Nicholas Swisher | January 22, 2020
The IDEA Center at the University of Notre Dame launched 32 startup companies in 2019, matching the 32 it produced from 2017 to 2018. These additions bring the total number of startups since the IDEA Center’s founding in 2017 to 64 and the total number of official Notre Dame startups to 86.
In 2019, the University’s 64 active startups, 16 of which were founded before the launch of the IDEA Center, reported 99 full-time jobs, with an average salary of $72,000. Indiana’s statewide average salary is $59,000 and South Bend’s is $54,000. Collectively, the 64 companies also reported raising $6.6 million in investment; generating $10.9 million in product sales, a 584 percent year-over-year increase from 2018; and creating 54 part-time jobs, for a total of 153 jobs.
“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 the Cathy and John Martin Associate Provost for Innovation at Notre Dame. “Initially, the goal for a startup is to attract investment. Once achieved, they use their investment dollars to gain traction in the marketplace. As this happens, they add jobs at a faster rate than large companies. And as profits grow, so do salaries.
“Repeating this success is the key to producing economic impact, an upswing that benefits the entire community in terms of demand for housing, entertainment, retail, restaurants, health care, service industries and, of course, education.”
To qualify as a Notre Dame startup, the initial business or invention disclosure must undergo a rigorous vetting process. Only a small percentage of disclosures become Notre Dame startups.
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