2021 McCloskey New Venture Competition Results

Author: Nicholas Swisher

The 2021 McCloskey New Venture Competition was held April 29-30.The 2021 McCloskey New Venture Competition was held April 29-30.

Editor's note: Congratulations to current ESTEEM students Luke Wasynczuk, Anthony Esplin, Chris Carangelo, and Danielle Koterbay, who were on winning teams!


The 21st McCloskey New Venture Competition awarded more than $250,000 in cash and in-kind prizes on Friday during a livestream ceremony that culminated the event. 

Juke won the $50,000 McCloskey Grand Prize. 

Judges for the final round were Bobby Achettu, founder of Accelerated Growth; Susan Ford, partner at Graham Allen Partners; Laura Rokita, software engineer on the Google News team; Martin Scruggs, COO of M&S Biotics; and Jack Shields, founder and chairman of Shields Health Solutions.

The semifinals also took place last week with 17 judges evaluating 29 teams.

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

Award Description Recipient 1 Recipient 2 Value
McCloskey Grand Prize $50,000 cash award Juke   $50,000
Start-Up South Bend - Elkhart Best Community Venture $25,000 cash award GittaSitta   $25,000
Marshall County EDC and City of Plymouth Prize for Greatest Social Impact $25,000 cash award given to the team demonstrating the greatest social impact Intrvene   $25,000
IrishAngels Award Opportunity to present to the IrishAngels; estimated value $25- $250K MOGL   $25,000
Elevate Ventures Opportunity to present to the Elevate Ventures’ High Potential Startup Board; estimated value $20K Tessellated   $20,000
Lavrock Best Graduate Venture $10,000 cash award for best graduate venture Sleep Easy   $10,000
Equifund Best Undergraduate Venture $10,000 cash award for best undergraduate venture FriendOver   $10,000
Schurz Communications Innovation Award $10,000 cash award Tessellated   $10,000
Schurz Communications Best Female-Led Venture Award $10,000 cash award for best female-led venture Frankly   $10,000
Wray/O'Brien Award for Best Minority-Led Venture $5,000 cash award for best minority-led venture MOGL   $5,000
RSM US, LLP Prize for Accounting, tax and related services $10,000 in in-kind accounting, tax, and/or consultative business services Tessellated   $10,000
First State Bank Business Banking Award $3,000 cash; up to $2,000 in banking services Alcea   $5,000
Sutherland Family Award for Best Presentation $5,000 cash award EyeDriving   $5,000
Vogel Family Startup Showcase Best Presentations $1,000 cash award for first place and $500 for second place Seelo Enterprise (KUMBO) - $1,000 EyeDriving - $500 $1,500
Plug and Play Tech Center Camp Awards $50,000 in in-kind services (offered to 3 teams) Offered a chance to pitch: Intrvene, REM Materials and Scriptulate   $50,000

High School Awards

Award Description Recipient 1 Recipient 2 Value
Garatoni Family Awards - First Place $2,500 cash award STORM   $2,500
Garatoni Family Awards - Second Place $1,500 cash award ElecTru   $1,500
Garatoni Family Awards - Third Place $1,000 cash award EZ Light Mask   $1,000
TeachMe3D Award for Best Female-Led High School Team $500 cash award EZ Light Mask   $500

Summaries of Teams That Won Awards



Team Leader: Joseph Hirshorn

Team Members: Danielle Koterbay, ESTEEM 2021, Chris Mignano, Cooper Union, Gian Paolo Pernicone, BBA Business Analytics 2021, Lizzie Mignano, Drew University

Alcea is building the Rosebox, a reimagined feminine product dispenser, that addresses the stress of menstruation cycles in a world that expects women to deal with them on their own. With a variety of high-quality single-use feminine products, contactless payment accessibility, and inventory tracking, the Rosebox is ready to respond to the needs of women and eliminates the stress of being caught off guard.



Team Members: Miranda Brewer and Christopher Buck, Riley High School

ElecTru is a device that will detect once your device has reached maximum capacity, then automatically cut off the electrical connection between the charger and phone. Preventing your cellphone’s battery from degrading overtime.



Team Leader: John Sexton

Team Members: Dave Mohan, Emily Chen, Dylan Rose Elledge, Conor O’Brien, and Lydia Damoose

For individuals with progressive motor neurological disabilities, losing the ability to move, talk, and breathe are all harsh realities. Having witnessed the effects of ALS on my dad, we’ve realized that current assistive technology solutions do not tailor well enough to specific, individual needs, specifically those pertaining to driving in a power wheelchair. Our solution, The EyeDriving System, created by John Sexton and his father, is a combination of a hardware device and series of software apps that allows someone with a motor disability to drive their power wheelchair with their eyes.


EZ Light Mask

Team Members: Samuel Dunn, Ayva Montgomery, Trinity Bruce - Career Academy, South Bend

We create masks that use UV light to kill coronavirus germs in exhaled air. Our masks will be targeted specifically toward people in developing countries.



Team Leaders: Heather Eaton and Jane Dong

Team Members: Grace Kanehann and Gage Vernon

Frankly Apparel makes braless clothing for every-body. While the fashion industry designs for a B-cup, the average woman in the U.S. wears a DD. That's why Frankly designs with larger cup sizes in mind. Using a proprietary split sizing schema and innovative construction techniques, our clothing that does everything a bra can do...without one. Support? Shaping? Lift? Nipple coverage? Our sustainable, ethically made garments do it all! Frankly has strong early traction with two viral TikTok videos, over 80,000 followers, and Kickstarter campaign that was fully funded in under five hours. Clearly, women of all shapes and sizes are ready to ditch their bras, and we're here to help. Frankly, it's time. Learn more at franklyapparel.com.



Team Leader: Renee Yaseen

Team Members: Renee Yaseen, B.A. International Economics—Arabic 2022, Chris Hunt, B.S. Computer Science 2022, Rob Reutiman, B.S. Computer Science 2021, Maggie Clancy, B.A. Speech Pathology, Saint Mary's, Ryan Moore, B.A. Political Science 2022, Corbyn Carlson B.S. Environmental Science and Design 2021, Jordan Helmkamp, B.A. Philosophy 2021

The average child in America today spent 7.5 hours surfing the internet, and only 4-7 minutes playing outside. It's time to make kids' online play safer, healthier, and more active. FriendOver makes games that make a difference. FriendOver's games are motion-sensing, video-integrated, and multiplayer. Unlike the Wii or Xbox Kinect, FriendOver doesn't require any remotes or consoles— it works on any PC or desktop with a webcam. With FriendOver, you can jump up out of your seat and play virtual tennis, draw in the air with pictionary, or have a dance competition, all while over a video call friends or family! Weekly screen time limits and friend-approval through the Parent Portal for children under 13 ensures security and safety. Stop clicking buttons, and start real active play, with FriendOver! FriendOver won the 2021 LookUp Startup Competition for "designing a groundbreaking solution to digital well-being and humane technology



Team Leader: Mandy Kinnucan

Team Members: Anna Johnson, Taylor Packet, Jack Stacey, MBA 2022, John Henry, MBA 2015, Ryan Kreager MA 2011, Nick Johnson

GittaSitta helps busy parents to organize and streamline the process of landing a babysitter using the sitters they already know and love. GittaSitta is an easy-to-use "set it and forget it" app that gives parents the freedom to check one more thing off their to-do list. GittaSitta's beta test launched on April 1, 2021 with over 100 users.



Team Leader: Peter Dore

Team Members: Grace Conroy MBA, along with Hanna Sihler from Boston University, and Reynold Hamar and Ryan Gallagher, David Martorano, Harrison Johnson

The Stresshield by Intervene is a first of its kind stress management tool for people suffering from addiction. Our wearable biometric monitoring system sends users haptic notifications during moments of elevated stress encouraging them to engage with a personalized suite of interventions and coping skills. Our application is designed to learn through interaction, identifying geographic, physiological, and behavioral patterns to continuously avoid false notification and provide motivational support when positive choices are being made. We seek to empower people suffering from addiction by putting them back in control of their lives rather than notifying others.  We believe this will save facilities precious time, encourage our users to develop self-efficacious behaviors, and give people suffering with addiction an effective tool to fight back with.



Team Leader: Olivia Anderson

Team Members: Frani Chandler and Ryan Kreager, alumnus, Griffin Eaton, and current Notre Dame students, Luke Wasynczuk, ESTEEM 2021, and undergrad, Elizabeth Fox

Juke provides live performers with the platform they need to connect with their audience during their performance. Through a dynamic web-app the audience can view the full catalog of the songs the performer is able to play, request a song, upvote a song that has already been requested, tip the performer(s), dedicate a song, and more.



Team Leader: Ayden Syal

Team Members: Brandon Wimbush BA 2019, Ben Causey BBA 2022, Malik Mbaye, Nicolette Ruiz BA 2021, Andrew Stanko

MOGL will help current and former student-athletes to profit off their name, image, and likeness while improving the community around them following the federal legalization of the NCAA Name, Image, and Likeness ruling in August of 2021. The MOGL platform works as a virtual agent allowing business owners to connect with athletes with offers for appearances, endorsements, social media campaigns, and other opportunities. MOGL will help to fund youth athletic programming in underprivileged communities to promote the accessibility of athletics for youth development. More at MOGL.online.


REM Materials

Team Leader: Gary Nijak Jr.

Team Members: Jeffrey Racho ND 1991, Grace Allen BA Finance 2023, Kyle Doudrick, Megan O'Gorman BBA Management Consulting 2022, Alexander Hajek ME Environmental Engineering 2021, Grant Petracca BS Civil Engineering 2021

Rem Materials (REMM) was founded to solve the most challenging environmental contamination problem: per and polyfluoralkylated substances, or PFAS for short. Economical solutions for PFAS remediation are lacking and the scope and scale of PFAS contamination continues to grow globally. REMM has a patent pending, novel, cost effective solution that removes PFAS from the environment for 40 percent less than existing technologies with superior usability, utility, and widespread economic viability.



Team Leader: Joseph Shonkwiler

Team Members: Nilu Kundagrami, Neil Chatterjee, Brendan Hogan

Scriptulate reduces the overprescribing of opioids and other controlled substances by providing a technology product for safer and smarter prescribing. Prescribing controlled substances is challenging, subjective, and risky. We provide a platform to identify addiction and abuse signs early and reduce the administrative cost while guiding the provider to ensure the appropriate checks and balances are in place.


(Seelo) KUMBO Enterprise

Team Leader: Melissa Welsch

Team Members: Charlotte Harris MNA 2021, Meaghan McArdle, Nicholas McLane

Seelo Enterprise (formerly KUMBO) is a social venture, aimed at increasing the capacity of the agriculture sector in the Casamance region of Senegal. Despite its physical and cultural isolation, the Casamance region maintains by far the greatest potential in terms of agriculture, forest products because of its climate and willing workforce. Seelo, a social venture, is focused on increasing the capacity of the agricultural sector in the Casamance region of Senegal through honey production that will also lead to the creation of sustainable employment opportunities for local youth and promote pollination and pollinators.


Sleep Easy

Team Leader: Anthony Esplin ESTEEM 2021

Team Members: Milagros Ramirez, Grace Zablockie and Joseph Kennedy

The Sleep Easy Oxygen Pillow is designed to help people with chronic health conditions in need of oxygen therapy throughout the night. Our design will help users sleep more comfortably when compared to wearing an oxygen cannula which can cause a variety of issues, including what many often report as a strangulation feeling. Sleep Easy allows oxygen therapy to be administered through the pillow. Sleeping with a nasal cannula is proven to cause tossing-and-turning throughout the night due to the discomfort. Research reveals that most nasal cannulas are removed at some point during the night due to these issues. The Oxygen Pillow provides a comfortable and safe alternative, allowing a more natural state of sleep. The current version of the pillow directs air flow straight to the patient’s face. Future versions will incorporate technology that will track pillow airflow to ensure it is distributed efficiently to patients.



Team Members: Tessa Berente, Natalie Moore, Saint Joseph High School & Start-Up Moxie

STORM is a five week workshop program focusing on our core values: Strength, Take Control, Opportunity, Resources, and Mastery. Our mission is to build middle school girl's confidence and provide them the tools to visualize their future career through the lense of success.



Team Leaders: Christopher Carangelo ESTEEM 2021 and Dr. Tengfei Luo

Team Members: Evan Kelmar, Matthew Roush and Ben Sheyko

Tessellated aims to tackle the high demand for high strength-to-weight ratio composite materials across multiple industries. There are already many of these composites that exist; however, most of them are too expensive to be used in mass production products. Professor Tengfei Luo at the University of Notre Dame aims to solve this problem with his new material PE Graphene. PE Graphene is very similar to carbon fiber and Kevlar, but at a fraction of the weight and cost making it a perfect alternative for a variety of functions including football helmets, body armor, and even cargo ship containers.

To learn more about the 29 semifinal teams and insight on the student experience, view the 2021 McCloskey Program. For more information on how to participate in McCloskey as a mentor, student team member, founding competitor, sponsor, or judge, please contact Patti Reinhardt at preinhar@nd.edu or visit mccloskey.ideacenter.nd.edu.

Originally published by Nicholas Swisher at ideacenter.nd.edu on May 04, 2021.