- 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.)
- It is our desire that the McCloskey New Venture Competition be an exceptional learning experience for our students. Many Notre Dame students are interested in innovation and entrepreneurship, but do not YET have their own ideas for new ventures. Inviting students to participate on faculty/staff, alumni and community teams is an excellent way for our students to learn and to experience the world of startups through the lens of a trusted entrepreneur. To this end, we have determined that Notre Dame faculty, staff and alumni ventures, as well as community ventures, may compete in the McCloskey Competition as long as a current Notre Dame student is a participant on the team: student(s) must be involved in the business planning process, supporting efforts to conduct market research, developing the business model, and writing the required business plan. Student(s) on the team must also help represent the venture in the semifinal and final presentation rounds. Adding students to the team will take place ONLY after round 1: all faculty/staff, alumni and community ventures are welcome to enter the competition by submitting the required round 1 executive summary. Those teams advancing to round 2 will be required to add at least 1 student to the team. We will provide detailed information about how to make these connections.