University of Notre Dame, High Alpha Innovation to advance Notre Dame startups working for the greater good

Author: Nicholas Swisher

Nd High Alpha

The IDEA Center at the University of Notre Dame and High Alpha Innovation, a leading Indianapolis-based venture builder, will collaborate on a new program for eligible Notre Dame startup companies and a mission-driven venture studio that creates and accelerates advantaged startups emerging from the Notre Dame ecosystem, officials from the University and High Alpha Innovation announced today. The program will be managed by High Alpha Innovation but grounded in Notre Dame’s guiding ethical principles as well as in its mission to advance the common good.

Kelley Rich, Notre Dame’s interim vice president and associate provost for innovation, said being able to leverage the deep expertise and success of the High Alpha Innovation team will result in stronger outcomes for Notre Dame’s commercialization and innovation efforts. 

“We are fortunate that one of the nation’s premier venture capital firms is based here in Indiana,” Rich said. “Collaborating with High Alpha Innovation will not only aid the successful launch of Notre Dame’s startups and play an important role in economic development, but it will also help strengthen our entrepreneurial alumni relationships and Indiana’s innovation ecosystem as a whole.” 

The investment element of the collaboration will make investment capital available to qualified startup companies originating through IDEA Center operations, including faculty, student and community ventures. The venture studio element will build, staff and launch new software startups within the University by solving complex problems in areas ripe for disruptive innovation. The industries chosen for these ventures will align with the University’s Catholic mission, and the startups that emerge will be rooted in best practices in ethics and aim to benefit worldwide needs.

“A properly executed startup has the power to lift people up and solve important problems,” Elliott Parker, chief executive officer of High Alpha Innovation, said. “An on-campus venture studio provides guidance and help to startup founders who want to both do well and do good in the world. Owing to its Catholic mission and desire to impact the world in positive ways, Notre Dame is the ideal place for such a studio to form. With Notre Dame identifying areas of need and providing principled foundations to build on, and with our track record of building impactful startup companies, we believe that together we will be able to positively address some of the world’s most pressing challenges.”

John McGreevy, the University’s Charles and Jill Fischer Provost, said the collaboration combines the best of Notre Dame and the best of High Alpha Innovation — and that together the result will be an effective tool by which Notre Dame’s research can be put into practical use.  

“Translating the novel ideas of our talented faculty and students into action is a vital component for achieving Notre Dame’s mission,” McGreevy said. “This collaboration with High Alpha Innovation will help us accomplish this. It also reinforces our commitment to ensuring Notre Dame’s research, through growth and  commercialization, becomes a force for good in the world.”  

High Alpha Innovation and Notre Dame have plans to collaborate more deeply on this program in the coming months, the result of which will be announced in the future. 

High Alpha Innovation is an Indianapolis-based venture builder that partners with corporations, universities and entrepreneurs to create and launch advantaged startups. Its dedicated team of company builders, strategists and designers apply a proven playbook — pioneered by High Alpha — to help the world’s leading organizations innovate through systematic startup creation. For more information, visit or on Twitter at @highalphainno

Standing for innovation, de-risking and enterprise acceleration, the IDEA Center is the fundamental resource for all commercialization and entrepreneurial activities at the University of Notre Dame. It provides the necessary space, services and expertise for idea development, commercialization, business formation, prototyping, entrepreneurial education and student entrepreneurial efforts. It is designed to bring the best Notre Dame faculty, staff and student ideas and innovations to market. To learn more about the center, visit