Dan McGowan | December 2, 2017
Entrepreneurs and startups in Elkhart, St. Joseph and Marshall counties can now take part in a University of Notre Dame-run competition. The McCloskey New Venture Competition, which was previously only open to entries within the Notre Dame community, features competitors vying for more than $200,000 in winnings. Director Karen Slaggert says the competition, held at Notre Dame's IDEA Center innovation hub, helps set participants up for success.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Slaggert says a key component is the connections created between the community and the university. "So many of these companies when they enter the competition -- I've seen this happen over and over again with our alumni and our faculty and our students -- it began to take shape from just being an idea to actually forming a community startup that could be employing people in this region. More than anything we want people to start seeing themselves as possibly being inventors, founders, and give them this sense of 'I can do this,'" she said.
Slaggert adds the center hopes to involve Notre Dame students who will engage with the community-based competitors. "We offer to do that for all of our alumni teams and our faculty teams and that has been incredibly helpful in the past," she said. "They might be able to make much more traction than they would have trying to do it on their own."
Applications are being accepted through November 27. Best Notre Dame Venture and Best Community Venture winners will receive $50,000 and prizes will be awarded in additional categories including Greatest Social Impact, Best Undergraduate Student Venture, Best Graduate Student Venture, Best Female-Led Venture and Best Minority-Led Venture.