Commercialization Engine Internship

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Applications are Open for Summer 2023!

Current University of Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College, or Holy Cross College students, apply here.

About the IDEA Center -  Commercialization Engine Internship

The overall objective of the Commercialization Engine Internship is to provide a real-world experience for students in the innovation, commercialization, and entrepreneurship space. The interns will be able to investigate multiple different industries (inside and outside their educational background) while learning about the efforts required to commercialize early-stage technologies and inventions. The interns will work on technologies researched and developed by Notre Dame faculty members. Projects can range from novel therapeutics for rare diseases to innovative advances in communication technology to new artificial intelligence methods. This internship will provide a foundational background to students interested in pursuing careers in consulting, commercialization, innovation, and/or entrepreneurship. 

Students interested in the Commercialization Engine Internship will be able to elect which facet of the Engine they would like to primarily focus on during the internship. The available positions include technical market analyst, insights analyst, and technology validation analyst. Please see the position descriptions below. All interns, regardless of primary focus, will receive a inclusive experience of all stages towards commercialization. At the end of the internship, the interns will provide a final presentation highlighting the work performed in each of the four stages of the Commercialization Engine in a comprehensive deliverable. 

  • Application deadline is March 3, 2023 at 5 pm EST
  • Length of summer internship: 10 weeks; 40 hours a week
  • Internship dates for 2023: June 5 to August 11, 2023
  • Hourly pay: $16/hour 
  • Local housing provided for interns (available at Sacred Heart Parish Center)
  • Opportunity to work on cool emerging technologies 
  • Career advancement opportunities
  • Exceptionally diverse and collaborative environment
  • Opportunities to participate in social events with other interns    

Technical Market Analysts

The Technical Market Analyst is an internship position that provides an opportunity for highly-motivated STEM students to apply their technical skills in a business environment. Interns filling this critical role within the IDEA Center’s Commercialization Engine have the opportunity to analyze multiple technologies in the fields of engineering and science.  The TMA works on technologies disclosed by university research teams. They evaluate these opportunities through the IDEA Center framework which they learn while in this role.  Technical Market Analysts gain essential knowledge analyzing early-stage technical solutions, estimating market size, and performing a competitive analysis. These skill sets make Technical Market Analysts the ideal candidate for consulting, technical product manager, and startup leadership roles. The team is composed of talented students from diverse backgrounds, passionate about solving business problems. Questions about the Technical Market Analysts roles may be emailed to Emily Stoler (emily.stoler@nd.edu).

Insights Analysts

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 ideal candidate should have a natural ability to empathize with people and a desire to create products that solve meaningful problems. Previous Insights Analysts have gone on to careers in consulting, product management, entrepreneurship, marketing, and sales. Questions about the Insights Analysts roles may be emailed to MaryBeth Wegner (mwegner2@nd.edu).

Technology Validation Analysts

The Technology Validation Analyst will support the technology validation process of the IDEA Center. Specifically, the Technology Validation Analyst will be responsible for performing in-depth technical background research of various ideas/technologies through literature reviews and engagement with university research groups, assessing technical readiness of ideas/technologies based on simple experiments and published data, and designing and conducting studies to advance and demonstrate the technical maturity of early stage university technologies. Applicants should possess an appetite for thinking about open-ended problems and an aptitude for learning new technical concepts quickly. Questions about the Technical Validation Analysts roles may be emailed to Benjamin Sheyko (bsheyko@nd.edu). 

Before Applying 

Please know that we do ask for a resume and encourage all applicants to seek resources on creating one if you do not have one. Please visit the Notre Dame Undergraduate Career Services site.


Intern Spotlight 

Lili Schantz

1) How did this experience affect your view on commercialization, entrepreneurship, and startups?
Before working at the IDEA Center, I did not have much experience with commercialization, entrepreneurship, or startups. Through working at the IDEA Center, I learned what it takes to bring a product to market from idea creation to commercialization. This experience showed me the importance of determining a product’s value and market fit as well as getting feedback from potential customers before launching a startup.

2) What has been your main takeaway from your time working with the IDEA Center?
My main takeaway from working with the IDEA Center has been the value that the Risk Assessment and Derisking stages add to the commercialization of the technologies. By performing a market assessment to identify and evaluate potential risks and then conducting customer interviews to validate the problem, product-market fit, and technical feasibility, we are able to reduce the startups’ chance of failure.

3) What influence did your IDEA Center work have on your future full-time career discernment (and what will you be doing)?
Working at the IDEA Center has enabled me to work on technologies in various industries from software to military and defense to pharmaceuticals. The experience has piqued my interest in technical product manager positions where I would be managing the development of products, prioritizing products and customer requirements, and defining the product vision. This summer I will be working as a software engineer intern at Northrop Grumman, where I will be applying the knowledge I’ve gained from the IDEA Center to develop innovative solutions in the aerospace and defense industry.

Simba Mubvuma

1) How did this experience affect your view on commercialization, entrepreneurship, and startups?
I had started a few businesses before joining the IDEA Center as an analyst. In retrospect, there are numerous things I could have done differently, including conversing with potential customers to become an expert on their problems. Being in the IDEA Center has taught me that commercialization is a marathon, not a sprint, and that a lot of pre-work is required to eventually find that problem market fit. I believe that my work at the IDEA Center has given me the tools I will need if I’m to venture out and start my own startup with confidence.

2) What has been your main takeaway from your time working with the IDEA Center?
If you must fail, you must fail quickly. I’ve seen some fantastic startups at the IDEA Center, but I’ve also witnessed founders who simply refused to give up trying  to solve a problem that no one cared about. Being on the derisking team reinforced the importance of doing the research to determine what potential customers care about before launching a business.

3) What influence did your IDEA Center work have on your future full-time career discernment (and what will you be doing)?
The work I did at the IDEA Center was extremely influential in my career decision. Beyond being able to work on so many various projects that range from software to deep tech, being a part of the IDEA Center provided me with the opportunity to seek advice and learn from people from various professional backgrounds, which aided me in my own career discernment. I’m excited to be joining Credit Suisse First Boston as an Investment Banking Summer Associate, and to apply what I have learnt in my time at the IDEA Center.


For Additional Information

Questions about the Commercialization Engine Internship may be emailed to Emily Stoler (emily.stoler@nd.edu).

For more information about the IDEA Center and/or resources available to students please visit the IDEA Center about page and the Student Entrepreneurship page.