Comedian Hassan Minhaj and entrepreneurs, actors/influencers Patrick Schwarzenegger, Maya French and Lexi Hensler announced for IDEA Week 2024 | News | Notre Dame News

From left: Hassan Minhaj, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Maya French and Lexi Hensler.

IDEA Week 2024 The event promises innovation with a twist as organizers announce the first round of entertainment and speakers serving comedy, Hollywood, market disruption and the art of influence. The annual event celebrating innovation, entrepreneurship and the incubation of world-changing ideas will take place April 24-26 at various locations throughout the South Bend-Elkhart region.

Headlining the IDEA Week 2024 lineup announcement is award-winning comedian, political satirist and entrepreneur Hassan Minhaj, who will perform at the Morris Performing Arts Center in downtown South Bend on April 25 (Thursday). Minhaj is best known for his breakout Netflix special „Homecoming King” and his critically acclaimed political satire Netflix show „Patriot Act,” for which he won Peabody, Emmy and Television Academy honors.

A former senior correspondent for Comedy Central’s „The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” Minhaj joined the startup world with 186K Films, which is producing his first feature film, „For the Culture,” in partnership with Amazon Studios. Minhaj Prashanth is writing the screenplay along with Venkataramanuj and also stars in the film. Tickets to see Minhaj range from $48.50 to $118.50 and are available November 16 (Thursday) at the Morris Box Office by phone at 800-537-6415 and online www.morriscenter.org.

„Our goal is to celebrate and promote all levels of entrepreneurship in our region,” said Christopher Primer, one of IDEA Week’s leaders and organizer of the week’s entertainment events.

This week’s first keynote speaker at IDEA Week 2024 is Maya French, a serial entrepreneur and alumna of the 2019 Forbes 30 under 30 class. Founder of several startups, creator of Goya, a renowned name in the French, plant-based nutrition industry. In 2023 he launched MAD Projects, a venture studio specializing in creating exceptional consumer packaged goods brands. His mission is to turn ideas into thriving brands that resonate with a smaller audience. April 24th (Wednesday) French will be held at the Century Center in South Bend.

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In addition to his speaking role, French will also serve as a final round judge for the University of Notre Dame’s signature innovation event. McCloskey’s new venture competition, April 26 (Friday). The annual competition attracts more than 150 students, faculty, alumni and local community-led startups each year.

Additionally, entrepreneurs and actors Lexi Hensler and Patrick Schwarzenegger will speak at IDEA Week’s „Startup Small Summit” on April 25 (Thursday) at the Century Center in downtown South Bend.

Although Schwarzenegger is best known for his famous parents, Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger, the actor starred alongside Colin Firth in the HBO true crime series „The Staircase” and starred in Prime Video’s „Gen V.” Schwarzenegger is also a businessman. In 2021, he co-founded Mosh, a startup that exists to create a conversation about brain health by providing food, education, research and tools for a „mindstyle” lifestyle. Schwarzenegger is the current CEO of Mosh and an active investor in early-stage startups.

With over 5.3 million subscribers and over 1 billion video views on his YouTube channel, Hensler is a prolific product promoter, influencer and entrepreneur. His film credits include „Craziest Vacation Ever”, „Amp World” and „Date Takeover”. He is the founder of Hugz, a line of therapeutic weight plush animals designed to relieve symptoms from stress, anxiety and depression.

„We are truly excited to announce this diverse group of individuals who have embraced entrepreneurship from their starting points in business and entertainment to IDEA Week 2024,” he said. Kelly is richInterim Vice President and Associate Provost for Innovation Idea Center. „Hasan Minhaj and Maya French will inspire us all by bringing their unique perspectives and experiences to embrace diversity in traditional industries, entertainment and consumer products.”

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Rich added, „I’m sure everyone will also enjoy the journeys of Lexi Hensler and Patrick Schwarzenegger as they chart their own career paths, mixing acting with cultural events of entrepreneurship, investing and product influence.”

Now in its sixth year, IDEA Week is hosted by Notre Dame, the South Bend-Elkhart area, Little Summit and a variety of community organizations and businesses. Events will be held and open to the public at Notre Dame and other locations throughout South Bend and Elkhart. Find out more and sign up for updates www.ideaweek.com.

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