Background

Now in its 31st year, the Knapp Venture Competition ("the Competition") is designed to provide Anderson students with an intensive learning experience in the venture initiation process. Virtually all Anderson students will start, work in, advise, or finance growing businesses at some point in their careers. Participating in the Knapp Venture Competition prepares students - whether they will be founders, financiers, consultants, marketers, or general managers - for these experiences by simulating the process of starting and evaluating an entrepreneurial enterprise.

While a business plan is the tangible outcome of each team's efforts, generating the document in and of itself is not the Competition's primary objective. Rather, the Competition encourages a rigorous and cross-disciplinary application of the tools that students have learned in the MBA program. It requires them to integrate concepts from the core curriculum - economics, finance, operations, marketing, accounting, strategy, and organizational development - into a total plan for starting and operating a business.

By refining their concept, researching its feasibility, building a management team, and preparing and presenting their plan, students test the full range of analytical and communications skills that they have developed while at Anderson. Moreover, they learn about their ability to work as a team and manage group dynamics. Finally, the screening and evaluative portions of the Competition provide a solid feedback mechanism to the student teams. Dozens of faculty, entrepreneurs, alumni, professional investors and advisors serve on the judging panels that evaluate each team's efforts. Year in and year out, students report that this feedback is one of the most valuable aspects of the competition.

Two other groups of students benefit from the Competition. The student organizers are presented with an opportunity to develop their leadership skills, as well as with valuable access to the extensive entrepreneurial networks and resources of the Anderson community. The entire student body is encouraged to view the Competition's final presentations in order to support their classmates, prepare for their own participation in future competitions, and to learn the standards that professional investors and entrepreneurs apply in evaluating businesses.

About the Harold & Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies
The Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies is consistently ranked among the best in the world for entrepreneurial education and has been ranked #1 over the last three years by Financial Times. The Price Center oversees all teaching, research, extracurricular and community activities related to entrepreneurship at the Anderson School. The Price Center strives to provide academic and extracurricular experiences that advance both the theory and practice of entrepreneurship.

About UCLA Anderson School of Management
UCLA Anderson is perennially ranked among the top-tier business schools in the world. Award-winning faculty renowned for their research and teaching, highly selective admissions, successful alumni and world-class facilities combine to provide an extraordinary learning environment. Established in 1935, UCLA Anderson provides management education to more than 1,400 students enrolled in full-time, part-time and executive MBA programs and doctoral programs.

Knapp Venture Competition