May 25, 2011

LOS ANGELES -- What do veggie waffles,  pacemaker technology, good money management habits for teens, salary research techniques, and contract management solutions have in common?  They're all entrepreneurial business plans developed by UCLA Anderson School of Management students that will be competing for a $15,000 prize in the Knapp Venture Competition. The event, hosted by the Harold and Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at UCLA Anderson School of Management, will be held on Thursday, May 26. 

The student-run competition is designed to provide UCLA Anderson students with an intensive learning experience in the development and enhancement of new business ventures. The event is named for Cleon T. (Bud) and Betsy Wood Knapp, entrepreneurs and philanthropists whose generous monetary endowment in 1997 supports this annual event  and other entrepreneurial initiatives. 

Now in its 30th year, the event is considered one of the premier academic business plan competitions in Southern California,   It encourages students to apply the academic training they have received at UCLA Anderson and develop unique and timely business proposals that are then judged by a panel of successful entrepreneurs and business executives from the corporate world as well as UCLA Anderson's network of alumni.

"The Knapp Venture Competition is a demanding learning experience for our students," said UCLA Anderson Senior Associate Dean Al Osborne. "Participants are exposed to real-life business opportunities and learn what it actually takes to make their academic preparation relevant and useful as they aspire to become successful and innovative entrepreneurs."
During the course of the academic year, Anderson students build management teams and develop business plans based on needs they see in various industries in the consumer market; these business plans are submitted to the Knapp Venture Competition. This year's 57 qualifying entrants participated in a student-run venture review session, which provided feedback on their plans and presentations prior to the final competition. Judges, who include entrepreneurs, venture capital investors, and senior executives, narrow the submissions based on realistic financial assessments, the quality of the opportunity, viability of the business model, overall impression of believability, and the written plan and verbal presentation. 

This year's judges include Cleon T. (Bud) Knapp, chairman and chief executive officer of The Knapp Foundation; Betsy Knapp, founder and chief executive officer of BigPicture Investors, LLC; John R. Stuelpnagel, director of Sequenta, a start-up company focused on cancer and autoimmune diagnostic tests; Jeffrey Lipp, executive director of Gift and Loyalty Services for Heartland Payment Systems, one of the largest merchant credit card processing companies in the U.S.; and Greg Craig, chief executive officer of Inupiat Energy Marketing, Inc. 

More than 1,600 UCLA Anderson students have competed in this unique venture creation experience since its inception, which has been instrumental in launching numerous businesses including and eFriendsNet, one of the largest social networking and dating companies in China. The latter was recognized as one of the 50 Most Innovative Chinese Internet Companies in the 2005-2006 China Internet Industry Report. In 2005, Knapp winner Auditude licensed its technology to Premiere Radio Networks, the syndication division of Clear Channel Communications Inc., and took in more than$135,000 from additional competitions.  One of last year's winners, CytoScale Diagnostics, has made strides in licensing a device that is capable of analyzing growth signaling pathways of every single cell in sample of one-thousand cells that it plans to commercialize by the end of 2013.

For more information on the Knapp Venture Competition, please visit:

About the Harold and Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at UCLA Anderson
The Harold and Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at UCLA Anderson School of Management is an internationally recognized leader in entrepreneurial education and research.  With a distinguished faculty as its cornerstone, the Center oversees activities that advance the theory and practice of entrepreneurship as well as the related fields of technology and innovation, venture capital and private equity, and social enterprise.  Well known for the impact of its outreach programs, the Price Center fosters a spirit of innovation in individuals, enhances the managerial capacity of organizations, and prepares entrepreneurial leaders who will provide significant, sustainable and economic value to society.

UCLA Anderson School of Management
Celebrating 75 years of "business beyond usual," the UCLA Anderson School of Management is regarded among the leading business schools in the world. UCLA Anderson faculty members are globally renowned for their teaching excellence and research in advancing management thinking. Each year, UCLA Anderson provides a distinctive approach to management education to more than 3,600 students enrolled in its M.B.A., fully-employed M.B.A., executive M.B.A., UCLA-NUS Global Executive M.B.A., master of financial engineering, doctoral and executive education programs. Combining highly selective admissions, varied and innovative learning programs, and a worldwide network of 37,000 alumni, UCLA Anderson develops and prepares global leaders. 

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