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I had the privilege this weekend to serve as a judge for the Startup Weekend Notre Dame event. I was joined on the panel by Wendy Angst of the Notre Dame Faculty and Mike Vogel, Entrepreneur in Residence at Notre Dame.

Collaborating with the University of Notre Dame and the city of South Bend, the leading minds of the area were joined together in a common effort at Startup Weekend Notre Dame. The 54-hour event is a one of a kind weekend where developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startups!

The event featured an opening address by Dennis Boyle, Partner and one of founding members of IDEO. As you can see in his bio below, he has a close association with the at Stanford and is an expert in Design Thinking.

Dennis Boyle is a Partner and a founding member of IDEO. Based in Palo Alto, he leads the Health and Wellness practice, which works with clients in the medical and consumer health-care industries to develop innovative products and strategies for promoting healthful living and behavior change. Over the course of his IDEO career, he has worked as a design engineer, a project leader, a business relationship leader, a studio leader, and a practice leader. He has helped us build and nurture many key, long-term client relationships, including Silicon Valley tech firms, Fortune 100 consumer businesses, and health-care companies. He has contributed to more than 50 patents. Dennis helped to shape IDEO’s approach to teaching design thinking through workshops. He also created the TechBox at IDEO, a collection of tools used for creative problem-solving, research, and in communication both inside and outside the company. Dennis is a consulting assistant professor for the Design Division of Stanford University’s Mechanical Engineering School, where he’s contributed to courses on product, engineering, and human factors design, as well as design for sustainability and creativity and innovation. He also teaches “Design for Better Health” at the, a course that draws students from each of the university’s graduate schools. (Students are placed on teams that work directly with individual patients to promote healthy behaviors in order to avoid long-term chronic illness.)For elementary and high school students, Dennis has helped start afterschool programs, such as the Tech Challenge at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose. His goal is to enable kids to experience and solve engineering problems through hands-on design thinking projects. Dennis holds a BS in mechanical engineering, with an emphasis on industrial design, from the University of Notre Dame and an MS in product design from Stanford. Read more at

Startup Weekend is a 54 hour event that brought together South Bend designers, students, developers, entrepreneurs, and experts from all domains to do amazing things. All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and embark on a three-day frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekend culminated with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback. This particular weekend generated eight startup ideas from some very creative and energetic interdisciplinary teams. Themes included business ideas for digital tours, capturing family history, fashion advice, pet adoption, sports analytics, and others. It was a pleasure to serve as a judge.

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