June 06, 2006

LOS ANGELES - A team of four MBA students from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management has been awarded a $250,000 venture capital investment as the winner of this year’s annual Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) Venture Challenge business plan competition.  The state wide competition included candidates from schools such as Stanford, UC Berkeley, CalTech and USC.  The winning UCLA Anderson team, Precision Reproduction LLC, will commercialize a patented medical device and procedure for in-vitro fertilization (IVF).

Each year DFJ, the leading early stage venture capital firm, and its California affiliates, DFJ Frontier and Zone Ventures, invite winners of California college- and university-sponsored business plan competitions to compete in the DFJ Venture Challenge.  Precision Reproduction recently won UCLA Anderson’s Knapp Venture Competition, sponsored by the Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.  Now in its 25th year, the student-run Knapp Venture Competition has given over 1,600 UCLA Anderson students a unique experience that has been instrumental in launching numerous businesses including stamps.com, Message Rite and Auditude.

 “Being part of the UCLA Anderson community and having the resources of the Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies has provided us with so many opportunities,” said team leader Greg Samson (’07).  “We are particularly excited about working with DFJ - and grateful to them for sharing in our vision.”

UCLA Anderson team members Samson, Jeff Kendig (‘06), Ben Koff (‘06) and Sanjaya Mohottala (’07) created a business plan for Precision Reproduction, which developed and patented a device and procedure for IVF that improves success rates and reduces health risks for both the mother and the child.  Unlike the traditional method of IVF, their new method gives doctors the control to consistently deliver an embryo to an ideal implantation site, eliminating the risk of ectopic pregnancy.
Precision Reproduction was chosen from 15 competing teams by a panel of judges comprised of partners of DFJ, DFJ Frontier and Zone Ventures.

"DFJ's success is partly a result of our willingness to think and behave non-traditionally,” said Tim Draper, managing director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson. “The DFJ Venture Challenge provides us with access to great business plans and talented entrepreneurs, and it provides the competing teams with a unique forum to engage with venture capitalists who have their checkbooks open." 

In addition to the award, a venture capitalist from one of the three funds may join the winner’s board of directors, providing valuable business guidance and other assistance.

About Draper Fisher Jurvetson
Draper Fisher Jurvetson is the leader in seed and early-stage venture capital, typically serving as a startup’s first outside source of financing.  Founded in 1985, Draper Fisher Jurvetson has created a global network of affiliated venture funds with approximately $3.5 billion in capital commitments and offices in the major technology centers around the world.  Headquartered in Silicon Valley, the firm has proven expertise in identifying and helping extraordinary entrepreneurs who want to change the world.

About UCLA Anderson School of Management
UCLA Anderson School of Management is 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.

The mission of UCLA Anderson School of Management is to be a global leader in management education, research and service. Established in 1935, UCLA Anderson provides management education to more than 1,400 students enrolled in MBA and doctoral programs, and some 2,000 executives and managers enrolled annually in executive education programs. UCLA Anderson alumni number more than 35,000 graduates around the world dedicated to continued networking, professional development and educational activities.

About the Harold and Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies
The Harold and Pauline 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.

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