A business incubator at the University of Notre Dame doubled in 2019 the number of startup businesses it helped launch in the previous two years combined.
The IDEA Center says 32 young companies were put in motion last year, bringing the total number of startups to 64 since the IDEA Center began in 2017.
“Startup companies are economic development fire-starters for communities like the South Bend-Elkhart region because of the excitement and momentum they generate,” said Bryan Ritchie, vice president and associate provost for innovation at Notre Dame.
The center provides space, services and support for idea development, commercialization, and business formation for student, faculty, and staff entrepreneurial efforts.
Notre Dame says the 64 active startups have created 99 full-time jobs, with an average salary of $72,000. The companies have collectively raised $6.6 million in investment.
“Initially, the goal for a startup is to attract investment. Once achieved, they use their investment dollars to gain traction in the marketplace,” said Ritchie. “As this happens, they add jobs at a faster rate than large companies. And as profits grow, so do salaries.”
The IDEA Center says last year’s startups represent several industries, including advertising, consumer products, fashion, food additives, health care and information technology. The university says of the 64 startups launched since the formation of the IDEA Center, 36 are student creations.
“Students are no longer content to sit on the sidelines with textbooks; they want to roll up their sleeves and start companies, build teams and change the world,” said David Murphy, executive director for student entrepreneurship at ND.
Murphy says this generation wants to attend a university that prepares them to create their own jobs and be a job creator for hundreds if not thousands of others.