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Alum earns spot on Forbes ’30 under 30′ list

| Thursday, January 15, 2015

Mendoza College of Business class of 2013 graduate Konrad Billetz earned a spot on the 2015 Forbes 30 under 30 Manufacturing and Industry list. Billetz founded Frameri, the world’s first interchangeable eyewear company. He is the second Notre Dame graduate to make the Forbes 30 under 30 list.

“I started working on Frameri while I was getting my MBA at Notre Dame,” Billetz said. “While a lot of my classmates were interviewing, I knew I wanted to go into entrepreneurship and start my own company, so I spent most of my time taking advantage of all the awesome resources and programs the school has to offer.”

Billetz said he worked closely with professors and mentors from Mendoza to lay the groundwork for Frameri, including Karen Slaggert, associate director of the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship.

“Konrad took advantage of all of the resources available to all aspiring Notre Dame student entrepreneurs,” Slaggert said. “He was president of the MBA entrepreneurship club. He participated in a very cool experiential learning program – the Venture Capital Immersion Program – and shadowed an angel investor in Washington D.C. He participated in the McCloskey Business Plan Competition (on 3 teams) while an MBA student – this is where he really put the tremendous work necessary into moving Frameri to market.”

Billetz also credited the time he spent participating in extra-curricular activities with his success.

“Getting my business degree from Notre Dame gave me that foundation of business education, but it was really what I did outside of the classroom that prepared me for the big adventure of starting a company,” Billetz said.

Slaggert said the opportunities that were available to Billetz showcase the value of an education from and the resources provided by the Mendoza College of Business.

“The education and the opportunities provided by the Mendoza College of Business and the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship are definitely helping set our students, both graduate and undergraduate students, up for success in launching their ventures,” Slaggert said.

Moving forward, the Forbes list means great things for Frameri and its team.

“The award is a huge reflection of how awesome our team is – while my name was attached to it, it’s really a team award,” Billetz said. “It also helps legitimize the business and our expertise in the eyewear industry. This makes recruiting a team with great culture so much easier as we grow.”

As for the University, the list means a chance to share the talent of students and graduates of the Mendoza College of Business, as well as an opportunity to help future entrepreneurs.

“Our desire is to help students who have a passion for startups; stories like these, successes by our students, simply help get word out about resources available to all students and serves to encourage other student entrepreneurs,” Slaggert said.

Since graduating, Billetz has returned to Mendoza several times to speak with entrepreneur hopefuls. His advice for launching a business is simple.

“Go and do it,” Billetz said. “There’s never a better time in your life to start a company than when you leave school. If it’s something you’re passionate about, go all in and never look back.”

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