Race to Revenue '21: All Teams for Summer Accelerator are Announced

Author: Danielle Koterbay

Race To Revenue Logo Rectangle

Race to Revenue is Notre Dame's summer startup accelerator, where aspiring student entrepreneurs and founders have the opportunity to work full-time on their business ideas as a fully-funded internship. In 2019, 8 student Racers participated in an in-person program. In 2020, 18 student Racers participated in a virtual program. This summer, 25 student Racers will participate in an in-person program.

Final Announcement Instagram

In addition to the previously announced teams in Round 1 and here, there are 17 more teams accepted into Race to Revenue ‘21, whether fully participating or shadowing/auditing the program. See the full cohort here.

Chris Merrill | Adapta Education 

What are you hoping for from this experience? The biggest thing I'm hoping to get from Race to Revenue (other than getting funding for my venture) is learning how to build a sustainable business from the ground up. I'm really excited to learn from my fellow racers and the IDEA Center faculty.

How has the IDEA Center helped you so far in your venture? The IDEA Center has helped me every step of the way with my venture. They have helped me know what tasks to prioritize, they've given me tools to accomplish those tasks, and the advisors have been top notch. It has been the perfect experience to apply what I've been learning in the MBA program to a real life of business.

Matthew Dotson | Alcea 

What are you hoping for from this experience? The Alcea team is hoping to grow tremendously from R2R, especially by taking the valuable business experience gained and applying it to our startup. Since collaboration is a big part of ND, the Alcea team is also excited to fail/succeed alongside other wonderful student entrepreneurs and learn from awesome mentors along the way! 

How has the IDEA Center helped you so far in your venture? The IDEA Center has been a wonderful resource for the Alcea team thus far! This past semester, Alcea participated in the IDEA Center’s Friday Pitch Sessions and 6-week Student Pre-Accelerator. These events allowed Alcea to grow, whether it was from the helpful mentorship, funding, business model advice, networking, etc. With Race to Revenue, Alcea is excited to take its Rosebox feminine product dispenser to the next level as well as secure its business model.

John Sexton | EyeDriving

What are you hoping for from this experience? My team and I are hoping to connect with experienced individuals in the assistive technology space to get more guidance and mentorship with early stage medical device commercialization and funding through the networking opportunities presented in Race to Revenue. Additionally, we also are looking to file our provisional patent, connect with a total of 20 medical professionals who are enthusiastically willing to recommend our product, launch our website, and develop an executable beta testing plan that we can follow through on in the fall. I'm also hoping to bring a couple of members who are already on my team into larger roles through this experience.

How has the IDEA Center helped you so far in your venture?The IDEA Center has been instrumental in our progress and success so far as a venture through the IDEA Center's Pre-Accelerator program as well as the McCloskey New Venture Competition. We have gained traction by connecting with important individuals who have provided us with excellent mentorship and with connections to others who have been willing to give us advice, legal assistance, and problem validation interviews. We have also gotten fantastic mentorship from our startup coaches and John Henry at the IDEA Center, and without the IDEA Center, we would not be making as much progress or be gaining as much traction as we are right now.

Grace Beauchamp | GB Carbon Solutions

What are you hoping for from this experience? With this great opportunity, I hope to expand my research on carbon recycling so that I can further develop a product that aims to eliminate a large portion of scope one and three emissions in the manufacturing industry. I would like to obtain more connections and guidance in my project through this program as well as skills that apply to my career field outside of a classroom. 

How has the IDEA Center helped you so far in your venture? The IDEA Center has played an enormous role in helping me bring my idea into a reality through its numerous resources and connections. They have guided me in developing a holistic approach towards my product including the marketing, competition, business model, and customer base factors surrounding the idea. They have connected me with professors, global companies, and even peers to aid in the growth of my knowledge. The IDEA Center is one of the greatest organizations I have had the opportunity to work with at Notre Dame as a young entrepreneur. Their emphasis on hard work and expanding networks has been so beneficial to my experience as I explore different options in finding my path.

Kurt Hardy | Hardy Boys Consulting

What are you hoping for from this experience? As a consulting startup, our firm faced significantly lower barriers to entry than our IDEA Center colleagues in need of a tangible product. Rather than the conventional concept-to-implementation approach, Hardy Boys Consulting launched and began assisting businesses in need already in 2020. Our interest in collaborating with the IDEA Center then encompassed next-level strategy, taking a more-established startup and properly setting the foundation for sustainable growth and scalability. 

How has the IDEA Center helped you so far in your venture? Early entrepreneurship understandably pulls new business owners in a number of directions. In regard to the IDEA Center, the coaches assigned became essential to my success in properly defining my areas of focus as a leader in order to be successful.

Rob Rucki | L1NKUP

What are you hoping for from this experience? I'm hoping to gain three things from R2R: (1) connection with other racers, investors, and IDEA Center-affiliated individuals, (2) general start-up knowledge, and (3) experience working on my own company with the support of the IDEA Center and its resources. 

How has the IDEA Center helped you so far in your venture? So far, the IDEA Center has armed me with what I need to start and run a company; hard entrepreneurial knowledge through the fellowship program and Pre-Accelerator, support from experienced individuals in the form of start-up coaches, and the opportunity to access resources like funding through events such as the McCloskey competition.

Elizabeth Self | Quo Vadis 

What are you hoping for from this experience? I am so excited to learn many things by experience that I would not garner from my fields of study, and I hope that being part of the dynamic group of Racers will generate unique solutions for the challenges QV Catholic (our venture) faces. 

How has the IDEA Center helped you so far in your venture? So far, the IDEA Center has improved my involvement in the Notre Dame network, which increases my confidence in our venture! The IDEA Center has also already helped us grow as a team in our professionalism and organization, particularly in our presentation and goal-setting.

Rory Finn | SANDO

What are you hoping for from this experience? Accountability! I’ve learned from the Pre-Accelerator that talking with others about my progress can be a strong motivator and really help keep me on track with my goals. I thrive with structure, so I’m thrilled to participate in a program that will provide some of that in an otherwise wide open few months. 

How has the IDEA Center helped you so far in your venture? I don’t have a sewing machine, and I desperately needed one to make my prototype blanket. Luckily, the Innovation Lab in the IDEA Center had one that I could borrow! I used it to sew a mini blanket that I used to shoot the first round of content for the SANDO Instagram, helping me communicate my vision to my friends and investors. But I would say the most instrumental factor in my company’s progress has been my startup coach. Without the IDEA Center, I never would have known or been able to learn from him, so I am so grateful to the Center for this connection.

Sebastian Murgueitio Ramirez | Studia.app 

What are you hoping for from this experience? We’re hoping that participating in R2R will connect us with other entrepreneurs and keep us motivated as we continue to grow our company. We’ll be graduating from our graduate programs in May and think that this program will keep us on track to meet our business goals!

How has the IDEA Center helped you so far in your venture? The IDEA Center has been invaluable in our journey so far. Our company came together in preparation for the 2020 McCloskey Competition back in the fall of 2019, and winning Best Venture from the College of Science really motivated us to invest in our idea. Since then, our connection with the IDEA Center has helped us find mentors, participate in pitch competitions outside of Notre Dame, and provide us with the funding and guidance that we needed to get our business up and running. So, in summary, creating our company wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the IDEA Center.

Charles Donnelly | University Gigs 

What are you hoping for from this experience? I am hoping that this summer serves as a learning experience for me. Launching a successful startup has always been a goal of mine, so having the opportunity to do that while surrounded by some incredibly talented entrepreneurs will be a valuable learning experience. While I want my project to succeed, I am eager to learn from the other participants in the program.

How has the IDEA Center helped you so far in your venture? The IDEA Center has been an excellent resource for me so far, both as a support system as well as an educational tool. The IDEA Center has given me valuable coaching and connections since I launched my venture. In addition to expert advisors and executive coaching, the population of qualified industry professionals that I have access to has been the most helpful component of my IDEA Center involvement.

Abbey Fink | Woodchuck

What are you hoping for from this experience? I want to improve the Woodchuck user experience through a human centered approach. I will be conducting extensive user research to validate the problem and partnering with various suppliers in the firewood industry. I will also be actively searching for new and innovative ways to differentiate Woodchuck by applying design thinking methodologies and the lean entrepreneurship framework. I hope to sharpen my analytical and problem-solving skills through this experience.

How has the IDEA Center helped you so far in your venture? The IDEA Center connected me with Brendan Bridgford, the VP of ASAP Tire and founder of Woodchuck. Brendan will serve as my mentor and coach. He specializes in e-commerce and operationally intensive businesses, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to work with him!

David Wang | XR General Hospital

What are you hoping for from this experience? I'm hoping to effectively grow and scale my operations with guidance from every entrepreneur and to enjoy the journey!

How has the IDEA Center helped you so far in your venture? The IDEA Center, specifically the Innovation Lab, has allowed my venture to soar by giving me a physical space, guidance, and a support system for me to tackle everyday hurdles so that I can grow far beyond what would be possible if I was doing everything solo.

These Racers will also be participating in the summer program:

Aarik Gulaya | SAFA
Chris Carangelo | Tessellated
Kaden Macor and Daniel Malloy | DormBroker
Peter Dore | Intrvene
Shannon Rossi | Grounded and Resilient