Knapp Venture Competition


The 35th annual Knapp Venture Competition awarded Kulisha the grand prize of $15,000 for their for-profit startup, which involves working toward food security for the future.

Behind the ambitious plan of Kulisha are two passionate founders, Suchintya Dandapat (’17) and Arjun Paunrana, who are interested in developing a new source of protein — the black soldier fly larvae — to feed fish, which will ensure the food supply of emerging markets, particularly in Kenya.



Now in its 35th year, the Knapp Venture Competition has evolved into one of the premier academic business plan competitions in Southern California. It encourages UCLA Anderson students to showcase their talents and learn from insights of successful entrepreneurs and business executives. The Knapp Competition has given more than 1,800 UCLA Anderson students a unique venture creation experience that has been instrumental in launching numerous businesses.

UCLA Anderson’s Knapp Venture Competition has yielded some remarkable companies over the years — not just with funding, but with sage advice.

Over the course of the 2015/16 academic year, UCLA Anderson students refined business concepts, built management teams, and developed business plans to submit to the Knapp Venture Competition. A select group of business plans were chosen for competition in the semifinals, with the top submissions advancing to the finals in May. The judging panels, which comprised of entrepreneurs, venture capital investors and senior executives, played a critical role in shaping the outcome and educational experience of the competition. Our judges asked questions to evaluate each entry's viability, and also provided students with constructive feedback and suggestions for going forward with their ventures. After a closed deliberation, the five Knapp finalists were announced via email the following day.

2016 Winners


First Place


TEAM: Suchintya Dandapat ’17 and Arjun Paunrana (UCLA undergraduate)

Developing a new feed to increase yield in fish aquaculture based in Kenya. Its main value proposition comes from being able to deliver high quality feed developed locally for the local Kenyan market.

Second Place


TEAM: Chris Rose ’16; Meredith Nussbaum ’16

Offers managed cybersecurity subscription services to small business owners, protecting them from data breaches

Third Place (tie) & People's Choice

$2,500+ $2,000

TEAM: Joseph Lee ’17; Anthony Lee ’17; Sampo Hynynen ’17; Anish Patel ’17; Julius Seok ‘17

Allows any consumer a chance to play with their favorite video game personality while supporting a good cause.

Third Place (tie)

R + D Brew Lab

TEAM: Jenna Glassock ’16; Rebecca Gold ’16; Chad Ries ’16; Lisa Myers ’16; Kyle Kuh ‘16

A brick-and-mortar retail store where customers come to brew their own beer.

Third Place (tie)


TEAM: Damanjeet Chandok, EMBA ’16; Anji Maram, EMBA ’16; Susan Lin, EMBA ’16; Linda Liau, EMBA ’16; Dhiren Pattnaik, EMBA ‘16

An integrated multi-sided Second Opinion on-line platform with patients seeking Second Opinion consulting on one side and doctors/hospitals seeking to treat them on the other.


The Price Center Entrepreneur Association Knapp Foundation
Knowing Your Worth WSGR Cazenave
Softlayer, an IBM Company 1010 Wilshire

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