McCloskey 20th Anniversary: Luis Montestruque, 2004 winner for EmNet LLC, a Smart Water Systems Management Company

Author: Emily Tyson

Luis Montestruque Luis Montestruque, a 2004 McCloskey winner

Luis Montestruque was part way through a PhD. program in Control System Engineering at the University of Notre Dame when he discovered the McCloskey Competition while taking classes in entrepreneurship. He decided it was the perfect time to find people that could advise him on how to start a company, write a business plan, and find investors.

He used the matchmaking service offered by the Competition to find his partner for McCloskey, and as part of competition, had the opportunity to meet some Notre Dame affiliated angel investors.

EmNet LLC was a technology and consulting firm that aimed to improve water infrastructure systems and drastically reduce water waste and overflow, at a fraction of the cost of traditional water control systems. Beginning with a partnership with the City of South Bend and the University of Notre Dame to solve South Bend's sewage overflow program, EmNet LLC was responsible for implementing a system that reduced South Bend's overflow volume by 70%, or over 1 billion gallons per year.

15 years after competing in McCloskey, Montestruque is Vice President, AIA Digital Solutions at Xylem, Inc. (which acquired EmNet in 2017) and is using the same principles that guided his original business plan to help him lead in his current position.

“One of the things that propelled me into entrepreneurship was to see all the innovations that were coming out of engineering. McCloskey was the perfect way to find real advisors, write a business plan, and meet investors.”

Montestruque’s advice to young entrepreneurs: “If you don’t think big, it’s not even worth it. You have to think big. If you don’t risk anything you don’t gain anything.” The biggest value from the McCloskey Competition was “all the feedback that I got, not only from the reviewers, but from all the people I got to meet throughout the process.”