LA MIRADA, CALIF. — The 4th Annual Biola Startup Competition launches tonight with a presentation by President of The Giving Keys, Brit Gilmore, who was named on Forbes 30 Under 30 List for Social Entrepreneurs in 2017.

The Giving Keys employs people transitioning out of homelessness in Los Angeles to make inspirational jewelry and accessories. Each wearer of a giving key is meant to embrace the word on their key and pass the key on to a person they feel needs the message more than them.

Gilmore is passionate about job creation for community transformation and using business to build self-esteem and break cycles of poverty.

Biola’s startup competition is an initiative that offers Biola students and alumni the opportunity to transform an idea into a successful startup company. Teams can win up to thousands of dollars in awards to launch their business and are aided by experienced business leaders throughout the competition.

Last year’s first place winning team was youniquely_made, an e-commerce matchmaking platform for artistic creators and marketing clients. The team received 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 to launch their business.

Details including how to participate in this year’s competition will also be shared at the kickoff event on Sept. 17 held at Biola’s Crowell School of Business at 7:30 p.m.

A competition advisory board made up of industry leaders offer expert coaching to the teams throughout the competition and assist in selecting the winning teams.

There are three rounds to the competition with the final round concluding with the finalist teams submitting a 15-page business plan with the help of a personal coach who they are matched with during the competition. Finalists will pitch and present their business plan to a panel of judges on March 15, 2019, who will select the winners of the competition on the same day.

View the competition event schedule.

Written by Jenna Loumagne, manager of media relations. For more information, contact Jenna at (562) 777-4061 or