A group of current and former students at the University of Notre Dame has taken the $50,000 top prize in the 2021 McCloskey New Venture Competition. The team won for its app Juke, which connects performers with their audience during a live performance.

Through the Juke app, audience members can request songs, dedicate a song, and even tip the performers, among other features. The Juke team was led by Notre Dame undergrad Olivia Anderson.

Another South Bend-based startup, GittaSitta, won the $25,000 Community Venture award from Startup South Bend-Elkhart and Indianapolis-based Elevate Ventures. The startup uses an app designed to streamline the babysitter hiring process for parents.

“These funds will support the launch of the GittaSitta app and will make it possible to add new features that we know parents will love,” said Mandy Kinnucan, founder of GittaSitta. “After a long pandemic year, sitters are going to be in high demand. We’re excited to make it easier for parents to book a babysitter and enjoy some kid-free time, hopefully supporting local restaurants and the other amazing places in our community.”

A total of more than $250,000 in cash and in-kind prizes were awarded in the competition. The McCloskey New Venture Competition is hosted by the IDEA Center at the University of Notre Dame.

You can view the full list of winners by clicking here.