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  • Writer's pictureKimberly Dinehart

2021 Knapp Venture Competition

The 2021 Knapp Venture Competition Finals were held virtually on Wednesday, May 19th. During the past 40 years, more than 2,600 Anderson students have honed their entrepreneurial skills as they participated in Knapp, culminating in final round presentations and award announcements each May. This year, 57 student startups submitted business plans to the competition, with 27 moving on to the semi-final round and only five having the opportunity to present live in front of a panel of judges as finalists. This year, the finals judges were Leslie Kimerling, Co-Founder & CEO, Double Helix Optics; Joseph Purcell, Founder & COO, Global Cash Card; Sanjay Reddy (‘97), Partner, Unlock Ventures; Will Rehrig, President, Rehrig Pacific Co.; and Eric Wedbush, Managing Director, Wedbush Capital.

First prize, $40,000 in non-dilutive capital, went to realAppeal. realAppeal is an online software that reduces the costs of owning real estate. They manage the end-to-end process of property tax reduction and help save property owners money and time.

Team: Frank DiZenzo ('21), Colton Pace ('21)

Second place, $20,000, went to Sahara Cloud. Sahara Cloud is a cloud-based platform that allows developers to access physical boards, sensors, and test equipment in the cloud so that they can start their hardware R&D immediately without needing to access physical components.

Team: Jama Mohamed ('21), Andy Chang ('21), Annie Lu ('21), Joshua Kimmel ('21), Raghav Agarwal ('21)

Two teams tied for third, each receiving $15,000 - Adatto and Bondle.

Adatto is an online content and booking platform providing young adult women with content, community, and care around their women's health.

Team: Ariela Cohen Kruger ('21), Ani Loshkajian ('21), Bri Buhaly ('21), Erica Jackey ('21), Jerome Orzech ('21), Joana Fernandez (MPH/MSW '23)

Bondle is a California-based Digitally Native Vertical Brand offering sustainably produced French wines. Their product line is focused on magnum bottles (1.5L) to provide their customers and their loved ones the opportunity to celebrate and enjoy memorable wines. Bondle delivers a unique customer experience, designed to highlight the character of each wine and producer in their portfolio.

Team: Alexandre Choate Moritz ('22), Duyen Ha, Mehdi Samraoui, Virginie Bonnet

And fifth place, $10,000, went to Welrus. Welrus is an online platform that enables patients to shop for basic healthcare services provided at local clinics. Their mission is to make affordable healthcare more accessible for the masses.

Team: Shridhar Gambhir ('21), Ashesh Prakash ('21), Katherine Gaffney ('21)

UCLA Anderson students and faculty also had the opportunity to vote for the $1,000 People's Choice Fast Pitch Award. Nine additional teams, beyond the finalists, recorded fast pitches, with Leap Snacks taking home the prize. Team: Alan Spindel ('21), Austin Crane ('21), Jordan Stern ('21), Julia Egan ('21), Scott Schulkin ('21)

The Knapp Venture Competition is supported by the Knapp Foundation, specifically the legacy support of Betsy and Bud Knapp; UCLA Anderson Harold & Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation; UCLA Anderson’s Entrepreneur Association; and the Venture Accelerator at UCLA Anderson.

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