Innovation Lab

Where great ideas get made.

We make dreams a reality. Literally.

The IDEA Center Innovation Lab helps entrepreneurs, inventors and researchers translate their ideas into tangible products.

Fabricating walker prototypes for Enlighten MobilityFounded in 2018, the Innovation Lab has already helped launch a diverse collection of successful startups and products, providing services ranging from:

  • Creating 3-D printed soap molds for Collegiate Soaps Inc.

  • 3-D printing anesthesia delivery devices for In Vivo Concepts, which has led to enhanced safety for pre-clinical research labs around the globe.

  • Laser cutting a wooden kiosk frame for card-based tipping company Tip Swift LLC.

  • 3-D printing a soft rubber injection guide prototype for Gigil Inc.

  • Producing dozens of products for Benefactory LLC.

Whether you’re a Notre Dame student or an entrepreneur, if you have a great idea for a product, the Innovation Lab can help you bring it from conception to commercialization.

Step 1: Design and Consultation

Too many great ideas die untested on the vine. It’s not because they aren’t great ideas—it’s because the dreamer didn’t have the expertise, let alone the equipment, to make that idea into a tangible product.  During the design and consultation phase, Innovation Lab engineers work closely with you to translate your product ideas into a digital format. Using the most sophisticated Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software, our engineers will give your idea digital life, refine it and ready it for prototyping.  

During Innovation Lab Experiences, Notre Dame MBA, ESTEEM and entrepreneurship students work with our engineers to gain hands-on lab experience that help them refine their ideas.

Step 2: The Fab Lab

In the fabrication lab, we build the pieces that will become your product. Using everything from plastic, acrylic and nylon 3-D printers to laser cutters, Innovation Lab engineers will assemble a prototype on your behalf.  Simultaneously, you will work with the IDEA Center team to build your business strategy, conduct product viability research with your potential customers and further ready your idea for the marketplace.

Step 3: Putting it all together in the Launch Space

During your partnership with the Innovation Lab, you’ll have access to the Launch Space, a 1200 sq ft area with tools, work benches, and project bays from which products may be prototyped and iterated.  Early phase companies are encouraged to continue using a dedicated 100 sq ft project bay to launch their commercialization activities, including small batch manufacturing, inventory storage, and continued product R&D.  Recent graduates from the Launch Space include Enlighten Mobility, In Vivo Concepts, and Benefactory Manufacturing and Design, which now lease offices at Innovation Park and elsewhere.

In summary, the Launch space is a collaborative and entrepreneurial environment that affords new businesses the tools and space to refine their product, store their inventory and make connections with other entrepreneurs in the building while they commercialize products and go to market.