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Innovation Park Notre Dame

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Collaborating with the beautiful campus of the University of Notre Dame and the historical city of South Bend, the leading minds of the area are 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!

Thanks to a special offer from MOO, Startup Weekend attendees can order FREE branded business cards and MiniCards!



Apr 4
  • Participants Arrive
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Welcome & Speakers
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Teams start forming and discussing ideas
  • Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow


Apr 5
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Lunch
  • Call for needs & skills
  • Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
  • Dinner and panel discussion
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow


Apr 6
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee, coaches arrive
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Lunch
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
Platinum Sponsors

Dennis Boyle

Partner and Founding Member, IDEO

Dennis Boyle is a Partner and one of the founding members of IDEO. Over the course of his career, Dennis has worked as a design engineer, project leader, business relationship leader, studio leader and practice leader. He has helped to build and nurture many long-term key client relationships including Silicon Valley technology companies, Fortune 100 consumer product companies, and healthcare companies. Throughout the course of his work at IDEO, Dennis has been named on over fifty patents. Dennis now helps to guide the Health and Wellness business at IDEO, which does a range of innovation work for clients spanning medical products and consumer health design to strategic programs to find ways to promote healthy living through products, lifestyles and behaviors.

Dennis helped in the development of IDEO’s approach to teaching the process of design thinking in workshops. He is originator of the TechBox at IDEO, a collection of materials, components, and products used in creative problem-solving, research, and in communication inside and outside the company.
Dennis has an appointment as a consulting assistant professor in the Stanford Design Division. Courses that he has helped to lead include Product Design, Engineering Design, Human Factors, Design for Sustainability and Creativity and Innovation. He has recently started and is teaching the course “Design for Better Health” in the Stanford This is a course that draws students from each of the university’s graduate schools. These students are put on teams that work directly with individual patients to promote healthy behaviors in order to avoid long term chronic illness. Dennis has also helped in the formation of a number of after-school programs to enable high school and grade school students to experience and solve engineering problems through hands-on design thinking projects including the “Tech Challenge” for the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose.

Dennis holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis on Industrial Design from the University of Notre Dame and an MS in Product Design from Stanford.

Dennis is married to Peggy Burke, the founder of 1185 Design, has two sons and lives in Palo Alto, CA.

Jim Larkin

Mr. Larkin is a serial entrepreneur who has over the last 24 years built two successful analytical laboratory businesses focused on providing regulated communities with environmental monitoring required by various federal and state regulations. In 2003, he founded Scientific Methods Inc. (SMI) with his partners Dr. Fu-Chih Hsu and Dr. Wong to focus on providing EPA certified laboratory analyses for public water supplies mandated to monitor source water for pathogens under the Long-term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule. SMI also performs microbiological research and product development services that address important public health, regulatory and environmental problems.
Prior to establishing SMI, Mr. Larkin co-founded Environmental Health Laboratories in 1986. During his 16 years tenure, he organized, directed, and provided strategic planning and leadership to enable EHL to become the nation's most widely recognized drinking water laboratory. He designed strategies to offer laboratory service to regulated communities affected by CERCLA, Resource Recovery and Conservation Act (RRCA), Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) regulations, the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act. Prior to being acquired by Underwriters Laboratories in 2001, EHL provided services to over 5000 public water supplies and SDWA testing to more than 325 laboratories across the country. Under a contract with the Environmental Protection Agency, EHL also provided hundreds of small public water supplies with the laboratory analyses of esoteric compounds required by the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR).

Kelly Schwedland

Kelly Schwedland is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with Elevate Ventures. His responsibilities include mentoring portfolio company leadership, and sourcing and evaluating new investment opportunities in Northern Indiana.

He is a senior executive, certified consultant and serial entrepreneur focused on assisting other entrepreneurs and early-stage companies to develop and execute business strategies, to obtain the resources required to meet their business objectives and a supporter of Lean Startup methodologies. His comprehensive background spans a multitude of industries that have included manufacturing, information technology, financial, business services and others.

Kelly has worked on over 30 Startups, two Angel backed companies, three companies with exits, invested in several startup, was part of an INC 500 company, grown a company to over $200 Million, and on innumerable occasions... failed!

Kelly earned a Bachelor's Degree in management from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business and an MBA in Strategy and Entrepreneurship from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. In addition to his many career highlights, Kelly is certified as a Senior E-Myth Business Consultant and received the Growth 100 Award from Indiana University Kelley School of Business.

Gold Sponsors

Mike Vogel

Entrepreneur in Residence

Michael Vogel is currently the Entrepreneur in Residence in The Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. His prior experience includes Chairman of Board of KidsPeace, Executive Vice President ACCO North America, President of Day-Timer, President of Acme Boot Company, and President of Jarman Shoes.
Mr. Vogel is a Notre Dame BBA graduate. He is currently Chair of Board of CASIE Center in South Bend, and he is on the Boards of St. Vincent DePaul of St. Joe County, Robinson Learning Center of Notre Dame, and Memorial Hospital Foundation Board in South Bend.

Dave Brenner

President and CEO of Innovation Park

Dave Brenner brings 30 years of experience in leading successful start-up companies, acquisitions, and partnerships. His background includes founding and serving as managing partner of IdeaWorks, an incubator and accelerator firm in Grand Rapids, Mich., that helps early-stage entrepreneurs transform innovative ideas—especially those related to technology or medical or consumer products—into marketable enterprises. Prior to IdeaWorks, Dave worked for Amway Corp., the last two years as founder and president of Amway Ventures, Inc., which developed and rolled out independent business ventures. His professional experience also includes management positions at Kelloggs, Johnson and Johnson, and Procter and Gamble. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, and has been active with Notre Dame's IrishAngels network since its inception in 2000. He has also taught entrepreneurship classes in the Mendoza College of Business since 2005.

Tracy Graham

Founder and Managing Principal of Graham Allen Partners

Mr. Graham is the founder and Managing Principal of Graham Allen Partners. Graham Allen Partners is a private holding company focused on the incubation of early-stage, high-growth technology businesses. Mr. Graham has 15 years of executive level experience in the technology industry and has led more than $80 million in technology related acquisitions and divestitures. Graham Allen Partners utilizes this extensive experience to create value in their subsidiaries, while developing innovative business models that create local partnerships that positively contribute to the community and add value for their investors.

Prior to founding Graham Allen Partners, Mr. Graham co-founded GramTel, Inc (a managed data center provider) in partnership with The Jordan Company (a private equity firm headquartered in New York). As President of GramTel, he was responsible for the company’s strategic direction as well as aligning all internal and external resources to gain market share in the small and mid-sized business market. He led the company to become the largest provider of managed data center services in the state of Indiana and the largest privately held provider in the Midwest. In 2007, he completed the successful sale of GramTel to Cincinnati Bell, Inc (a publicly traded telecommunications company).

After selling GramTel, he joined the Cincinnati Bell team and over a two year period worked with the company to build its managed data center business with a focus on the small and mid-sized business market.

Prior to founding GramTel, he founded Internet Services Management Group, Inc (“ISMG”) where he led the company to become the second largest privately held ISP in the United States (acquiring and integrating 23 companies). With its focus on a secondary market customer niche, ISMG thrived well below the radar of the giant telecom providers. His ability to execute a business strategy that embraces secondary markets propelled the company to a leadership position in the field.

Mr. Graham has a long history of community service, currently serving on the boards of Davenport University (Chairman), Memorial Hospital, WNIT (a Public Broadcasting Television Station), The Center for the Homeless, and the Career Academy of South Bend.

Mr. Graham earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame and attended the Indiana University Graduate School of Education.

Mark Hubbard

Mark Hubbard serves as an Adjunct Professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and as Guest Lecturer at the University of Notre Dame in Entrepreneurship for the Colleges of Business, Science and Engineering. He is an Entrepreneur in Residence at both universities. He is the author of Business Wise Guide, 80 Powerful Insights You Can't Get in Business School, Undisputed, Notre Dame National Champions 1966 and co-author with his brother Donald Hubbard of Forgotten Four, Notre Dame's Greatest Backfield and the Undefeated 1953 Team.

He is a contributor of articles about common sense in business to Fox Business News. He is an independent consultant providing services exclusively to senior management at established companies and to entrepreneurs at start-up ventures. He works with public and private companies, both in the U.S. and internationally. Mark was the Senior VP, Corporate Development for Clear Channel, President of Flagship Broadcasting (TV), President of Fairmont Communications (radio), Executive VP of Osborn Communications (radio) and V.P and General Manager of WKRQ-FM for Taft Broadcasting.

He was the second Notre Dame student to be awarded a Marshall Scholarship (1972). He has a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame (1972) and an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (1975). Mark is a Registered Architect in the State of Ohio.

David Murphy

Associate Dean of Entrepreneurship, Director of the ESTEEM Graduate Program, University of Notre Dame

David Murphy is currently the Associate Dean of Entrepreneurship and Director of the ESTEEM (Engineering, Science, Technology, and Entrepreneurship Excellence Master’s) Graduate Program at the University of Notre Dame, having assumed these responsibilities in November of 2011. ESTEEM is the first interdisciplinary, intercollege graduate degree program in the history of the University of Notre Dame.
Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, David helped launch and then lead Better World Books (as President and CEO from inception to July, 2011), a global bookstore that harnesses the power of capitalism to bring literacy and opportunity to people around the world. An award-winning social entrepreneurship venture, Better World Books ( benefits thousands of charities and libraries here in the United States and around the world.
Under Murphy’s leadership, the Company (where he is still an active member of the Board), scaled to a profitable, self-sustaining for-profit social enterprise with over $60M in annual revenue, over 400 employees, operations in the US and in the UK, processing over 225,000 books per day, selling over 20,000 books per day, inventorying over five (5) million used books under roof, and becoming one of the top three online sellers of used books in the world (having sold over 30 million books in its nine year history). Better World Books is representative of a new kind of organization whose fundamental business model is designed… and ultimately scaled… to drive meaningful social and environmental impact, to promote the common good. To this end, Better World Books has:
• Contributed $14M to non-profit partners who work in literacy and education, including libraries.
• Donated over 8M books to non-profit partners
• Re-used or recycled more than 125M pounds of books, keeping them out of landfills
• Received numerous awards for its environmental impact, notable distinction from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) including winning the WasteWise Small Business Partner of the Year Award in 2011
Prior to Better World Books, Murphy worked for over twenty years in corporate finance, operations and mergers and acquisitions with firms such as International Paper Company, The First Boston Corporation, Hutchison SA (multi-billion $ French subsidiary of the Total Energy Group) and Transcend Services, Inc. He has also developed three start-up companies and joined three others in their infancy…..and brought significant growth and scale to each. He has raised more than $85M in capital to build and scale multiple organizations in the manufacturing, healthcare services, technology and online retail sectors.
David received his undergraduate degree (B.A. with high honors, Economics) from the University of Notre Dame and his graduate degree (MBA) from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College.
David serves on multiple Boards and Advisory Councils and is a member of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2012.
He was also a Southeastern Regional Finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2011.
David has been married to Mary Elizabeth Barrett Murphy (also a graduate of the University of Notre Dame) for 30 years and they have three grown children and two grandchildren.

Silver Sponsors

Jeff Kantor

Professor, University of Notre Dame

Dr. Kantor's work includes the analysis and optimization of integrated financial and process operations using methods of stochastic control, convex optimization, and quantitative finance.

Assistant Professor, University of Notre Dame (1981-1986)
Associate Professor, University of Notre Dame (1986-1992)
Vice President & Associate Provost, University of Notre Dame (1996-2001)
Vice President for Graduate Studies and Research, Dean of Graduate School, University of Notre Dame (2001-2006)
Professor, University of Notre Dame (1992-1996, 2006-present)

Andy Warzon

Founder at Trek10

Mr. Warzon is the founder of Trek10, which is a company that provides services and support for Amazon Web Services deployments. Mr. Warzon also serves as the owner of CTJ Consulting, a firm that focuses on a wide variety of IT needs, including predictive analytics, BI & data warehousing, software development, and cloud infrastructure.

Previously, Mr. Warzon served as the Vice President of Better World Books. Mr. Warzon has also spent time working at General Dynamics AIS, NASIC, and 3bstudios. Mr. Warzon received his Bachelors of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame.

Sean Nugent

Owner, Consultant, and Research & Operations Executive

Dr. Nugent is currently the co-owner of iLAB Technical Facilities Solutions that provides laboratory design, planning, programming and consulting services. He is also a member of the board of management for Kalon Biotherapeutics that provides process development through GMP manufacturing of proteins, vaccines and other new biological entities. He is a former Vice President of Global Operations with Pfizer where he had operational responsibility for Pfizer’s R&D facilities worldwide. Prior to this he led the Global Strategic Facilities Planning (GSFP) focusing on improving Global Operation’s interactions with R&D line leaders, better understanding the utilization of laboratory space and capital planning. He was the co-lead on the development, implementation and progression of the Capital Asset Management Program (CAMP) that formalized and streamlined Pfizer R&D’s capital program.

Prior to joining Pfizer, Dr. Nugent held a number of senior research positions for Monsanto, Searle and Pharmacia. During his time at Monsanto and Searle, he was involved in the development and marketing of five compounds, all of which are on the market today - most notably Celebrex. He later joined Pharmacia’s Facilities and Operations group as the lead for Global Strategic Facilities Planning (GSFP).
In addition to writing numerous papers, Dr. Nugent has received many patents. He is a member of the American International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE), the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC). He is a formed Board Member, a Fellow and co-founder of the Health & Science Industrial Group for the Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC).

Dr. Nugent received his undergraduate degree in Organic Chemistry from California State University in Los Angeles and a PhD in Synthetic Organic Chemistry from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Wendy Angst

Associate Professor, Managing Dept, Mendoza College of Business

Wendy Angst is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Management Department of the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on management, business problem solving, innovation and design, and commercialization analytics with special focus on entrepreneurship, intrapraneurship and social media.

Prior to joining Notre Dame, Angst served over a decade as one of the earliest champions and architects of the electronic personal health record (PHR), innovating the product to meet the demands of a complex industry with a variety of stakeholders. As CEO, Angst spearheaded the rapid growth of CapMed into a leading provider of interactive personal health management solutions for the healthcare, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries. She navigated CapMed through angel funding, spin-off, acquisitions, and merger – ultimately orchestrating integration of CapMed into the healthcare division of a multi-billion dollar financial services firm. Prior to CapMed, Angst worked as a consultant in strategy at both the national and international levels, and spent time as a national director of a non-profit organization.
Angst is a member of the Irish Angels – a network of Notre Dame affiliated individuals who seek to foster entrepreneurial activities. She also facilitates preseed workshops in the Michiana community to help facilitate economic growth, serves as a member of Memorial Health Systems Venture Center Entrepreneurial Edge (E²) group, and serves on the board of directors of the YWCA.

Michael Whitt

Associate Professional Specialist, Mendoza College of Business   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Dr. Whitt's academic and industrial experiences include positions and consulting with Miami Dade College, Purdue University, Intraluminal Therapeutics, Guidant Corporation, Medtronic Corporation, Eli Lilly and Company, Georgia Power Company, Dow Chemical Company, Union Carbide Corporation, and Eveready Battery Company. He is currently the Vice President, Chief Technical Officer of a medical device start-up, Cordex Systems, which has developed a noninvasive early detection method for cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Whitt’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University, a Master of Science and Doctorate of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering from Rutgers University/University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UNDNJ), and a Masters in Business Administration from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. While at Rutgers/UMDNJ, Dr. Whitt focused his studies in the areas of biomechanics and biomaterials while simultaneously performing research in the areas of medical instrumentation and hemodynamics.

Dr. Whitt is a patent holder of four medical device patents and developed a successful product development course as part of the Burton D. Morgan Certificate of Entrepreneurship while at Purdue University. He has carried the importance of product development into his involvements with the non-profit organizations Center for Leadership Development (Indianapolis, IN) and Academy of Business Leadership (Rosemead, CA) while helping to facilitate the success of each group’s mission to ‘foster the advancement of minority youth’ and ‘inspire, educate, and expand the educational and career goals of mostly high-potential low-opportunity students.’ Dr. Whitt is the 2008 Center for Leadership Development Achievement in Science and Technical Disciplines Award Recipient. Dr Whitt’s publications in the areas of technology and vascular mechanics include journal articles in the Annals of Biomedical Engineering and International Journal of Nano and Biomaterials in addition to chapters in book titles

George Spohrer


George is an active community volunteer in the Michiana region, working with local economic development entities as well as the Innovation Park at Notre Dame to improve a startup’s chances of success and improve their connections with the local business community. He has been the (volunteer) interim executive director of enFocus since January 2013.
George retired from Crowe Horwath (Crowe Chizek) in South Bend, where he spent his entire professional career in management and systems consulting. He graduated from Notre Dame in 1978 and 1980 with degrees in Mechanical Engineering.

He has more than 30 years of professional consulting experience, with extensive experience in manufacturing and distribution systems. He was an early adopter of bar code technology and a leader in scanning and business process integration. He oversaw Crowe’s subsequent expansion into business partner integration initially via EDI and later via XML. He has significant large scale systems implementation, integration, business process management and change management experience.

Karl Perusich

Karl is an associate professor in ECET. Karl has a Ph.D. in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie-Mellon University and has been with Purdue since 1985. Karl is a member of several professional organizations and is a consultant to the United States Air Force on information mediators.

Michael Elwell

Michael Elwell is a product of the University of Notre Dame Industrial Design undergraduate program. Along with being the 2005 IDSA Merit Award Winner, Michael also won third place in the International Housewares Association Student Design Competition. His patented product, a prescription pill container opener and label magnifier, is now licensed to Jokari, Inc. as the “Magnifying Medi-Grip.” The product also was an Honoree in the 2009 Design Defined awards and won Best in Category at the 2010 Housewares Design Awards.

Media Sponsors
Nate Higgins
Shaylyn Sikorski
Alysha Thomas
Bianca Fox
Amanda Miller
John Clifford
Ciaran Murphy

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