2018 McCloskey New Venture Competition Winners

Author: Nick Swisher

2018 Winners (Marissa Koscielski ESTEEM '18)2018 Winners (Marissa Koscielski ESTEEM '18)

17 area teams were awarded more than $400,000 in cash and in-kind prizes at the 2018 McCloskey New Venture Competition on Friday, April 27. 

Enlighten Mobility (Marissa Koscielski, Founder and ESTEEM '18) and SecurSpace split the $50,000 McCloskey Grand Prize, which is awarded to teams founded by Notre Dame students or alumni. Figuro3D and Healthy Points split the new $50,000 Startup South Bend-Elkhart/Elevate Ventures Grand Prize, which is awarded to the top community based teams.

Altogether, $266,000 was awarded as cash and $143,000 was given as in-kind prizes such as banking, tax, legal and intellectual property support.

Teams presented before a panel of nationally-known judges and 600 attendees in the Dahnke Ballroom at the University of Notre Dame stadium. Daymond John, CEO of FUBU and co-star of ABC TV’s Emmy-Award winning series, “Shark Tank”; Matt Rogers, the inventor of the Nest thermostat and engineer on the original Apple iPhone; Swati Mylavarapu, founder of Incite Labs, partner at Incite Ventures and former partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers; Dan Peate, alumnus, founder and general partner of Peate Ventures; Mark Foley, alumnus and managing director at RWI Ventures; and Tracy Graham, alumnus and founder and managing principal of Graham Allen Partners served as this year’s final round judges. 

The McCloskey competition began in 2001 with $30,000 in awards and 70 teams. Now in its eighteenth year, the competition gave out more than $400,000 in prize money and attracted a record 169 teams in 2018. 

This was also the first year where teams from the community could compete for prizes, with more than $100,000 being available to them. 

“Words simply cannot describe how pleased we are with the 2018 McCloskey New Venture Competition,” said Karen Slaggert, director of the McCloskey competition and director of student entrepreneurship at the IDEA Center. "We had incredible support from the Notre Dame community and our award sponsors. Feedback from those attending has also been incredibly positive. The energy and excitement in the room was palpable as our student, alumni and community ventures knocked the ball out of the park!" 

Following is a listing of the awardees; descriptions appear below.

Award Description Recipient 1 Recipient 2 Value
McCloskey Grand Prize (tie) $50,000 cash award (tie = $25,000 awarded to two teams) Enlighten Mobility ($25K) SecurSpace ($25K) $50,000
Startup South Bend-Elkhart/Elevate Ventures Grand Prize (tie) $50,000 cash award (tie = $25,000 awarded to two teams) Figuro3D ($25K) Healthy Points ($25K) $50,000
ABC Silicon Valley Accelerator Prizes $17,500 six-week accelerator program in San Jose (Silicon Valley) awarded to two teams Resonado Team ERS $35,000
IrishAngels Award Opportunity to present to the IrishAngels; estimated value $25- $250K *   $25,000
Klau Family Prize for Greatest Social Impact (split) Total of $25,000 awarded to teams demonstrating greatest social impact Hurry Home ($15K) Impowerus ($10K) $25,000
Schurz Communications $20,000 cash award Explore Interactive   $20,000
Marshall County Economic Development Corporation $15,000 cash award for best collaboration (students and community) Impowerus   $15,000
Horvath Communications Best Woman Owned Startup $15,000 cash award for best woman owned business Impowerus   $15,000
LaDue Curran & Kuehn $10,000 in in-kind legal services related to transactional legal services SalvePeds   $10,000
Kem Krest Minority Owned Startup Award $10,000 cash award for best minority owned venture Hurry Home   $10,000
Lavrock Best Graduate Venture $10,000 cash award for best graduate venture SecurSpace   $10,000
Equifund Best Undergraduate Venture $10,000 cash award for best under graduate venture ThinkBig   $10,000
RSM US, LLP Prize for Accounting, tax and related services $7,000 in in-kind accounting, tax, and/or consultative business services Figuro3D   $7,000
Innovation Park at Notre Dame Award 2-100 square feet of office spaces offered for six months at a value of $3,000 each Hurry Home Team ERS $6,000
Workman Nydegger IP Prize 1 provisional patent Team ERS   $6,000
Riddhi IP Prize 2 provisional patent draftings: biology, medical devices, software DermaDiagnostics SalvePeds $6,000
First State Bank Business Banking Award $2,000 cash; up to $3,000 in banking services Gigil   $5,000
Sutherland Family Award for Best Presentation $5,000 cash award Enlighten Mobility   $5,000
Michael Best & Friedrich LLP IP Prize 1 prior art search, best biotech invention Indiana Lysis Technologies   $3,000
Palo Alto Software Award – Best Written Undergraduate Plan $1,500 cash award ThinkBig   $1,500
Palo Alto Software Award – Best Written Graduate Plan $1,500 cash award SalvePeds   $1,500
Startup Showcase (tie) $750 cash award, awarded to two teams SalvePeds ($750) Resonado ($750) $1,500
Plug and Play Tech Center Camp Awards $50,000 in in-kind services plus $25K investment (offered to 3 teams) TBD   $75,000

*IrishAngels Award: Block Up, Enlighten Mobility, Pirouette Medical, Resonado and Streetlight Creations

Summaries of Teams That Won Awards



Team Leader: Michael Padden BA 1978

Contact e-mail: michaelppaden1@gmail.com

Team Members: Steven Hunt, James Kirk, Mark Weber, Qiyu (Yvonnne) Zhang BBA 2020

BlockUp is a unique, patented, fast-build construction block system. Its strength, durability, and flexibility are similar to concrete masonry, but the system differs in its fast, precise, and efficient assembly. This grouted system eliminates mortar, allowing for installation four times faster than a regular CMU wall. The BlockUp system will revolutionize masonry construction as it not only matches the performance of existing block at much lower cost, but also offers patented enhancements, such as improved reinforcement options, sheer resistance, and water management features.


Team Leader: Eydis Lima ESTEEM 2018

Contact e-mail: elima1@nd.edu

DermaDiagnosttics is a microneedle-mediated intradermal diagnostic patch that will detect asymptomatic STIs and gynecologic cancers is of utmost need in our rapidly evolving globalized world.

To date, no immediate diagnosis or combined diagnosis-treatment option for gynecologic malignancies such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or gynecological cancers exists, leaving patients vulnerable to greater health risks. The physical, psychological and social consequences of sexual and reproductive health compromise rigorously the quality of life of those ill and at risk.

Enlighten Mobility

Team Leader: Marissa Koscielski ESTEEM 2018

Contact e-mail: mkosciel@nd.edu

Team Members: Jacob Burger MBA 2019, Jeff Riney BS 2019, Rory Burke BS 2018

Enlighten Mobility is a medical device company that has embraced individuals who typically fall through the cracks of medical care. The organization is launching its first product, The Enlight Walker, which reestablishes healthy walking patterns for lower limb amputees the same day as the operation, dramatically decreasing the physiological decline and increasing rehabilitation speed. The forearm, gait-trainer ambulatory device facilitates a kicking motion and enables weight bearing on the compromised limb while maintaining wound integrity and empowering the patient to succeed.

Explore Interactive, LLC

Team Leader: Wesley Virt

Contact e-mail: wvirt@exploresupport.com

Team Members: Daniel Kim, Joe Sawicki, Amanda Thompson

Explore Interactive utilizes augmented reality technology to make learning seem like play. Our Explore! Cards© allow virtual objects to appear in the real world by utilizing the camera on your mobile device. Imagine creating electrical circuits, experimenting with dangerous chemicals, or inventing the next generation of solar panels: the possibilities are truly endless if we Explore.


Team Leader: Robert Kuang MBA 2017

Contact e-mail: robert.kuang@figuro3d.com

Team Members: Vignesh Natraj MBA 2018, Nicholas Santoro MBA 2018, Venkata Kavuri MBA 2018, Michael Skinner BS 2020, Cole Mitchell BS 2018

Figuro3D is group of entrepreneurs, hardware engineers, and programmers that believe capturing 3D images quickly leads to more innovative, more productive, and more meaningful work. Our mission is to make 3D scanning as quick and simple as taking a picture. Our team collaborated with the Digital Historical Architecture Research and Materials Analysis (DHARMA) to create digital 3D models of World Heritage Sites, such as the Roman Forum and the Taj Mahal. After realizing the positive impact fast 3D scanning can have in the world, we decided to form Figuro3D.


Team Leader: Emily Russo ESTEEM 2018

Contact e-mail: erusso1@nd.edu

Team Members: Mikaela Saugstad ESTEEM 2018, Matthew Glaeser MBA 2019, Danny Hogan ESTEEM 2018, Cecilia Pesavento MBA 2019, Marissa Koscielski ESTEEM 2018, Shelby Niemann JD 2018

Gigil is a subcutaneous injection-stabilizing device aimed to give individuals with autoimmune diseases the confidence to effectively administer an injection without the aid of a nurse or professional. Its function is twofold: It ensures effective medicinal delivery through a guided and stabilized 45 degree angle injection pathway, thus providing peace of mind. Scar tissue buildup and bruising is decreased by offering the ability to rotate injection sites. Second, it mitigates pain through small bumps on the posterior side, saturating the nerves as the patient pinches the device during application.

Healthy Points

Team Leader: Andrew Wiand ESTEEM 2012

Contact e-mail: a.wiand@sbenfocus.org

There is an opportunity for significant clinical innovation leveraging the power of social networking to increase engagement and motivate chronic disease patients to improve their behaviors. Healthy Points is the first secure digital networking-based population health management tool that can enhance a health system’s effectiveness at modifying patient behaviors and increasing patient self-management.

Hurry Home

Team Leader: Jada McLean

Contact e-mail: shanice.jada@gmail.com

Team Members: John Gibbons BA 2014

Hurry Home brings buyers and sellers of houses worth $50,000 or less together on a full-service platform that brokers the relationship, services the loan, and provides an exit for sellers, while creating an opportunity for real estate investors. Sellers benefit through a quicker exit at or above their asking price with minimal effort, while low to moderate income families are given the opportunity to save money and build wealth through a unique home loan focused on protecting their rights.


Team Leader: Katelyn Ringrose JD 2019

Contact e-mail: kringros@nd.edu

Team Members: Manon Burns JD 2018, Carlos Cisneros Vilchis JD 2017, Erika Gustin JD 2019, Veronica Canton JD 2018, Carol Lima JD 2020, Alex Ingoglia JD 2020

Impowerus connects juvenile immigrants with attorneys performing pro bono immigration work. Studies confirm that having legal counsel significantly increases the chances of receiving a positive outcome in immigration proceedings. Impowerus combats both the need generated by the lack of reliable legal services and the high costs of doing pro bono work. In addition to aiding juveniles through the immigration process, Impowerus allows lawyers to more efficiently perform and track their pro bono hours through our easy-to-use, secure video chat software they can use from the comfort of their desk.

Indiana Lysis Technologies, LLC

Team Leader: Nathan Alves PhD 2013

Contact e-mail: nathanjalves@gmail.com

Team Members: Jeffrey Kline

At Indiana Lysis Technologies, LLC (ILT), we develop safer direct fibrinolytic agents to digest clinically-important blood clots utilizing novel multivalent nanoparticle delivery formulations. We are a product-based drug discovery company with core-competency in nanoparticle drug delivery seeking to commercialize a patent-pending clot dissolving technology. Our initial clinical indication is catheter-directed treatment of pulmonary embolism (PE).

Pirouette Medical

Team Leader: Matthew Kane BBA 2017

Contact e-mail: matt@pirouettemedical.com

Team Members: Conor Cullinane, Elijah Kapas

Pirouette Medical is developing and bringing to market a revolutionary auto-injector. There has been a steady rise in the number of allergy patients per year that require an epinephrine auto-injector (EAI). Currently, Mylan’s EpiPen has captured over 90% of that large and growing market. However, the EpiPen and other existing EAIs leave patients actively seeking an alternative to address the anxiety they feel associated with the five main pain points; poor portability, temperature susceptibility, unwanted attention, accidental injections, and lacerations. Pirouette Medical answers that call.


Team Leader: Brian Cho BBA 2019

Contact e-mail: ycho@nd.edu

Team Members: Christian Femrite BS 2019, Peter Moeckel BBA 2020, Erikc Perez-Perez BBA 2019,

Lindsey Meyers BFA 2019, Ashley Huffman BBA 2019, Katherine Smith BBA 2019

Resonado is a consumer electronics manufacturing/tech firm specializing in innovative speaker technology called Flat Magnetic Speaker Technology (FMS). With its patented technology, Resonado reshapes the audio industry by revolutionizing the current 100-year old speaker technology and provides high quality speakers with the best sound-to-weight ratio only possible with FMS Technology and unrivaled by other competitor’s models.


Team Leader: Trung Nguyen PhD 2018

Contact e-mail: tnguye24@nd.edu

Team Members: Raja Krishnan MBA 2018, Melissa Connolly ESTEEM 2018, Scott Shaw PhD 2018

SalvePeds is an early-stage pharmaceutical company offering the novel drug ND-336 as a topical therapy for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). Pre-clinical studies with ND-336 in diabetic animals have shown that this drug accelerates healing up to 200% over placebo-treated, and is 150% more efficacious than the only FDA-approved drug Regranex™. Our goal is to provide an effective, safe and convenient healing treatment for DFUs to prevent thousands of amputations. Currently, we have initiated IND-enabling studies and we plan on beginning phase I clinical trials in early 2019.


Team Leader: Cory Bailey MBA 2018

Contact e-mail: cbaile12@nd.edu

Team Members: Nick Kenkel MBA 2018, Dan Kraak MBA 2018, Lance Theobald

SecῡrSpace is an online platform for booking parking and storage space for trucks, trailers, and shipping containers. Through the platform, storage yards can market available space, while warehouses, distribution centers, and other businesses with secure locations can list open lots and monetize underutilized property. SecῡrSpace provides a greater selection of parking and storage options for buyers, saving both time and money.

Streetlight Creations

Team Leader: Nicholas Lampson BBA 2020

Contact e-mail: nlampson@nd.edu

Team Members: Ralph Moran BA 2020

Streetlight Creations is a custom music platform that creates songs and lyric videos which are paired together for the purpose of gift-giving. This can be used for a variety of occasions such as anniversaries, weddings, and birthdays. This platform provides customers with the opportunity to make beautiful music alongside talented artists, while also giving artists the opportunity to build their fan base and portfolio of music.

Team ERS

Team Leader: Garrett Busch BBA 2010

Contact e-mail: garrettbusch@trinitascellars.com

Team Members: Charles Hughey, Kevin Parker

Team ERS has patented technology around an electric-hydraulic hybrid system. This combination has many market uses such as: fork lifts, cranes (and other heavy construction equipment), elevators, grid scale energy storage, and others. We are initially targeting the vehicle market, specifically the commercial vehicle market. The commercial vehicle market is in serious need of alternatives to fossil fuels, which are currently inefficient and not marketable. We create an efficient system, with studies showing over 90% energy recapture for reuse.


Team Leader: Brent Marin BS 2018

Contact e-mail: bmarin@nd.edu

Team Members: Eric Castellanos BBA 2018, Nick Courtney BBA 2018, Michael McRoskey BS 2018

ThinkBig harnesses the power of data and AI to help non-profits to maximize their impact. Data and artificial intelligence are poised to transform business. As the CEO of MasterCard puts it, “data is the new oil”. We believe this technology should be used for more than profit. Our unique software solution integrates AI and data insights into fundraising, communication, volunteer management, client outcome tracking, and other necessary tasks for running a non-profit. ThinkBig saves time, turbocharges fundraising, and helps users wring the most good out of every dollar.

Originally published by Nick Swisher at ideacenter.nd.edu on May 02, 2018.