2021 Most Disruptive Business School Startups: Rigg, Notre Dame (Mendoza)


University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business

Industry: Consumer Products

Founding Student Name(s): Thomas Issa (University of Notre Dame), Josh Gilligan

Brief Description of Solution: Our flagship product is a modular monitor mount designed around one central tenant: flexibility. It offers sit+stand functionality and portability. This is the first of many flexible home office furniture products we’ll be designing and manufacturing.

What led you to launch this venture? When the pandemic began, my co-founder and I struggled to find flexible solutions to create practical and ergonomic WFH setups. With the lack of suitable products on the market, combined with our strong belief that WFH and the Hybrid work were here to stay, we committed our time and energy to create products that would allow people to create seamless home office environments.

What has been your biggest accomplishment so far with venture? Our biggest accomplishment has been securing over $30,000 in pre-orders on an extremely limited marketing budget. It was great to see consumers identify with and validate the problems we were trying to solve.

How has your business-related major helped you further this startup venture? As a finance major, many of my finance and accounting classes were crucial in developing the frameworks for the business. From creating financial models to understanding certain accounting principles, these were all skills I acquired during my time as an undergrad.

Which business class has been most valuable in building your startup and what was the biggest lesson you gained from it? I think principles of management with Chris Stevens was a great class for any entrepreneur. We spent a lot of time learning about the intangibles of what it takes to lead and manage teams which is often the most important part of any entrepreneurial experience.

What business professor made a significant contribution to your plans and why? Professor Chris Stevens was someone whose opinions I valued. As a serial entrepreneur and an investor, he understood what to look for in business plans and startup ideas. John Henry, director of student startups at the Idea Center, was instrumental in helping us realize our vision. He offered me all the support necessary and was able to help us finetune the way we presented the business.

What is your long-term goal with your startup? Rigg stands to bridge the gap between one’s physical workspace and their most productive self, with tools designed around a single tenant: Flexibility. At Rigg, our goal is to become the one-stop-shop for home office furniture.


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.