted after the event, “Tom’s creative talk embodied the maverick flair of entrepreneurialism…but students also walked away understanding the importance of social entrepreneurship and the process by which they can change the world.”
- Jaime Augusto Zobel De Ayala II: based out of the Philippines and Harvard educated, he is the CEO of one of the largest firms in Asia and was the Recipient of the 2007 Harvard Business School Alumni Achievement Award for his philanthropic and socially responsible efforts. Nearly 175 students joined the discussion with our first billionaire Keynote Speaker.
- Gerard Von Hoffman: based out of Silicon Valley, he is one of the top intellectual property lawyers in the world. Through a riveting conversation format, Mr. Von Hoffman explained the nuances of how intellectual property affects start-up ventures and the competitive dynamics of industries.
- Nan DeTurk: Based out of Pittsburgh, Ms. DeTurk is HighMark’s Executive Vice President of Finance & Chief Financial Officer (CFO). In this role, she oversees billions of dollars of investments. Ms. DeTurk’s talk highlighted the importance of moving from the mindset of a “manager” to an entrepreneurial “leader.” Nan also shared perspectives on how to attack finance and investment issues from an entrepreneurial angle.
But it’s not just world-class speakers that are getting students excited. As Vice President Michael Streit explained, “We’re supporting innovation and enterprise. We provide students with the knowledge, tools, and contacts to run down their dreams. From case studies to social enterprise ventures, networking events to technological spin-outs, the Society has something for everyone.”
Consulting Service Projects: The Entrepreneurship Society provided dozens of students the opportunity to participate in service projects by consulting low-income entrepreneurs on how to grow their businesses.
Business Plan Competition: The Entrepreneurship Society helped members potentially win up to $40,000 by encouraging them to enter the in the Gigot Center’s Business Plan Competition, where students can get the support and advice they need, all entirely for FREE.
Type E (the Magazine): Some people have a Type A personality. Other people have a Type B Personality. We claim entrepreneurs have a Type E personality. The Society is in the process of launching a national magazine for innovative enterprises and Generation Y entrepreneurs. Famous Entrepreneurs and students from around the country will serve as guest columnists.
The Case Bowl: On Wednesday, November 19th, three underclassmen teams competed for the 1st Annual Case Bowl crown. After a grueling Championship Round against Team Google and Team Berkshire Hathaway, Team Vizio was crowned as the next Idols of Entrepreneurship at Notre Dame by a panel of celebrity judges and nearly 150 students voting in the crowd. Nearly 50% of the vote was given to Celebrity Irish Angels Judges and 50% was based on the “People’s Choice” (the crowd’s vote). With grand entrances by the teams and a celebrity student emcee entertaining the crowd, the 2008 Case Bowl delivered an intense battle featuring creativity and professionalism rarely seen by nineteen year olds anywhere on the planet.
Those in the crowd may have seen a few star entrepreneurs of the next generation develop right before our own eyes. Team Captain of the Case Bowl Champions (Team Vizio) Dominic Fanelli said, “Competing in the Case Bowl taught me so much and cemented my interest in Entrepreneurial Leadership. It taught my teammates and I how to think like CEO’s through the Harvard Business School Case Method and how to deliver dynamic presentations. Going up there in front of this type of a crowd is something that I won’t forget. It was a blast.”
Coming Next Semester, The PE & VC Group: The details concerning a division dedicated to teaching the best practices of Venture Capitalism and Private Equity are coming soon.
The Entrepreneurship Society is for students who want to take action; it’s for students who are difference-makers and who want to be challenged. Our members have become inspired by some of the world’s top business leaders, developed marketable skillsets through our array of real-world projects, and connected with like-minded individuals and companies through our high-powered network. Whether you own several enterprises already or you just want to learn what entrepreneurship is all about, we’ll help put you in a position to accelerate towards your goals.
So what’s the price of membership? Ridiculously, it’s almost nothing. The Entrepreneurship Society of Notre Dame is open to everyone. Our members come from all ages, academic backgrounds, and geographic locations. We treasure the unique backgrounds that each member brings to the community and believe these backgrounds can pioneer ideas that can change Notre Dame, if not the world.
Join the Entrepreneurship Society and be part of a dynamic community of some of the most free-thinking, innovative, passionate, talented, genuine, and entertaining people at the University of Notre Dame. Join us on our quest to become the globe’s next generation of entrepreneurial leaders.
The future is in your hands. And if it is in your hands, we optimistically believe the future is bright.
Did you know?
- 87% of Members that attended the first two meetings of spring of 2008 would recommend the organization to their friends.
Getting To Know
Kate von Hoffmann
- CEO Dinner Series and Speaker Chair 1st Annual Conference on Entrepreneurship Chair
- Orange County, California
- Science-Business and Political Science
- Clerk for the Intellectual Property Law Firm, Knobbe, Martens, Olson and Bear.
Why Entrepreneurship Society?
"I stumbled onto the scene a few weeks into my freshman year. I don't know what I was expecting, but I found more than I could have hoped for. The people are welcoming and enthusiastic about entrepreneurship. There is a certain captivating energy about the club that made you pause and take a second look. The Entrepreneurship Society has been a wonderful experience for me and I'm excited to be part of these formative years."