May 20, 2013

2013 Knapp Venture Competition Winners Reflect Impact of Silicon Beach and UCLA’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Entrepreneurial event also featured a three-way tie for third place

LOS ANGELES – The 32nd Annual Knapp Venture Competition at UCLA Anderson School of Management on May 14, 2013 featured some welcome surprises. In addition to three teams tying for third place, the evening’s first-place winner made such an impact that the team was approached by angel investors and venture capitalists to discuss potential investments in the company. The runner-up team has licensed patents based on technologies developed by UCLA faculty, and is an important example of the cross-campus collaborations that are occurring within UCLA’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The Knapp Venture Competition is hosted by the Harold and Pauline Price Center at UCLA Anderson and the Entrepreneur Association. This annual, student-run event is designed to provide UCLA Anderson students the opportunity to enhance and develop their new business ventures. The teams present their business proposals to a panel of judges made up of successful entrepreneurs, business executives, and UCLA Anderson alumni. The event is named after Cleon T. (Bud) and Betsy Wood Knapp, entrepreneurs and philanthropists whose generous endowment supports this annual event and other entrepreneurial initiatives. Additional funding is provided by contributions from the Price Center Board of Advisors and members of the business community, including Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp., which sponsored the People’s Choice Award.

“We feel a tremendous sense of pride in watching our students present their business plans onstage and apply what they’ve learned in the classroom,” said Al Osborne, senior associate dean of UCLA Anderson and founder and faculty director of the Price Center. “The students clearly impressed the judges with their cutting-edge concepts.”

The winners of the 2013 Knapp Venture Competition are:

First Place – $15,000

People’s Choice – $2,000

Vow To Be Chic: Rents designer bridesmaid dresses online, bringing cost savings and convenience to the bridesmaid experience. (Kelsey Doorey, MBA ’13; Anna Baxter, MBA ’13)

Second Place – $7,500

Neural Analytics: Offers a non-invasive solution for measuring intracranial pressure (ICP), a critical physiologic parameter that currently requires a neurosurgeon to drill a hole into the patient’s skull. Their device, RapidICP, has a patented method to noninvasively measure ICP using a portable, inexpensive ultrasound device that can be used by a trained technician. Neural Analytics, Inc. has exclusively licensed four patents (two pending and two provisional) from UCLA. (Leo Petrossian, MBA ’14; Dan Hanchey, FEMBA ’13; Robert Hamilton)

Third Place (tie) – $2,500

Mighty Mount:
 An automated camera mount that will track an object's motion and location in order to enable directed video capture for use for video chatting, video lectures, security, surveillance, and action sports. (Shuhan Majid, MBA ’14; Sarah Sartore, MBA ’13; Nolan Tsuchiya; Stephen Wu, MBA ’13)

Third Place (tie) – $2,500

Sportifik: A web/mobile platform aimed at allowing people to easily organize and play sport matches with friends in a social and rewarding way. (Marco Franzoni, MBA ’13; Pablo Torres, MBA ’13; Yael Davidowitz-Neu, MBA ’13; Benjamin Waterman, MBA ’13; Gianmarco Cilento, MBA ’13; Idan Tzror, MBA ’13)

Third Place (tie) – $2,500

Job Genius:
 A website database of video informational interviews with professionals of varying backgrounds. It will be both searchable and ratable so students can explore and learn about different career opportunities. (Edward Gonzalez, MBA ’14; Rohan Castelino, MBA ’14; Adejoke Ader, MBA ’13; Katrina Gao)

“We are thrilled with not only the outcome, but also the entire experience, of the Knapp Competition,” said Kelsey Doorey of Vow To Be Chic. “The feedback we received and people we met in each stage of the process was invaluable. The exposure to 'Silicon Beach' was incredible and has resulted in us meeting with top incubators and VCs, which has been priceless as we launch our business.”

Since its inception, almost 2,000 UCLA Anderson students have competed in the Knapp Venture Competition. Past participants have launched businesses that include Stamps.com (NASDAQ: STMP); Auditude, an advanced video advertising platform acquired by Adobe Systems; Greenbotics, a robotic, solar panel cleaning service; and Essio, aromatherapy through the shower.

To learn more about the Knapp Venture Competition at UCLA Anderson, visit http://www.anderson.ucla.edu/knapp-venture-competition.

About the Harold and Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies

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.

About UCLA Anderson School of Management

UCLA Anderson School of Management is 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 1,800 students enrolled in its MBA, Fully-Employed MBA, Executive MBA, Global Executive MBA for Asia Pacific, Global Executive MBA for the Americas, Master of Financial Engineering, doctoral and executive education programs. Combining selective admissions, varied and innovative learning programs, and a world-wide network of 35,000 alumni, UCLA Anderson develops and prepares global leaders. Follow UCLA Anderson on Twitter at http://twitter.com/UCLAAnderson, or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/uclaanderson

Contact Information

UCLA Anderson Office of Media Relations, (310) 206-7707, Media.relations@anderson.ucla.edu

Media Relations