Paid Internships

The IDEA Center has a limited number of internships each academic year. Students are invited to apply for a position as a startup coach or analyst. Additional opportunities may also become available throughout the year with companies in Innovation Park or an early-stage Notre Dame startup, so check back here for updates.

Founder Associate Program

To more effectively support the highest potential companies in the Idea Center Faculty startup portfolio, the IDEA Center is recruiting for the second cohort of the Founder Associate (FA) Program. The Idea Center aims to recruit and train entrepreneurial-minded students to lead high potential Faculty projects to advance them through crucial commercialization milestones. This entrepreneurial apprenticeship program provides on-the-job training and hands-on startup experiences. 

See more on the Startups looking for a FA on below.

What is Involved?

  • Technology Development: execute and oversee any relevant proof-of-concept or minimal viable product (MVP) work
  • Market traction: perform market discovery and validation, collect customer interviews,  discover and engage pilot partners, execute pilot studies
  • Financing: create and update pitch decks, actively reach out to potential investors, apply for grants, represent the company on funding pitch events, and showcases
  • Project Ownership: Founders Associates are single points of contact, working with IDEA Center staff from managing the entire project and making it easier for experienced founders to give direction
  • Project Management: orchestrate the interaction between Inventors, Mentors, Idea Center team members

What can we offer you?

  • Exposure to the Idea Center startup environment: mentors, advisors, tech showcases
  • Opportunity to gain experience as a founder supported by the Notre Dame Idea Center team
  • Chance to participate in the Idea Center Accelerator Program
  • Chance to secure a full-time job at the company upon graduation
  • Chance to secure a share in the company if a full-time offer is extended to the FA

Our ideal candidate is:

  • Highly driven, ready to hustle and take the initiative
  • Fast learner and capable of adaptation
  • Sees the world through a lens of empathy
  • Has a passion for innovation

The ideal candidate is a graduate student in business or entrepreneurship who desires to become part of the founding team upon graduation. 

A Founder Associate is expected to devote approximately 10-20 hours per week to drive enterprise acceleration activities. The hope is that this role will turn into an active member of the startup founding team upon graduation. The program anchors the startup locally and reduces “brain drain” by keeping the Founder Associates employed in the region. 

How to Apply?

If you are interested in applying for the position, send a Resume to Kunci Szentes at
This is a paid opportunity with limited spots.

Drone Response:

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs or drones) are increasingly utilized to aid in emergency response situations. Drones can be used for surveillance, delivery, and sampling in a wide variety of emergency situations, including search-and-rescue operations, fire surveillance, air, and water sampling, and medical delivery. 

The current drone applications used by emergency responders have low drone autonomy, requiring a pilot or a predefined route (time/human resources). There have been attempts to increase autonomy, however, these solutions are mission-specific and cannot address the wide range of situations that emergency responders encounter.

DroneResponse is a mission configurator that allows emergency responders to utilize drones for a wide range of emergency situations. The system allows an operator to specify the type of mission, the details of the mission, and the level of drone autonomy. Then, a mission is quickly configured and can start without any additional testing. The combination of increased autonomy and adaptability allows for DroneResponse to support missions with a greater number of drones in more complex situations. This solution will decrease the time and human resources needed for a mission while maintaining its efficacy.

Sorba Shock:

Nursing homes, assisted living communities, hospitals, and residential facilities house elderly residents who are often unstable on their feet. Falls at an old age can lead to injury and sometimes even death.

Currently one in every three adults over 65 falls each year and medical costs in the US are estimated at $65 billion annually1. This cost may come at the expense of the facility housing these patients. Falls resulting in injury are often caused by the hardness of the flooring which may even be concrete with a vinyl covering. Current preventative solutions offer cushion, but make it difficult to roll a wheelchair or service cart across the surface.

The proposed technology, SorbaSHOCK, is a floor underlayment that can be installed in any of the aforementioned facilities. It offers force reduction for falls, and also provides rigidity for general use and wheeled carts. SorbaSHOCK can be installed wherever foot traffic and the associated risk of falling is present.

Startup Coach 
The Startup Coach (SC) is instrumental in overseeing the progression of Student-led Startups within the Student Entrepreneurship program at the IDEA Center. The SC will be responsible for their own portfolio of student-led startups, helping them to de-risk, validate, and grow their businesses with the help of IDEA Center resources.  The SC will walk their student ventures through the processes of problem validation, solution validation, prototyping, testing, and market discovery.
The Startup Coach job description can be found here.

Interested students should complete this Startup Coach Interview Application.

Technical Market Analyst
The Market Analyst provides an opportunity for highly-motivated STEM students to apply their technical skills in a business environment. These interns will analyze multiple technologies in the fields of engineering and science, determine market potential/opportunities, identify unmet needs in an industry, perform market research, and discover and understand potential customers.

The Technical Market Analyst job description can be found here. Interested students should send their resume to Tim Joyce, Director, Risk Assessment & Technology Validation.

Insights Analyst
The primary objective of an Insights Analyst is to understand the needs and perceptions of customers and translate those into business requirements. To do this Insights Analysts will learn a broad set of skills and apply those to build business cases for new companies coming out of the IDEA Center. The insights you gather will be used to guide investment decisions for the university’s venture fund.

The Insights Analyst job description can be found here.
Interested students should send their resume and a cover letter to Ben Hoggan, Director of De-Risking, IDEA Center.