About IPND

Our Team

Dave Brenner

Executive Director of Innovation Park at Notre Dame

[photo:Dave Brenner]

"The mission of Innovation Park is to assist aspiring entrepreneurs to engage the right resources at the right time to transform their new business idea into a viable enterprise. This demands not only a great idea that addresses a genuine market problem, but also the fulltime engagement of a qualified ‘energized’ entrepreneur to lead the effort. The Park is positioned to lend appropriate assistance to the new venture team in this “march to market” through engagement with qualified mentors and other expert sources who have traveled a similar path in the past."

 

Dave Brenner brings over 35 years of experience in leading successful start-up companies, acquisitions, major operational units, and partnerships. His background includes founding and serving as managing partner of IdeaWorks, a new venture accelerator firm in Grand Rapids, Mich., that helps early-stage entrepreneurs transform innovative ideas—especially those related to advanced technology, medical or consumer products—into marketable ventures. Prior to IdeaWorks, Dave worked for Amway Corp., the last two years as founder and president of Amway Ventures, Inc., which developed and rolled out several new business ventures, including OCEAN ESSENTIALS. His professional experience also includes management positions at Kelloggs in the USA and Europe, Johnson & Johnson, and Procter & Gamble. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, and has been active with Notre Dame’s IrishAngels network since its inception. He has also taught entrepreneurship classes in the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies in the Mendoza College of Business since 2005 and has served on many corporate and non-profit boards.

Theresa Sedlack

Private Sector Engagement Director

[photo:Theresa Sedlack]

"I am inspired by the innovators and entrepreneurs working to bring their new discoveries and ventures to market. I hope to support our clients by putting them in meaningful contact with expert advisory support and other resources that can help them navigate the best path forward for their work. I would like to see the University and regional ecosystems grow in their size and ability to support bringing innovations successfully to the marketplace."

Theresa Sedlack brings more than 10 years of experience working with entrepreneurs, market experts, and investors throughout the Notre Dame family. Prior to joining Innovation Park, Theresa served as venturing programs manager for Notre Dame's Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. In this role, she helped create and led many of the major programs in the Gigot Center, including the formation of the IrishAngels network, the annual McCloskey Business Plan competition, and the NASDAQ training program offered in connection with the competition. Her professional background includes eight years working at Procter and Gamble. She teaches the M.B.A. venture capital class in the Mendoza College of Business. Theresa received both her undergraduate and MBA degrees from Notre Dame.

Natalie Gunn-Stahl

Facility Manager

[photo:Natalie Gunn-Stahl]

"Innovation Park is a resource, designed to engage and inspire creativity by bringing the energy of the marketplace to the University of Notre Dame. Guests to our facility are surprised by the large windows, building design and modern décor. As Facility Manager, the physical surroundings and atmosphere set the tone of our work to encourage creative thinking and collaboration that solve real problems. With their basic facility needs met through their lease, westrive to create a fun and relaxed atmosphere for clients to face their business challenges and achieve their goals. We strive to make them comfortable, but not too comfortable, as I expect to see them graduate soon!

Our events are designed to assist clients in meeting members of the Notre Dame network and other key stakeholders, in an effort to build the entrepreneurial network at Notre Dame and in the region. Faculty, students and seasoned entrepreneurs can relax at an event and still have the opportunity to connect and learn from each other. We hope to see you soon!

Natalie Stahl's varied background in creative arts, copywriting, program design and entrepreneurship adds depth and organizational skill to the work of Innovation Park. Before managing her own freelance design business, her background extends to work in local advertising agencies and marketing departments. She received her Bachelor's degree from Indiana University Bloomington in English and recently completed an MBA in Marketing through Walden University.

Kiley Wood

Business Manager

[photo:Kiley Wood]

"Innovation Park provides valuable tools and resources to early stage companies so they may grow and build their business. It is exciting to be part of a team that continuously searches and implements different means for companies to become successful. I hope to facilitate the business processes within the Park so the Innovation Park specialists may focus on the individual client needs. I am looking forward to a growing number of companies utilizing the Park's innovative resources to build strong successful businesses within the community."

Kiley Wood brings over 20 years of experience working in corporate accounting and human resources. She received her Bachelor's degree from Indiana University in Accounting and Business Management with a Chemistry Minor.

Connie Varga

Event Planner

[photo:Connie Varga]

"I love the energy and synergy you feel right when you walk through the doors of Innovation Park. I enjoy working with clients and guests to bring that excitment to their meetings and events. With our open spaces and moveable furniture, virtually anything - within reason - is possible! 

Connie graduated from Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wis., with a Bachelor of Science in Business. Prior to Innovation Park she worked for 18 years at GE Capital ITS Solutions in South Bend. Connie volunteers extensively at Stanley Clark School. Guests and clients alike immediately feel special, greeted by Connie!  Her organizational abilities and gift of hospitality make everyone feel welcomed and at ease.

Charles Powell

Client Services Associate

[photo:Charles Powell]

“Innovation Park really is a place ‘where dreams come true.’ Henry Ford said, ‘The poor man is not that one without a cent, but that one without a dream.’ By way of connecting, collaborating, and commercializing, our clients are able to spread their innovative wings and soar to amazingly new heights. The people at Innovation Park are diverse, creative, energetic, optimistic, hopeful, imaginative, and capable of making the impossible – possible! What an incredible environment to work in.”

Charles is a licensed and ordained minister who completed his undergraduate degree at the Florida Baptist Theological College in Graceville, Fla., and graduate degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans, La., and Luther Rice Seminary in Atlanta, Ga. He has pastored churches throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi for 17 years. While in Savannah, Ga. he founded, organized, implemented, and carried out a church start-up that had over 200 people in attendance on opening day. Charles spent his college years as a radio personality on WVOB & WJED radio out of Dothan, Ala., and went on to found his own local radio program “Biblical Truths” that aired throughout the week on American Family Radio, Mobile, Ala. He has served on various boards and committees throughout church life and has been a guest speaker in many churches throughout the South.  

Support Innovation

Innovation Park plays a vital role in the University's research mission, by providing the space, professional services and access to campus resources to transform ideas into the market. To do so successfully takes considerable resources—both financial and non-financial—to serve the wide variety of ventures. Your gift can make a difference! On behalf of the Innovation Park team , our sincere thanks for your consideration and encouragement.

Please note that your gift to Innovation Park counts as a donation to the University of Notre Dame.

Make an Online Donation Now!

Interested in supporting a program, year-end giving or estate planning? Contact Jean Gorman, University of Notre Dame, at 574.631.3070. You can also visit http://supporting.nd.edu to make a gift on behalf of Innovation Park.

Get Involved

At Innovation Park, we want to help entrepreneurs reach their objectives.

We welcome alumni and friends who wish to offer their market expertise and counsel to our clients.

We also look to partner with leading companies that have a strong track record of support for innovation. Contact us for more information about available sponsorship opportunities.

Finally, we are always looking for resources for our clients with respect to early-stage capital.

Send us an email, or call 574.631.8825

Client Login

We are committed to ensuring a safe and productive work environment. If you have any client service or facility issues, please email nstahl@innovationparknd.com.

If you have forgotten your username and/or password, we can email your login information to you.