LA MIRADA, CALIF. — Biola University Crowell School of Business will announce the winners of their first-ever startup competition on April 8. First, second and third place winners will receive up to $15,000 in funding along with legal and accounting service startup packages to jumpstart their business.

The competition, hosted by Crowell School of Business, started Sept. 14 and 29 entrants were narrowed down to six finalists on Dec. 4. Each team includes at least one current Biola student and alumnus who graduated less than ten years ago. The six teams have since been paired with experienced coaches who have helped them fully develop their business plans and pitches.

On Friday, April 8, finalist teams will make the pitch and present their business plan to a panel of four judges including founder of The Bethesda Group, Ronnie Andrews, Managing Partner of Ten Talents Partners, Robert Yi,  CEO and Co-Founder of DreamStart Labs, Wes Wasson, and CEO of Beverly Oncology and Imaging Medical Group, Inc., Ruth Lopez Novodor. After seven months of finalizing their ideas and business models, three winning teams will be selected.

"There have been ups and downs, but overall we've gained a lot of business acumen and confidence,” said participant Laura Daronatsy (’15). “I'm excited to see the competition's results.”

First place will receive a $15,000 cash award along with a $10,000 Legal Services Startup Package from Brown & Streza, LLP and an Accounting Services Startup Package from Nienow & Company, LLP. Second and third place winners will also receive a cash award — $7,500 and $5,000 respectively — and a complimentary consultation from Brown & Streza, LLP and Nienow & Company, LLP.

The teams consist of a total of seven current students, seven alumni and three friends of Biola.  The finalists are as follows in alphabetical order:

  • House Account Inc.: House Account is changing the way people view homeowners insurance to provide peace of mind and long term savings.

  • Lightspeed Imaging: Lightspeed Imaging was founded on the idea of creating high quality and inexpensive color renderings to the construction and design industry, delivering them to customers in as little as four hours.

  • Luminosity: As an online Christian magazine for teen girls, Luminosity is on a mission to create an encouraging outlet for teen Christian girls to connect both online and offline.

  • The Illuminate Collective: The Illuminate Collective plans to answer the rising demand for authentic, antique Moroccan rugs by sourcing them directly from the remote villages in rural Morocco from which they originate.

  • White Elephant Post: White Elephant Post provides students the opportunity to maximize their return on unwanted books and required academic materials.

  • Worship Better: Worship Better is a tool for intentionality — a theologically guided, content-and-quality-focused worship planning tool for today’s Evangelical worship leaders.

After each pitch judges will deliberate and audience members will have the opportunity to participate in 15 minute Q&A sessions featuring several entrepreneurs and venture capital executives. The schedule for these sessions is listed below.

9:10 a.m.: Russell Bjorkman, Venture Partner and General Counsel of Sovereign’s Capital

10:10 a.m.: Eden Chen, Co-Founder of Fishermen Labs

12:10 p.m.: Jessica Rey, Founder and CEO of Rey Swimwear

1:40 p.m.:  Larry Stofko, Executive Vice President of The Innovation Institute

2:40 p.m.: Grant Van Cleve, President of Tech Coast Angels

According to Gary Lindblad, dean of Crowell School of Business, participants will walk away with experience for their resumes, new skillsets and ideas, and possibly a startup that will launch them into their future careers and passions.

The event is free and open to the public. It will take place in Moats Auditorium on Biola’s campus from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided. Press passes are available.

Learn more about the Biola Startup Competition.

Written by Daryn Daniels, iBiola intern. For more information, contact Jenna Loumagne, media relations specialist, at (562) 777-4061 or