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  • Writer's pictureKimberly Dinehart

2022 Knapp Venture Competition

The 2022 Knapp Venture Competition Finals were held in-person on Wednesday, May 18th for the first time since 2019. Judges Petra Griffith, Founder and Managing Partner at Wedbush Ventures; Matt Hersh (‘08), Operating Partner at Fika Ventures; Kelly Perdew (‘95), Co-founder and Managing General Partner at Moonshots Capital; and Sanjay Reddy (‘97), Partner at Unlock Ventures evaluated the five finalist companies’ decks and pitches.

First prize, $40,000 in non-dilutive capital, went to NUFYX®. NUFYX® is a plant-based nutrition company that focuses on revolutionary high protein foods. Its first product, HEAVENLY PROTEIN® POWDER, is the first with a 100% Organic American grown plant protein source in the market. You can find HEAVENLY PROTEIN® POWDER online or in stores nationwide.

Team: Emily Smith ('22)

Second place, $30,000, went to BridgeDoc, a subscription-based construction management software used for public agency construction projects. BridgeDoc helps maximize the productivity, standardization, and completeness of document control systems, allowing construction managers to focus on ensuring quality construction.

Team: Kelly Wheeler (EMBA '23); Andrey Kudievskiy (EMBA '23); Josh Noble (EMBA '23)

Third place, and $20,000, went to ServaCor, a personalized, comprehensive remote cardiac rehabilitation (CR) platform designed for women. By participating in CR after a cardiac event, women will reduce their risk of hospital readmission by 40% and mortality by 10%, saving insurers and the health system $4,200 - 5,600 per patient that completes the program.

Team: Eunice Ye ('23); Alex Upfill-Brown; Jaqueline Kading; David Cho; Glen Meyerowitz

Tied for fourth, with $10,000 each, are OPAL AI and SportSwap.

OPAL AI processes user-generated data from commercially-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware using machine learning to generate floorplans and other products. OPAL AI was awarded the NSF SBIR Phase I grant in 2022.

Team: Dr. Ryan Alimo (FEMBA '23); Irina Tikhomirova (FTMBA '22); Hank Lee (FTMBA '23); Franco Mellone (FEMBA '23); Shubh Vashisht (FEMBA '23); Sarvenaz Moazami

SportSwap makes sports betting easier to understand and more fair by offering the best odds on the market without the high 10-20% commissions the traditional sports betting companies currently charge.

Team: Keaton Lipson ('22); Justin Moorad ('23); Melis Kilic ('22); Daniel Del Giorno ('22)

UCLA Anderson students and faculty also had the opportunity to vote for the People's Choice Fast Pitch Award.

Lost Abroad, an immersive language learning video game that teaches players Mandarin Chinese through lifelike scenarios, won first place and $1,000.

Team: Brent Oberlin ('22); Siyi Chen ('22); Jack Du ('22); Jack Browning ('22); Sabena Virani ('22)

Second place and $500 went to Rizome, which provides mid-city CEA (Controlled Environment Agriculture) space to urban farmers, services (including access to an established distribution network), and ag-business startup and operational consulting, thereby addressing a need for space for will-be farmers and lowering the capital cost for entry/expansion.

Team: Lizzy Porter ('22); Adam Ferraco ('22); Suyesh Acharya ('22); Sami Sciacqua ('22); Ryan Wadge ('22)

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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