Each team advancing to round 2 may request a mentor who will serve as an advisor or coach. These individuals have significant entrepreneurial experience and can provide valuable advice to teams as they develop the business model and write the business plan.


Gigot Center Entrepreneurs-in-Residence are available to all teams. EIRs offer feedback to those who seek advice with developing proposed business ideas (including business plan review), solidifying business strategy, developing the business model and identifying market position; advice for startups primarily in the very earliest stages of development, working with aspiring entrepreneurs within the Notre Dame community to formulate a plan to move potential ventures from the idea phase to startup; and networking assistance, which is critical, connecting aspiring entrepreneurs to others within the ND community who are better qualified to help them tackle issues surrounding the commercialization of their new ventures, in specific areas such as intellectual property, legal issues and funding. See the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship website for a complete listing of all Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, including a brief bio, description of startup experience and contact information.


For all teams advancing to round 2, Palo Alto Software provides free access to the #1 online business planning software. LivePlan is packed with easy-to-follow instructions, helpful advice, and over 500 sample business plans to help as teams write the business plan for round 2. See the Palo Alto Software website for more information about LivePlan.


Entrepreneurial Insights is a fall lecture series open to all in the Notre Dame community. Sessions sequentially follow the essential steps required of any successful entrepreneur, addressing the following topics: the importance of writing a solid business plan; social entrepreneurship; IP and legal issues relating to startups; sources of funding; building a solid management team; essentials of the lean startup; and much more. Graduate and undergraduate students may register for the Entrepreneurial Insights lecture series as a 1-credit course. See the Gigot Center for more information regarding the Entrepreneurial Insights lecture series.


Outstanding networking assistance is available through the Irish Entrepreneurs Network and the IrishAngels Investing Group. These groups affiliated with the University of Notre Dame support new venture creation and offer unparalleled access to experts in every phase of business development related to startups and funding.


Check out the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship website for additional online resources — simply click on the From Napkin to Launch tab.