There are three prizes available: a first place prize, a second place prize, and a New Venture prize.
One Team may be selected by the judges pursuant to these rules as the first place winner, and a first place prize of $4,000 for each member of that Team will be awarded.
One Team may be selected by the judges pursuant to these rules as the second place winner, and a second place prize of $2,000 for each member of that Team shall be awarded.
One Team may be selected by the judges pursuant to these rules as the New Venture prize winner. A New Venture is a venture that has not operated prior to this competition and has not won any award in any entrepreneurship competition prior to the date of the Final Round of the Lowell Milken Institute-Sandler Prize competition. The New Venture prize winner is the Team in the New Venture category that the judges deem to be the best in that category. A $2,500 prize for each team member of the “New Venture” category may be awarded by the judges pursuant to these Rules. The Team that wins the New Venture category is also eligible to win the first place prize or the second place prize.
The judges have the absolute discretion not to award any of the Prizes.
This business plan competition is for any Team with a Startup Business that the Team has already started to build or intends to build within the next 12 months. A Startup Business is any proposed business or existing business, for-profit, not-for profit, or public benefit. A Startup Business is an independent venture in the seed, start-up or early stages; it cannot be venture-backed, although friends and family funding is acceptable. A Team must not have signed a financing term sheet with a fund or venture investor for its Startup Business. The competition is based upon the Business Plan for the Startup Business as presented by a Team in writing and orally.
A Team consists of between two and six persons. Each member of a Team must be either an Eligible Law Student or an Eligible UCLA Team Member. Teams of three people or fewer must have at least one Eligible Law Student. Teams of four people or more must have at least two Eligible Law Students.
An Eligible Law Student is: (a) a second or third-year student, currently enrolled in UCLA School of Law, in good standing, and eligible to graduate with a J.D. degree, an LLM degree or S.J.D. degree in May 2024; or (b) a graduate of UCLA School of Law who was awarded a J.D. degree, an LLM degree or S.J.D. degree in 2023.
An Eligible UCLA Team Member is a person enrolled at UCLA as a full-time undergraduate or graduate student who is in good standing with his or her school at UCLA. A person who is an Eligible UCLA Team Member as of December 1, 2023, remains an Eligible UCLA Team Member in the event that person successfully completes his or her degree program at the end of any quarter or semester in the 2023-24 academic year. MLS Students may also qualify as Eligible UCLA Team Members.
A Team may not include any person who is neither an Eligible Law Student nor an Eligible UCLA Team Member. Eligibility rules will be strictly enforced.
A Team that desires to compete in the New Venture category must represent that the venture was created specifically for this competition and that the venture has not won a prize in any prior entrepreneurship competition prior to the date of the Final Round of the Lowell Milken Institute-Sandler Prize competition.
Registration, Submission and Competition
Each Team that intends to compete must register by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, February 9, 2024. Only one member per Team needs to submit the registration form. The registration form will include the names of all Team members. If the Team intends to compete in the New Venture category, it shall so indicate on the registration form by checking the appropriate box. Registration forms will be posted on the Lowell Milken Institute’s website on Friday, October 13, 2022.
Each Team must meet all the eligibility criteria and make written representations on forms supplied by the Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy that it qualifies at the time of registration, at the time of submission of its Business Plan and at the time of the Final Round.
Each Team must demonstrate to the satisfaction of UCLA that the Team has the clear right to use any intellectual property used in connection with and as used under the Business Plan. All intellectual property used in connection with the Business Plan shall be free of encumbrances and/or the fact of such encumbrances shall have been waived in writing by the Lowell Milken Institute in its sole and absolute discretion, prior to the date of submission of final Business Plan and no later than March 22, 2024.
If, before the Business Plan is submitted, a Team member withdraws or is unable to continue with the competition for any reason, the Team may petition to have a replacement member added to the Team.
Each registered Team must submit its Business Plan by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 22, 2024 along with its representations regarding eligibility. Teams will submit their Business Plans and their representations regarding eligibility through the Lowell Milken Institute-Sandler Prize for New Entrepreneurs’ website.
Each Team shall submit with its business plan a video, no longer than two minutes in length, explaining the Team’s venture and why it should win the Lowell Milken Institute-Sandler Prize. The video shall be submitted in MP4 format. By submitting the video, each Team consents to the Lowell Milken Institute’s and UCLA School of Law’s use of the video in connection with the competition including but not limited to displaying the video on the Lowell Milken Institute’s website, the UCLA School of Law’s website, and You Tube channels and similar platforms used by the Lowell Milken Institute and UCLA School of Law. Each team consents to the Lowell Milken Institute and UCLA School of Law’s use of the video to advertise and promote the competition, the Lowell Milken Institute and UCLA School of Law.
A Business Plan may be no longer than 6,000 words. The text of the Business Plan should be presented in the following format: typed and double-spaced in 12-point Times New Roman font. The word count limitations do not include appendices.
The Business Plan should, at a minimum, address all of the characteristics set forth below: (a.) Executive summary and company overview; (b.) Description of products or services that the startup company will provide; (c.) Market need for the products or services; (d.) Market potential for products or services indicating a large and growing market or untapped need; (e.) Competitive advantage explaining why the product or service is differentiated from the status quo; (f). Management reflecting a strong team with the ability to successfully execute the Business Plan; (g.) Financial forecast including viability of plans for raising the capital required by the Startup Company, including pro forma cash flow statement, balance sheet and income statement, sources and uses of funds; (h.) Analysis of operational risks, legal risks, and regulatory risks; and (i.) Any other information the Team believes will advance its Business Plan with investors.
The Eligible Law Student(s) on each team shall take the lead on the following tasks to be completed by the time the business plan is submitted: (a.) The Eligible Law Student(s) shall assist the venture in selecting a form of entity and forming that entity. If the venture has not selected a form of entity (e.g., LLC, corporation, etc.) or has not formed the selected type of entity, the Eligible Law Student(s) should take the lead role in assisting the team in selecting the form of entity. The Business Plan shall indicate the type of entity formed and the proposed ownership interests of each member. A person not eligible to be a team member may have an ownership interest. (b.) The Eligible Law Student(s) shall identify the legal and regulatory risks that the new venture may face and consider how they may be mitigated. The Business Plan shall include a section in which the legal and regulatory risks are identified and discussed, including possible mitigation of risks. (c.) The Eligible Law Student(s) shall identify all the intellectual property (patents, trademarks, copyrights, etc.) that the venture needs to commence operations and take the necessary steps to secure the intellectual property for the venture. For example, if a team member owns the intellectual property, the Eligible Law Student(s) should determine how best to secure the rights of ownership and/or use for the venture. The Business Plan shall include a section on ownership and use rights of relevant intellectual property. (d.) The Eligible Law Student(s) shall identify all contractual relationships that the venture has or will need in the near future and to the extent possible commence documenting those relationships if they are not already evidenced in appropriate writings. For example, there may be employment agreements, vendor agreements, financing agreements and other type of arrangements that should be documented. The Business Plan shall include a section on contractual relationships including employment agreements, if any exist.
Each Team must submit a written statement of the role the Eligible Law Student(s) on the Team took in the preparation of the business plan and other duties. The scoring rubric for both rounds will take this statement into consideration in the scoring and ranking of the business plans.
Each Team may submit only one Business Plan.
Following their review of each Business Plan, the first-round judges will score the Business Plans and submit their scores to the Executive Director of the Lowell Milken Institute who will determine the Teams to compete in the Final Round in which the selected Teams will make an oral presentation about the Startup Business. The Final Round judges will also have an opportunity to question the selected Teams about the Business Plan. The oral presentations and questioning will be open to the members of the UCLA community and the public.
In connection with the presentations in the Final Round, at least one of the the Eligible Law Students on each Team must be one of the lead presenters for the Team but need not be the sole presenter. The presenting Eligible Law Student must address the legal and regulatory issues and mitigation in the oral presentation. Each Team is encouraged to use visual aids (such as PowerPoint) as part of its presentation to the judges. In addition, each Team shall prepare a one-page “Executive Summary” of the Business Plan. Copies of the Executive Summary shall be available to all persons in the audience. Details concerning the format of the oral presentations and questions by the judges will be made available after the judges decide which Teams should appear for an oral presentation and questions.
The judges will consider the entire business concept, looking at overall feasibility, viability, attractiveness to investors and possibilities for growth, as well as the Team’s performance in the oral presentation and its response to the judge’s questioning. The judges shall award the Prizes based on the criteria established herein, drawing on their experience and exercising their independent judgment. If, in the sole discretion of the judges, none of the Teams present a Business Plan that deserves the award of the first place Prize, second place Prize and/or the New Venture Prize, the judges may elect not to award the Prize.
The judges’ decision as to the winners of the Prizes is final.
The judges may include entrepreneurs, investors, lawyers and academics.
The Award of the Prize Money to the Winning Teams
If there is a first place Team, each team member will receive $4,000.
If there is a second place Team, each team member will receive $2,000.
If there is a prize awarded for New Venture, each member of that team will receive $2,500.
Any Team members awarded a Prize shall be responsible for all applicable taxes on the Prize proceeds. None of Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy, UCLA School of Law and the University of California, Los Angeles shall bear any responsibility for taxes or tax liability arising out of or connected with the awarding and payment of the Prize.
This competition is a public competition and therefore no information disclosed by the Team in any Business Plan or oral presentation shall be kept confidential. None of the judges, staff or audience will be asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Neither the Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy nor UCLA School of Law assumes any duty to screen or otherwise control the identity of those attending, viewing or hearing all or part of these public sessions, and each Team agrees that by entering the competition, the Team and its members have been made aware that such attendees, viewers and recipients may include members of the media and potential competitors in addition to members of the financial community, students and faculty.
Each Team agrees that its presentation may be recorded, videotaped, audiotaped, or transcribed by the Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy and UCLA School of Law and used for any purpose, including educational purposes and marketing purposes.
Any disputes relating to the competition must be submitted in writing to the Executive Director of the Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law. Disputes will be resolved by the Executive Director, a Faculty Director of the Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy and a Vice Dean of the Law School.
These Rules may be amended from time to time as necessary in the sole discretion of the Lowell Milken Institute and UCLA School of Law. Any changes, additions or deletions to the rule shall be posted on the Competition’s website page. It is the sole responsibility of the Team members to stay current on any Rule changes. While the Lowell Milken Institute or UCLA School of Law may decide, in its sole discretion, to notify Teams of Rule changes, it is under no obligation to do so nor does informing Teams of some changes impose any future obligation on the Lowell Milken Institute to inform Teams of future or other changes to the Rules.