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May 02, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Can you make the grade?

Pepperdine University is seeking applicants for its annual "Most Fundable Companies" list. In 2022, three of the 16 that made the grade were from the South.

Pepperdine University’s Graziadio Business School is seeking applicants for its annual “Most Fundable Companies” list, and start-ups from around the country are eligible to apply.

“You do not need to be affiliated with Pepperdine to participate,” writes Dean Craig Everett. “All companies that advance to the second round of the competition will receive a free detailed feedback report on how they can make their company more attractive to investors.”

The “Most Fundable Companies” is not a pitch competition. Instead, those who advance beyond the application stage get objective feedback on how their business will be viewed by potential investors beyond an introductory pitch. The goal is to help founders think about how to structure their business and position its service or product so that the start-up is seen as a worthy investment.

In 2022, more than 4,000 start-ups across all 50 states were screened, and 16 made the list (click here to see the names). Three of those start-ups were from the South.

As the unique event enters its sixth year, Pepperdine says that list winners have raised more than $220 million since 2018.

To apply, start here. The deadline is May 26, and the winners will be invited to a gala event on September 21 in Malibu.


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