Semifinalists Selected for the 2011-2012 McCloskey Business Plan Competition

Author: Carol Elliott

ND/MBA changes admissions criteria for One-Year Program

Twelve teams will advance to the semifinal round of the University of Notre Dame annual business plan competition. The Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Mendoza College of Business, which sponsors the nearly year-long McCloskey Business Plan Competition, released on Thursday the names of the ventures that will go to compete for more than $100,000 in prizes.

“This is a very strong group of competitors,” said Karen Slaggert, associate director of the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.   “Feedback from our judges indicates that the quality of business plans is better than ever before.  Participation has been outstanding this year, as nearly 700 members of the Notre Dame community have engaged in the competition. We are extremely pleased with the great representation from our faculty, alumni, graduate and undergraduate students.” 

The McCloskey Business Plan Competition semifinalists are as follows:

·       3 Circle Network, a software solution that engages business leaders in the development of an actionable growth strategy

·       Blue Water Bioproducts, a venture offering cost-competitive, high performance and environmentally friendly polyurethane resins

·       hands+on, a venture developing a therapy toy that is an interactive platform for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

·       Health Games, which provides a disruptive mobile wellness game for employees that makes getting fit fun, while enabling corporations to save significant money on their healthcare expenses

·       Laser Transmission Spectroscopy,  a technology called LightSprite that provides the size, shape and number of nanoparticles in suspension, which will have a significant impact on the pharmaceutical, biomed/biotech, and environmental industries

·       Markover, an application that provides an intuitive way for users to have a conversation over online media

·       MyFit, a proprietary technology that allows consumers to virtually try on clothing at the websites of their favorite retailers

·       Next Payment Solutions Inc., a digital fulfillment company specializing in online consumer promotion redemption and fulfillment

·       Reveal Medical, a point-of-care testing device that will rapidly quantify metastatic precursor cells, or circulating tumor cells (CTCs), allowing earlier detection resulting in better patient outcomes

·       Soluther, a venture that will commercialize licensed technology from the University of Notre Dame's Science department to improve the lives of cancer patients struggling with current chemotherapy treatments

·, a one-stop website that makes it easy for people of all experience levels to find comprehensive information about their next hike, snowshoe, and mountain bike adventure

·       TotalOps, a data security technology that allows provides out-task complex backup and recovery operations using a combination of cloud-based assets and a proprietary “AutoRemediation” technology that finds and fixes the majority of problems without human intervention

A total of 131 teams entered the McCloskey Competition last fall. In December, 90 teams were invited to continue into Round 2, where they began to write their business plans. The twelve teams selected as semifinalists will pitch their new ventures before a distinguished panel of judges on April 19, 2012.  

From this group of 12 semifinalists, three to five finalists will be selected to compete for a total of more than $100,000 in cash and in-kind prizes.  These finalist presentations will take place live in the Mendoza College’s Jordan Auditorium at 1:30 p.m. on April 20.

The final presentations are free and open to the public.

In addition to the McCloskey Grand Prize awarded to the overall winner, a number of additional awards will be given, including the Klau Family Prize for Greatest Social Impact, which goes to the venture – both for-profit and not-for-profit – that involves a social, humanitarian or environmental focus. All attendees to the final event also will have the opportunity to vote for the Pace Global People’s Choice Best Presentation Award.

The McCloskey Business Plan Competition is intended for traditional entrepreneurial ventures that have not yet been launched or are at the earliest stage of launch. This is typically defined as ventures that have earned less than $500,000 in cumulative revenue, received less than $500,000 in external financing, and have been in operation for less than three years. 

A total of 183 judges and mentors evaluate the entries and provide feedback and advising.  The judges include members of the Gigot Center Advisory Board as well as the IrishAngels, a network brings together a select group of Notre Dame alumni and friends who are both experienced in entrepreneurial endeavors and interested in new venture development. 

For more information, contact the Gigot Center at (574) 631-3042 or visit