- Competing businesses/ideas must be in the earliest stages of development. To be eligible to compete, ventures must have: 1) generated no more than $500,000 in cumulative revenue; 2) raised no more than $500,000 in external financing; and 3) been in operation less than 3 years
- All undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff and alumni from the University of Notre Dame may enter the McCloskey Competition. Students from all Colleges, all majors and all programs are encouraged to enter. Local community startup ventures (St. Joseph, Elkhart and Marshall counties only) are welcome and encouraged to participate. Students from other local universities (including St. Mary's College, Holy Cross College, Bethel College, IUSB, Goshen College and Trine University) are also eligible to participate as well.
- Participants may compete in the McCloskey Competition as individuals or as teams. Those participating are encouraged to build a strong team with a variety of strengths and skill sets. A maximum of 7 team members may compete on each team. Each team must be led by an individual affiliated with the University of Notre Dame OR led by member of the local community, as outlined above.
- Participants may compete on more than one team.
- Participants may enter more than 1 of their own original ideas (this individual may lead more than one team).
- Participants may enter the same new venture in subsequent years, but must demonstrate that the business model has changed significantly in response to feedback from the prior year (the same venture cannot compete more than once unless the business model has changed significantly).
- Nonprofits may enter the Competition as long as the business model includes an income generating revenue stream in addition to traditional philanthropic sources (donations, grants, foundations, etc.)