2010 Knapp Venture Competition Finals

May 28, 2010

By Justin Tang

LOS ANGELES - Anderson students and the Harold and Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies hosted the 29th Knapp Venture Competition, which featured five finalist teams that competed for a total of over $30,000 in prize money. Each team, made up of Anderson students, presented their business plans to five judges, which featured Betsy and Cleon "Bud" Knapp, the namesakes of the competition. The judges then deliberated for thirty minutes to decide which team earned first place, but could not agree on a clear winner. Instead, they came to the thrilling conclusion of awarding two teams the first place prize.

One of the first place teams was LA Burger, a startup restaurant company that plans to launch a fast casual burger restaurant in Paris, France. The company plans to capitalize on its Los Angeles branding, which CEO Jonathan Lehmann ('11) claims, "evokes coolness and sexiness." LA Burger won $11,250 for first place and also won the Epson's People's Choice Award for $2,000, an award voted on by the attendees.

The other team to win first place was CytoScale, a diagnostic device that captures viable Circulating Tumor Cells (CTC). The company uses special "Velcro" technology that is able to capture live CTCs for research and possibly cures. The team was also awarded $11,250.

Bud Knapp said, "Both teams gave fantastic presentations. LA Burger demonstrated showbiz in the highest order, while CytoScale successfully presented a difficult concept to conceive." While two teams came away with the title of Knapp Venture Competition winners, Knapp had words of encouragement to the rest of the teams in saying, "You must realize that there are a lot of businesses that succeed even though they didn't win first prize."

First Place Teams ($11,250)
CytoScale - Diagnostic device to capture viable Circulating Tumor Cells

Kamir Duraiswamy, MD/MBA (‘10)
David Franklin, MBA (‘10)
Jason Jolly, MBA (‘11)
Ed Lang, MBA (‘11)
William Wong, JD (‘10)
Alex You, MD/MBA (‘10)

LA Burger - Scalable, fast casual premium burger restaurant for the French market

Scott Gladstone, MBA (‘11)
Andrew Kahn, MBA (‘11)
Nadine Katkhouda, MBA (‘11)
Jonathan Lehmann, MBA (‘11)
Anthony Vassiliadis, MBA (‘11)
James Voytko, MBA (‘11)

Second Place Team ($5,000)
NourishMints - Calcium mints that fit seamlessly into the habits of consumers

Justin DeGeorge, MBA (‘11)
Dina Farshidi, MD/MBA (‘11)
Julie Kang, MBA (‘11)
Carolyn Steinmetz, MBA (‘11)
Michael Vagts, MD/MBA (‘11)

Third Place Team ($2,500)
SightCine - Specializes in digital overlay projection technology

Dan Birnbaum, MBA (‘10)
Adam Burnett, MBA (‘10)
Han Li, MBA (‘10)
Michael Nudelman, MBA (‘10)
Michael Ross, MBA (‘10)

Fourth Place Team ($1,000)
Panko Software - Location based services company focusing on the travel/leisure market

Cori Arnold, FEMBA (‘11)
James Jordan, FEMBA (‘11)
Robert Kim, FEMBA (‘11)
Vlad Zarney, FEMBA (‘11)

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