Winners of Sixth Annual Most Fundable Companies Competition Announced by the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School
On Thursday, September 28, the 17 winners of the 2023 Most Fundable Companies® (MFC) competition were announced at a showcase held at the Villa Graziadio Executive Center on the Malibu campus. Presented by the Singleton Foundation for Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship, MFC is an annual program designed to promote startup business development and pathways for startup funding. Among this year’s winners were AGED (Active Genomes Expressed) Diagnostics Corp. of Bethesda, Maryland; Valqari, LLC, of Lombard, Illinois; and ViCardia Therapeutics, Inc., of San Francisco, California, which all received Platinum recognition, MFC’s highest designation.
“What distinguishes MFC from other startup events is that we are not just another pitch competition,” said Craig Everett, MFC’s executive director and professor of finance at the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School. “Rather than solely seeking the most sizzling new ideas, we use a proprietary due-diligence process to discover the startups that are best positioned for outside funding.”
Designed as part of the Graziadio Business School’s ongoing efforts to foster the entrepreneurial spirit, MFC is a free resource to help entrepreneurs assess their readiness for private investment. All startups that complete the program’s pre-screening process and qualifier surveys receive a customized report with feedback on how to structure and position their business to improve investment opportunities. The companies on the sixth annual MFC list are located across the country and come from a variety of industries, including healthcare and biotechnology, media, software technology, and consumer products.
Deborah Crown, dean of the
Graziadio Business School.
“This year’s Most Fundable Companies represent innovative business concepts and determined leadership,” said Deborah Crown, dean of the Graziadio Business School. “These founders’ remarkable acumen and unwavering commitment to meeting high-quality standards send a resounding message to investors: Here are enterprises primed to drive revenue and prosperity.”
After a keynote address by Jason Nazar (MBA ’05, JD ’07), co-founder and co-chairman of Clovers.ai, an online platform that enhances the online hiring and job interview processes, attendees heard from a number of business leaders and experts, including Cary Singleton, co-founder of the Singleton Foundation for Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship; Vince Monteparte (MBA ’01), venture partner at Sway Ventures and a board member at the Graziadio School; Clemens Kownatzki (MBA ’00), associate dean of full-time programs and professor of finance at the Graziadio School; and Amy Wood, MFC’s program manager, as well as Crown and Everett.
In the MFC competition, companies are evaluated on several variables, including financial projections, market opportunity, intellectual property, competitive advantage in their market, and the strength of their management team’s expertise.
“With more than 3,000 companies participating this year, we are very excited that MFC has become one of the largest startup competitions in the world,” Everett said. “Cumulatively, our winners have raised over $250 million since MFC’s inception in 2018.”
A complete list of the MFC winners and a recording of the event are available on the 2023 Most Fundable Companies website.