IDEA Center Student Intern Stories: Gabi Ishigami Maarques '22 Joins Positive Sum

Author: Olivia Poole

Img 3532 Gabriela Ishigami Marques

What is your specific role as an intern at the IDEA Center?

I was a Managing Startup Coach

What is your main takeaway from your time working with the IDEA Center?

The best entrepreneurs and people to work with are hungry, humble and helpful.

What influence did your IDEA Center work have on your full-time career discernment (and what will you be doing)?

Almost everything I know about entrepreneurship and building startups, I've learned from my time at the IDEA Center. The people I worked with at the IDEA Center helped me pave the path to my full-time career. I'll be joining an incredible VC firm after graduation (literally my dream job), and I don't think that would have been possible if it wasn't for all the experience I had and everything I learned at the IDEA Center.  

What advice would you give students at ND looking to get involved with the IDEA Center?

The IDEA Center is the best resource we have at Notre Dame. You would be making yourself a de-service if you did not try to get involved with the IDEA Center while you're a ND student. Best way to learn, and with the best people!

Most memorable moment from IDEA Center work?

The Fall 2020 Student Entrepreneur Pre-Accelerator Showcase. I had to go back home due to family reasons and wasn't able to be here in person. John Henry (my boss) and Spencer Koehl (co-worker) dedicated the showcase to me towards the end of the event, which I got to watch from home (São Paulo, Brazil) with my family. It was one of the kindest things someone has ever done for me.

What is the current startup you are supporting?

I co-manage the Student Entrepreneurship pipeline, so, in a way I get to support all student startups. However, I get to work more closely with our Pre-Accelerator teams.

What do you do for the startup? Any takeaways?

This is the second year I co-manage our team of 10 startup coaches, which in turn support the entire student entrepreneurship pipeline (~230 startups a year). I also created and run our Pre-Accelerator evening program, a six week evening boot camp that helps our top student entrepreneurs and their businesses. In the first year of its operations, the evening program helped 20+ student teams collectively raise more than $150k and students from the Fall 21 Pre-Accelerator have raised more than $700k. The Spring 2022 cohort is made of nine incredible student teams.