Previous Winners

Previous Winners


McCloskey - Certus Therapeutics

Certus Therapeutics, Inc. offers a novel precision nanoparticle drug delivery platform known as Lypos™. We engineer cancer drug formulations with enhanced tumor-targeting technology that lead to increased drug efficacy and improved patient outcomes. No other nanoparticle drug delivery company has accomplished the precision in production that Certus™ offers. This technology will attract pharmaceutical companies that desire a greater chance for FDA approval. Using the Lypos™ manufacturing technique, Certus™ will partner with these companies to develop co-owned drug therapies.

Klau Family Prize for Greatest Social Impact - Safetap

Safetap is a suicide prevention mobile application.  Suicide is the third-leading cause of death among people aged 15-24. This app will include school-specific resources (for high school and college students), a therapist search, as well as crisis resources (including emergency hotlines and chat).


McCloskey – Wolf & Shepherd
Since the 1920’s, shoemakers have crafted dress shoes using the same dated manufacturing process and with little emphasis on comfort.  Here at Wolf & Shepherd, our mantra is simple: Dress to Perform.  Without compromising the timeless style and quality of classic footwear, Wolf & Shepherd designs shoes to provide unparalleled comfort by concealing high performance foam technology into the heart of each sole.
Klau Family Prize for Greatest Social Impact – SolaPur
SolaPur has developed a new water purification technology that utilizes sunlight to kill disease causing viruses, bacteria, and protozoa.  This technology overcomes the challenges associated with other water treatment options including poor taste, long treatment times, and parts with limited durability. The technology can be easily adapted for use in outdoor recreation, emergency preparedness, or in developing regions of the world that currently lack access to clean drinking water.


McCloskey – NanDio
NanDio has identified a novel technology that clinicians can use to clinically test for early detection of oral cancer during a normal exam via single platform and lab-on-a-chip detection products that are used in a practitioner’s office. NanDio provides solutions for early disease detection during a patient’s visit.
Klau Family Prize for Greatest Social Impact – Reading for Life
Over 60% of youth who commit a crime will return to the justice system within three years, and one of the best predictors of delinquency is a youth’s inability to read. Sadly, even when adolescents can read words, they often cannot comprehend a text nor apply its powerful message to their own personal lives. In small groups with trained mentors, Reading for Life addresses both recidivism and illiteracy by using great stories and classic virtues – like prudence and temperance – to inspire juvenile offenders to make better life choices. Over 95% of our graduates have no further contact with the law.


McCloskey – Contect
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) is a serious problem for many athletes in the United States, but it is also very frequent among soldiers. Existing solutions to assess concussions are either inaccurate, difficult to administer, and prone to manipulation. We provide a new, instantaneous (sideline), accurate concussion assessment service that can be used by untrained personnel. This service captures an individual’s voice and detects subtle changes that may indicate a concussion. As a consequence, this test can also be used to perform testing without the explicit knowledge of the individual (e.g., analyzing the radio message of a soldier).
Klau Family Prize for Greatest Social Impact – Green Bridge
Green Bridge, an urban aquaponics farm, is a social enterprise designed to produce revenue and create jobs for highly-capable young adults with autism in the South Bend community. Green Bridge addresses the staggering 90% unemployment rate for those on the autism spectrum, innovating by building a venture around their assets and employing a core workforce that participates in all aspects of fish and vegetable production. Locally and nationally, the increased demand for fresh, organic produce presents an enormous opportunity for Green Bridge. Our team brings targeted expertise in science, technology, and business necessary to launch and grow our venture.


McCloskey – Next Payment Solution
Next Payment Solutions Inc is a digital fulfillment company specializing in online consumer promotion redemption and fulfillment. Utilizing their proprietary DiGee CodeTM process, Next Payment Solutions integrates promotion codes into marketing and social media programs while providing reward choice, real time reporting and consumer data collection.
Klau Family Prize for Greatest Social Impact – Hands+on
Hands+on, a therapy toy, is an interactive platform for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The toy utilizes sensory gloves to create an engaging experience that requires and promotes positive social and communicative behavior, the primary deficit areas in autism. Unlike the majority of the therapeutic toy market where interaction is primarily between child and toy, Hands+on requires and facilitates interaction between child and peer, parent, or therapist. Hands+on uses multisensory feedback through lights, sounds and vibrations to enable creative gameplay and therapy modes, creating a platform for the type of interactive play which appeals most to the child with autism.


McCloskey – Huddle Up
Huddle Up is a mobile phone application that connects the next generation of alumni to each other and their alma matter. Young alumni (aged 21-35) do not respond well to traditional university solicitations, and Huddle Up provides a vehicle to engage this difficult to reach target market. In addition to bonding alumni closer with the school, the app also provides an entirely new donation model that will revolutionize how Development and Alumni offices solicit and receive contributions.
Klau Family Prize for Greatest Social Impact – EOS International
Emerging Opportunities for Sustainability (EOS) International is a non-profit organization that provides rural Nicaraguan communities with low-cost appropriate technologies that generate income and improve health. Our core technologies include: drip irrigation systems, fuel-efficient barrel ovens, biodigesters, and solar energy systems. The EOS team has been working in Nicaragua for two years, piloting our products and finding ways to lower their cost. Now entering a growth phase, EOS plans to extend its reach throughout Nicaragua. In the future EOS will expand into other Latin American countries.


McCloskey – Weekend Student Adventures (WSA) Europe
Weekend Student Adventures is a multi-phased, multi-faceted business approach that will cater to the American college student studying abroad by offering guided destination weekend and week-long packages that feature the optimal balance of serious sightseeing and enjoyable social networking opportunities. WSA will develop a parallel physical and online presence to successfully reach the target market, and create a thriving and dynamic budget travel community and numerous cash flow streams. WSA will seek to partner with stateside universities to reach students long before the competition can. WSA will be structured from the beginning so as to take advantage of its extremely scalable nature.
Social – Morph and Thro
Morph & Thro is an American eco-active wear company created by professional athletes for the modern active person. We promote individual, social, and environmental sustainability through fitness apparel. Morph & Thro's garments are domestically made from 100% recycled plastic (PET) bottles that have been "up-cycled" into durable and comfortable recycled polyester.


McCloskey – modMarket
modMarket is striving to become the next evolution in fast-casual dining. By targeting a younger demographic while focusing on customer experience, sustainability, technology, and real foods, the modMarket brand will become synonymous with eating well on the go. By identifying the successful elements of various companies and creating a brand around the best characteristics, founders Rob McColgan and Anthony Pigliacampo look to take advantage of the major cultural and demographic shifts occurring right now in the U.S. They bring years of experience in restaurant consulting, brand and experience design, and finance to the venture that will launch in Spring 2009.
Social – SHE: Sustainable Health Enterprises
SHE aims to unleash girls' and women's potential by starting up female-run franchises that manufacture and distribute low priced, high-quality, and environmentally friendly sanitary pads. Currently, girls and women in developing countries miss school and/or work—up to 50 days per year—because they do not have access to affordable product, thereby thwarting their educational and economic potential. SHE, initiated by a Notre Dame and Harvard Business School graduate, will satisfy this significant need with a sustainable, market-based approach utilizing local, inexpensive raw materials.


McCloskey – RFware
RFware has developed technology that makes possible a new generation of electronic communication devices that can be adapted to almost any current and future wireless protocol with a simple software upgrade. Such technology will immediately benefit the armed forces as well as local police, fire, and emergency management departments, which have all struggled for decades with incompatible communication devices. RFware was founded by the same people that pioneered the technology at the University of Notre Dame, and the team's mixture of technical and business expertise will ensure a quick and profitable commercialization.
Social – MedXcycle
MedXcycle will be part of a sustainable solution to the worldwide healthcare crisis. By selling medical supplies and equipment for pennies on the dollar, MedXcycle will make healthcare accessible to millions of people. Self-sustaining profitability will allow it to operate without relying on charitable donations; conversely, it will contribute a portion of its revenue back to the local community.


McCloskey – SolarShade
SolarShade is a significant innovation following recent advances in window technology, resulting in an aftermarket window treatment that can transform nearly any window into a "Smart" window. Initial application areas for SolarShade with measurable advantages include the recreational vehicle industry, as well as residential and commercial buildings. The management team of SolarShade brings together a blend of engineering expertise with seasoned business acumen and experience.
Social – PorFin, Nuestra Casa
El Paso/Juarez is the world's largest and fastest growing border community with over 2 million residents. Post NAFTA maquiladoras jobs attract 65,000 migrants to Juarez each year, making annual growth greater than that of Las Vegas or Phoenix. This boom has resulted in hundreds of thousands of Mexicans living in squalor in shelters constructed of wooden pallets or boxes that are tied together. PFNC consults with international corporations that have a presence in Juarez. We build affordable housing constructed from used shipping/trucking containers that provide Mexican workers the opportunity to own their homes in safe parks, for under $55 US per month.


McCloskey – NatureCare
NatureCare seeks to capture a significant portion of the estimated 5.1 billion dollar lawn and garden services market. We have developed a proprietary organic lawn care line adapted from a very successful agricultural product and intend to leverage the strength of that line by employing a door-to-door sales and business model that has generated in excess of 20,000 new accounts per sales season in similar companies. We have assembled a focused and experienced team to execute our plan and establish our company and brand as THE organic solution for your lawn care needs.
Social – Pepy Tours
PEPY Tours is a travel agency that specializes in volunteer and adventure tourism in developing countries and disaster relief areas. PEPY provides travel arrangements and tour programs which focus on volunteer activities in association with their partner NGO, The PEPY Ride. PEPY Tours creates a sustainable and growing source of funding for The PEPY Ride organization's expanding educational endeavors by bringing a unique experience to the socially-minded traveler.


McCloskey – Licketyship
Licketyship connects online shoppers with localized retailers through a searchable website that allows for same-day courier service. Customers will have the ability to search for products available within a certain zip code. When they purchase an item, LicketyShip covers the distance from store to customer door by employing an existing courier service that allows customers to receive their online purchases on the same day.
Social – Youth Training in Peace Education
The Youth Training in Peace Education is an international, inter-religious and inter-generational organization that aims to empower youth and young adults to take leadership in their own peace education. Our Mission is to create, expand, and sustain a free and youth-oriented website to foster the development of local curriculum worldwide, both formal and informal. Our website will promote inter-religious dialogue and conflict resolution skills that can help young people, especially those involved in religious networks in conflict areas, play a more active role as peace agents wherever they live.


McCloskey – Flash Seats
Flash Seats is a newly-patented system for issuing, transferring and redeeming event tickets electronically. The Flash Seats system will increase a team's revenues and decrease costs while simultaneously providing a powerful new venue for it to interact with its fans. Flash Seats boosts profits, increases sell-out games, decreases no-shows, allows teams to regain control over the lifecycle of an event ticket, improves fan satisfaction and enhances team loyalty. Flash Seats makes ticketing more profitable, efficient, and convenient by bringing electronic ticketing to the sports and entertainment industries. Following the successful model popularized by the airline industry, tickets will be issued electronically and stored in a database. Flash Seats eliminates printing and distribution costs and allows for fewer personnel to be used on game day.
Social – Tech Action
TechAction, founded in Raleigh, NC, will provide the infrastructure to match project-based volunteer teams of skilled technology professionals with local nonprofit organizations needing technical assistance. The North Carolina economy contains thousands of unemployed information technology (IT) professionals needing opportunities to gain a competitive edge in the job market. At the same time, hundreds of nonprofit organizations lack in-house technical expertise to implement needed technology solutions. TechAction's solution gives the IT workers real opportunities to gain experience using newly acquired technical skills while giving the nonprofit organizations technology they may not have otherwise considered or been able to afford.


McCloskey – CN Resource
CN Resource wants to be the first company to take advantage of changes in USDA regulations that now allow outside firms to write menus for school districts across the country. CN Resources will provide three distinct, yet complimentary areas of service:
Outsourced menu planning for school districts, providing superior menus within guidelines at significantly less cost versus hiring in-house staff
Audit and assessment support for state agencies that oversee USDA regulation compliance in school districts
Consulting services and program assistance for school foodservice operations
Social – Campus Community Outreach (Now called Better World Books)
Campus Community Outreach is a for-profit social venture that reaches out to college students' giving side. What better way to deal with your old book than to donate it to a local charity? CCO works with non-profit partners teaching them how to collect thousands of donated books from their local college campuses then takes the books and hauls them to a central warehouse, where they are catalogued, stored and shelved. From there, CCO utilizes available technology to find the highest-paying buyers for these books, and once sold, ships them out. Meanwhile, not-for-profit partners collect unrestricted donation checks from CCO when the books are sold.


McCloskey – License Monitor, Inc.
License Monitor, Inc. ( is a proactive monitoring service that offers real-time information on employees' driver license activity. Utilizing proprietary software, License Monitor provides its customers immediate notification of any changes to their employees' driver licenses, including license expirations, court convictions (speeding, DWI, etc.), suspensions and revocations.
Social – The Hoosier Connection
An incubator venture that will refurbish used computers and will place them in inner-city homes.


McCloskey – PartScope
PartScope's mission is to make online commerce a visual experience, and establish PartScope technologies as the standard for creation and delivery of interactive images. The PartScope system targets the manufacturing replacement and repair parts market segment. The PartScope software is used to convert a manufacturer's assembly diagrams into a highly visual, Web-based parts ordering system where the user can see the part and click on it to order. Entry risk is low with no up-front costs to the manufacturer. Earnings are based on a percentage of sales generated through the parts ordering Web site. A residual percentage revenue model strongly leverages earnings over time.