IDEA Week 2023



Notre Dame, the cities of South Bend and Elkhart and various community organizations and businesses will host IDEA Week on April 15-21 to highlight innovation and entrepreneurship in the region. From country music stars to celebrated innovators, there is something for everyone at this year’s IDEA Week Innovation Festival. IDEA Week will occur at the University and other South Bend locations and is open to the public.

IDEA Week is now in its fifth year. For the last six months, planners have curated an agenda to engage students, businesspeople and locals interested in entrepreneurship. Here is just a sampling:

Walker Hayes with Ingrid Andress and Breland IDEA Week Concert, 6 p.m. Saturday, April 15, Purcell Pavilion at the University of Notre Dame Joyce Center. Start the weekend with a concert performance featuring country music stars Walker Hayes, Ingrid Andress and Breland. Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster, ranging from $39 to $129 plus taxes and fees. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the performance will start at 7 p.m. with Ingrid Andress and Breland opening for Walker Hayes. 

Leading the Way: A Conversation on Indiana’s Evolving Industry and Manufacturing Landscape with Secretary Bradley Chambers and Fredrick Cartwright, 4:45-5:45 p.m. Monday, April 17, at the Embassy Suites at Notre Dame. With its central location, robust workforce and thriving business environment, Indiana has long been a hub for manufacturing and industry. During this session, Indiana Secretary of Commerce Bradley Chambers and President and CEO of Conexus Indiana Frederick Cartwright will provide their perspectives on the challenges and opportunities facing Indiana’s manufacturing sector. Whether you are a business leader, policymaker or industry professional, this session will provide valuable insights into the future of industry and manufacturing in Indiana. 

Migrant Trends and the Moral Practical Challenges of Meeting the Needs of the Displaced, 9 to 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 18, , Embassy Suites at Notre Dame. According to the U.N. High Commission for Refugees, 100 million people have been forcibly displaced, a number expected to grow to 250 million by the end of the decade. War, civil unrest, economic collapse and the effects of climate change are among the drivers. How will we meet needs at this scale with humanity and compassion? What are we called to provide? Hear from Archbishop Borys Gudziak, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Philadelphia of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, about the plight of displaced Ukrainians in the United States and refugees worldwide. 
Archbishop Gudziak will join this session virtually via Zoom.

Nashville Nights — Songs and Stories by Writers for the Biggest Names in Country Music, 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 18, The Armory, South Bend. Spend an evening in an intimate setting listening to Nashville’s top songwriters perform their greatest hits and the stories behind them. The show will feature Ira Dean and CJ Fields, who have written for the biggest names in country music, such as Montgomery Gentry, Trace Adkins, Rascal Flatts, Colt Ford, Ashley Bride and many more. This event will be an enhanced live music experience. For a small fee, guests can request songs and tip the songwriters using the Juke app, a Notre Dame startup. Admission is $50 a ticket and includes one drink. Tickets are on sale now through Eventbrite.

Fail Forward with Keynote Speaker Jacob Brown, 9 to 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 19, Studebaker Building. Fail Forward is more than just a hashtag — it’s a way of life. The concept was created by Jacob Brown, a former professional athlete turned businessman, entrepreneur and inspirational speaker. During this session, Brown will touch on the meaning of fail forward and the use of failure, adversity and the hard times we will inevitably go through to learn lessons, grow a thicker skin and help others. 

How to Build Your Dream Community for Your Big Idea, 4 to 4:45 p.m. Thursday, April 20, Studebaker Building. One of the most critical and often overlooked keys to launching, building and scaling your big idea is ensuring it has a “community.” This community, which is not necessarily the same thing as customers, will “loudspeaker” your big idea, be your first adopters, cut your marketing costs by order of magnitude and keep you motivated and inspired when you’re feeling knocked down.In this session, Radha Agrawal will provide the tools and foundation to design your dream community for your big idea. This is a talk to take advantage of your entrepreneurial journey!

Registration to attend IDEA Week is open. Admission is free. The full slate of all events, plus details on dates, times and locations, is available here. For more information on IDEA Week, visit the website.