May 04, 2004

Los Angeles — On May 20, 2004, the Harold Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at UCLA Anderson School of Management will hold the final round of the 23rd annual Knapp Venture Competition. The semi-final round consisted of 22 teams presenting their business opportunities. The six finalist teams that emerged from that round will now present their business plans to a judging panel of entrepreneurs and investors to compete for the $20,000 in cash prizes.

The Knapp Venture Competition is designed to provide UCLA Anderson students with an intensive learning experience involving the entrepreneurial process. Virtually all UCLA 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.

UCLA Anderson faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend the final round competition, which will be held on Thursday, May 20th from 4 to 8 p.m. in Korn Convocation Hall at UCLA Anderson. The winners of the 2004 Knapp Venture Competition will be announced at a reception following the competition.

“This year six superb teams made it to the finals,” said Kindra Liedtke, program manager, Harold Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. “We implemented a new system that allowed smaller scale business opportunities not seeking VC placement to compete for the first time,” said Liedtke. “We received a record-setting 48 entries, which clearly demonstrates the commitment of the UCLA Anderson community to the spirit of entrepreneurship and business plan development at any level.”

The Knapp Venture Competition requires that at least one member of a team be a current UCLA Anderson student. The competition allows students to discover the incredible resources that are available to them at UCLA and throughout the greater Los Angeles community. Fellow UCLA Anderson classmates and alumni, as well as graduate students in the other technical and professional schools, are all potential partners and sources of ideas.

The finalists of the 2004 Knapp Venture Competition are as follows:

Deeptek - Deeptek, LLC is an early stage San Diego-based company, developing laser printer technology exceeding existing technology in terms of speed, quality and cost.
Team: Deepak Trikannad, founder & CEO; Rob Greenip, board of advisors, UCLA Anderson MBA ’04; Flavia Rusconi, UCLA Anderson MBA ’04; Robert Sokolowski, UCLA Anderson MBA ’04; and Juan Francisco Levine, UCLA Anderson MBA ’04.

Jet Fleet International (JFI) - JFI’s concept is to unite single corporate and private jet aircraft owners with the purpose of increasing their buying power for aviation services such as fuel, pilot training, aircraft maintenance, pilot accessories, weather data and in-flight broadband access.
Team: Rajeev Kulkarni, UCLA Anderson FEMBA ’04; James Haug, UCLA Anderson FEMBA ’04; Suzanne Rebele, UCLA Anderson MBA ’04; Finn Moller, CEO; and Kevin Moller, managing director of global aviation operations.

Krank - The industry’s only hipster publication for teenage boys, Krank magazine will deliver provocative lifestyle content to a generation of male consumers with bulging wallets, raging media appetites and few channels for self-expression. In addition, Krank will provide a one-stop advertising vehicle to companies currently lacking an effective, efficient way to reach this attractive demographic.
Team: Anni Rodgers, founding editor, UCLA Anderson MBA ’04; Maggie Brenneke, marketing consultant, UCLA Anderson MBA ’04; Giorgi Chigogidze, financial consultant, UCLA Anderson MBA ’04; Marc Olshan, marketing consultant, UCLA Anderson MBA ’04; and Manuel Madrazo, financial consultant, UCLA Anderson MBA ’04.

MessageRite - MessageRite offers a hosted, comprehensive electronic message management solution that enables organizations to use e-mail and instant messaging (IM) effectively while ensuring adherence to policies and industry regulations. MessageRite protects and supports its customers' messaging environments by additionally offering spam & anti-virus protection, content filtering, and disaster recovery and business continuity capabilities.
Team: Kevin Merritt, CEO and Carey Ransom, vice president, sales & marketing, UCLA Anderson MBA ’04.

Micropurity - Micropurity offers professionals and homeowners a safe, simple, and inexpensive solution to eliminate mold and its associated health risks from homes, workplaces and schools.
Team: Elliott Parker, president, UCLA Anderson MBA ’04 and Keith Johnson, managing partner, UCLA Anderson MBA ’04.

RA Imaging - RA Imaging is a start-up biotechnology firm developing molecular imaging agents that permit earlier and more definitive detection of melanoma. The firm’s targeted therapeutics seek out definitive disease biomarkers, making them more specific and less toxic than traditional imaging technologies, and the company’s transdermal delivery technology provides a convenient, highly localized diagnostic tool.
Team: Jacob Waugh, M.D., senior scientist, Stanford University School of Medicine & founder, Essentia Biosystems; Ceron Rhee, 3rd year biology/economics undergraduate, Stanford University; Jane Lee, scientist, Essentia Biosystems; Ashraf Abdelkerim, M.D., UCLA Anderson MBA ’04; Bassel Rifai, 3rd year electrical engineering undergraduate, UCLA; and Karoon Monfared, 3rd year biochemistry undergraduate, UCLA.

The Knapp Venture Competition is named for Bud and Betsy Knapp, whose $2 million gift to the school supports the annual event and other entrepreneurial initiatives. The couple serve on UCLA Anderson School’s Board of Visitors.

Below is the list of judges who will evaluate the business plans and presentations of the five finalist teams:

Betsy Wood Knapp, founder and CEO, BigPicture Investors, LLC
Cleon “Bud” Knapp, trustee, The Knapp Foundation
John Shields, former chairman & CEO, Trader Joes
Christopher Jennings, Roth Capital Partners
Tom Epley, chairman, Paradyne Networks

About the Harold Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies
The Harold Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, a recognized leader in entrepreneurial education, oversees all teaching, research, extracurricular and community activities related to entrepreneurship at UCLA Anderson School of Management. 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 School of Management 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.

UCLA Anderson’s faculty includes outstanding educators and researchers who share their scholarship and expertise in such fundamental areas as finance, marketing, accounting, business economics, decision sciences, operations and technology management, human resources and organizational behavior, information systems, strategy and policy.

Recognizing that the school offers unparalleled expertise in management education, the world’s business community turns to UCLA Anderson School of Management as a center of influence for the ideas, innovations, strategies and talent that will shape the future.

Visit the Knapp Venture Competition Web Site

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