Karen Slaggert

Director, Student Entrepreneurship




Karen Slaggert is Director of Student Entrepreneurship at the University of Notre Dame. In this role, Slaggert leads all student entrepreneurship initiatives through the University’s new IDEA Center.


Karen Slaggert has 35 years of experience in academia including leadership roles at Rollins College, Babson College, the University of Cincinnati and the University of Notre Dame.  Karen served as an Associate Professional Specialist in the Mendoza College of Business, teaching in the areas of management, entrepreneurship and strategic foresight.  In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Karen has also provided oversight for all student entrepreneurship initiatives, including the University of Notre Dame’s annual McCloskey New Venture Competition, a year-long event celebrating entrepreneurship at Notre Dame and awarding nearly $300,000 in cash and in-kind prizes to aspiring Notre Dame entrepreneurs. She has also managed experiential learning opportunities related to entrepreneurship, providing outstanding opportunities for MBA students to immerse themselves in the real world of venture capital, investing and consulting.

In her current role as Director of Student Entrepreneurship at the IDEA Center, Karen manages all entrepreneurial programs for graduate and undergraduate students at the University of Notre Dame.  She provides oversight for the student commercialization pipeline (current students submit their ideas and inventions, and are surrounded with resources), and she plans and executes all student competitions and events, including the annual McCloskey New Venture Competition.  Ms. Slaggert also oversees the internship process, with the IDEA Center hiring more student interns than any other unit on campus.

For more than 10 years, Karen served as the Associate Director of the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship in the Mendoza College of Business, where she managed the Irish Entrepreneurs Network, a select group of Notre Dame alumni who provide support for aspiring Notre Dame student, alumni and faculty entrepreneurs.


Karen holds a B.A. in Economics and Mathematics from Rollins College and an M.B.A. from the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College.  Karen has also completed post-graduate work in economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.