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Notre Dame business plan winners announced

by Melissa Paulsen, Gigot Center program manager

April 27, 2006

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NatureCare won the $15,000 grand prize in the sixth annual McCloskey Business Plan Competition organized by the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Notre Dame. The company has developed a proprietary organic lawn care line and seeks to capture a portion of the estimated $5.1 billion lawn and garden services market. Team members included MBA students Tyler Tuttle, Keith Gislason and Jamin Hemenway.

In the Gigot Center’s fifth annual Social Venture Plan Competition, PEPY Tours won the $5000 grand prize. 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 agency, the PEPY Ride. This team, which included alumni Daniela Papi (BA ’00), Steven Allan (BBA ’00), and Dominic Giuliani (BBA ’00), also won the $3,000 Pace Global People’s Choice Best Presentation Award, as determined by audience vote.

Other competition winners included Reggae Island Grill, headed up by Kirk Anderson (MBA ’06), which won the Palo Alto Best Written Plan for their proposal for a fast, casual, “tropical theme-based” restaurant serving authentic Jamaican food. The best undergraduate student plan was awarded to a team led by Arina Grossu (BA ’06) called Catholic Domain.com, which intends to build an online portal for Catholic merchandise.

The Gigot business plan competitions, which drew 100 entries, required participation by at least one Notre Dame student or graduate. A complete list of award winners and summaries of finalists’ entries for all events can be found on the Gigot Web site at www.nd.edu/~entrep or by contacting the center at entrep@nd.edu.

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