An Idea Becomes a Business


As a teenager, Marissa Koscielski '17 refused to accept what she was being told. She stubbornly and doggedly rejected the prognosis that she would never walk again. And thanks to a wonderful team of doctors and her own strength and determination, she was right.

Now, less than a decade later, she is on the verge of turning a dream that grew out of that experience into a reality. She wants to offer hope, relief, and rehabilitation to those who face similar mobility challenges, and Notre Dame has provided her with the academic and entrepreneurial environment to do just that.

After earning her undergraduate degree in Mathematics in just three years, Marissa chose to stay at Notre Dame as part of ESTEEM, a Master's program in technology and entrepreneurship. ESTEEM is housed under the IDEA Center, the new hub for innovation and entrepreneurship at Notre Dame.

The establishment of the IDEA Center has led to an explosion of student entrepreneurial activities on campus, and Marissa stands as one of many exciting examples. Using technology she has developed through her research in the ESTEEM program, Marissa launched Enlighten Mobility through the IDEA Center's student commercialization program. When she graduates in May, she will work on the company full-time.

Enlighten Mobility is also competing in the McCloskey New Venture Competition. The final round of judging for the competition is open to the public and will be held April 27 in Notre Dame's Duncan Student Center as part of IDEA Week, a new innovation festival hosted by the IDEA Center in South Bend from April 20-29.

To learn more about Notre Dame's growing, vibrant entrepreneurial scene, visit the IDEA Center or IDEA Week's website.