Fall 2021 Pre-Accelerator Kicks Off

Another semester fired up at the IDEA Center with 35 submissions for the Fall 2021 Student Pre-Accelerator. This year, a record-breaking sixteen teams were accepted. Director of Student Start-ups John Henry notes, “This year we received so many impressive, high-potential applications. Even before starting our program, they’re collectively earning more than $600k in revenues. These really are the cream of the crop.”

Every semester, the IDEA Center invites undergraduate and graduate students alike to apply for the 6-week Pre-Accelerator, which gives the young entrepreneurs various tools to grow their business. Training sessions include: Unit Economics, Mentor Relationships, and Prototyping. In addition, the program provides structure and accountability through one-on-one coaching and a community of creative and driven fellow student entrepreneurs. 

Considering the relationship between the Pre-Accelerator and other IDEA Center programming, Patti Reinhardt, Director of Student Engagement, Competitions and Events, says: “I am most excited about our decision to create a common application that allows the students to utilize the same deliverables for both the Pre-Accelerator and McCloskey. The anticipated outcome is that these teams will have received strategic training that will carry them to the final rounds of McCloskey.”

At the end of the Pre-Accelerator, the cohort pitches their developed ideas at a demo day event with investors, attended historically by dozens of alumni and entrepreneurs. This year, the McCloskey Lightning Round pitching event will occur on November 19, 2021, hosted at the Notre Dame’s IDEA Center at Innovation Park. Founders in the IDEA Center’s Accelerator Engine will also make their pitches.

Congratulations to the Fall 2021 Pre-Accelerator cohort...

  • Alan Gordon (’25), with Blueberry
  • Carlos Espinoza (’21), with DAWERE
  • Bethun Bhowmik ( MBA), with Groundata Technologies
  • Temitayo Ade-Oshifogun (MBA/MSBA), with Groupvest
  • Carlos Fuentes-Pieruccini (MSBA), with Halfway
  • Jonathan McPike (MBA), with Haven 
  • Thomas Daly (’22), with Innovative Gaming 
  • Christian Montgomery (MBA), with LOOMING
  • Patrick Starner (MNA), with Platform
  • Hunter MacMillan (MA), with ProStart
  • Mhamat Djour (’24), with Ride4U
  • Cristina Riojas (’23), with Sila
  • Alex Tullman and Conor Holahan (’22), with Silicon Street Media
  • Julie Moylan (ESTEEM), with SorbaShock
  • Nikita Elkin (’24), with Bloom Studio

… and to this semester’s Accelerator Engine students:

  • Chris Merrill (MBA), with Adapta Education
  • Aarik Gulaya (MBA), with SAFA
  • Grace McBride (MBA), with Lucia
  • Peter Dore (MFA), with Intrvene
Preacc Final