Semifinalists selected for the 2012-2013 McCloskey Business Plan Competition

Author: Carol Elliott


Twelve teams of entrepreneurs will advance to the semifinal round of the University of Notre Dame’s annual business plan competition, where they will have the chance to compete for nearly $300,000 in cash and in-kind prizes. The McCloskeyBusiness Plan Competition is the annual year-long contest sponsored by the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship at the Mendoza College of Business.

On April 18, the semifinalist teams will pitch their new ventures before a distinguished panel of judges.  From this group, three to five finalists will be selected to present live at 1:30 p.m. on April 19 in the Mendoza College’s Jordan Auditorium. The final presentations are free and open to the public.

All who attend will vote for the Sutherland Family People’s Choice Best Presentation Award.

“This is an exceptionally strong group of competitors,” said Karen Slaggert, associate director of the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship.   “During the competition, 233 seasoned professionals – serving as judges and mentors – have provided invaluable feedback to our McCloskey teams as they developed their business plans.  These 12 semifinal teams are very diverse in terms of product and service, and the quality and sophistication of these ventures is quite impressive.”

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 148 teams entered the McCloskey Competition last fall. In December, 104 teams advanced to Round 2, where they began to write their business plans. Twelve teams advanced to the semifinal round.

McCloskey Business Plan Competition semifinalists are as follows:

·       Concutect: a new instantaneous, accurate concussion assessment service designed to reduce incidences of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

·       DM Oligonucleotides: a bioservices manufacturing company that specializes in a rapidly expanding class of drugs that are capable of regulating a patient's genetic code to treat a nearly limitless variety of diseases

·       Empower: a software startup Oak Financial Corp. (Oak) that provides seamless and innovative banking and money-transfer solutions to underbanked and mainstream customers in the U.S. and Latin America

·       Frameri Eyeglass Co.:  an online Rx eyeglass and sunglass company that focuses on affordable, fashion-forward designs for glasses with interchangeable frames

·       Green Bridge: an urban aquaponics farm designed as a social enterprise to produce revenue and create jobs for highly capable young adults with autism in the South Bend community.

·       Green Energy Zambia: a social enterprise that seeks to provide affordable and renewable energy sources utilizing untapped biomass resources for Sub-Saharan Africa

·       LaLa's Lemonade: a producer and distributer of all natural, hand-crafted lemonades

·       Little Bean Creations: a patent-pending, easily installable footrest for use in a child’s car seat  designed to reduce discomfort and pressure on the body

·       Green World Recycling: a for-profit plastic recycling company based in Haiti that purchases scrap recyclable plastic from independent suppliers, which is processed into plastic flake and sold to a worldwide network of end-users.

·       Rotatoreliever: a patent-pending, direct-to-consumer system to treat shoulder pain.

·       The Indiana Whiskey Company: distiller of “personalized” whiskey products made in small batches with old-world style Pot Stills

·       Torigen Pharmaceuticals: a company formed around technology created at Notre Dame that consists of a model to develop a veterinary vaccine to combat adenocarcinoma based cancers. 

For more information about the McCloskey Business Plan Competition, contact the Gigot Center at (574) 631-3042.