Gigot Center selects business plan competition finalists

Author: Carol Elliott


Ten teams will compete for more than $34,000 in prize money at two annual University of Notre Dame business plan competitions April 18 to 20 (Wednesday to Friday) at the Universitys Mendoza College of Business.

More than 64 teams submitted business plans to the seventh annual McCloskey Notre Dame Business Plan Competition and the sixth annual Notre Dame Social Venture Plan Competition. About 140 alumni and professional entrepreneurs known as Irish Angels served as judges and mentors through several stages of the competitions, which are sponsored byMendozasGigotCenterfor Entrepreneurial Studies.

This is an unprecedented educational experience for these teams and for our students,said James Davis, director of theGigotCenter.The Notre Dame business plan competitions are unique in our focus on the experiential, educational aspects of launching an entrepreneurial venture, and in the deployment of our Irish Angels, real-world professionals who pull no punches as they evaluate and mentor these plans for their viability in the marketplace.

The McCloskey Competition finalists are:

  • XenoBiotic Logistics, a pharmaceutical raw-materials supplier
  • Axia Snowboards, a manufacturer with a distinctive go-to-market strategy
  • Solarshade, an innovation in window technology
  • Blindspot, a camera-blocking technology
  • Globefunder, an online lending engine enabling global microfinance

The Social Venture Plan Competition finalists are:

  • Hearts of Peace, a conflict-resolution model for children
  • Planting Empowerment, a potential solution to deforestation issues inPanama
  • Por Fin, Nuestra Casa, a model for low-income housing inMexico
  • Artisan Opportunities International, a marketing arm for artisans inLatin America
  • Performance Products, an innovative solution to aid competitive blind swimmers

Winners in the McCloskey and Social Venture Competitions will be announced at a closing event from 1:30 to 4 p.m. April 20 (Friday) inMendozas Jordan Auditorium. During the final program, which is open to the public, the audience will have the opportunity to vote for the winner of the $3,000 Pace Global Peoples Choice Award.

* Contact: * _Daniel J. Buckenmeyer, associate director of theGigotCenterfor Entrepreneurial Studies, at 574-631-3543, or

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