2024 Lowell Milken Institute-Sandler Prize for New Entrepreneurs: Final Round

This year’s winners are:

1st – Twig AI
2nd – GenoGuard
New Venture Prize – Serenify

Read more about their projects, and the projects of the other finalists, below.
Welcome to the competition page for the 2024 Lowell Milken Institute-Sandler Prize for New Entrepreneurs Final Round which took place on Thursday, April 18, 2024!
This is the space for you to:
  • Read about the six finalist teams: Concert·ID, Era, FLiK, GenoGuard, Serenify, and Twig AI
  • Watch the Final Round (coming soon!)
  • View the program for the final round event



Joana Fernandes, UCLA Law 2024
Shannon Hu, UCLA Anderson 2024
Pierce McClory, UCLA Anderson 2024
Christian Mulvany, UCLA Anderson 2024
Diego Santin, UCLA Law 2024

Concert·ID’s mission is to empower entertainers and amplify access. We are committed to

democratizing concerts by eliminating barriers that currently separate artists from their audiences. We envision a future where the music industry operates transparently, allowing fans and artists to connect directly and meaningfully. We believe in fostering creativity, fortifying control, and facilitating connections. Our aim is to ensure that artists and audiences are empowered to unleash their full creative identity, are in control of the experience, and can connect with loved ones and one another. We believe that artists should be the primary beneficiaries of their creations and that audiences should have unlimited access to unparalleled interactive performances at their fingertips.

In the current concert industry landscape, artists receive a meager 11% of concert revenue, and 40% their fans are unreachable. Meanwhile, 70% of fans are deterred by high ticket prices, with 25% of concert attendees incurring debt to attend.

By offering recorded concerts in a mobile videogame platform, Concert·ID manages a direct, cost-effective, artist-to-fan connection on a global scale for audiences. For artists, our company manages the entire production process. Plus, the distribution of payments is done directly on our platform, putting artists in control and making royalty payouts transparent.

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Alice Choi, UCLA Anderson 2024
Bhavyata Kapoor, UCLA Law 2024
Elton Wang, UCLA Anderson 2024

Era is committed to revolutionizing the cycling experience by embedding heads-up display technology within cycling sunglasses, offering cyclists immersive, real-time data to enhance their performance. 

Cyclists, from professionals to amateurs, possess an insatiable desire to monitor and enhance their performance. However, traditional fitness trackers like Garmin bike computers and the Apple Watch hinder that goal with their compact screens. This fundamental limitation not only obstructs a comprehensive view of performance metrics but also poses a significant safety risk. Cyclists are forced to divert their attention to interact with these small-screen devices, which distracts them from the road and can lead to accidents, while also impeding their ability to perform at their best. 

Shattering the status quo, the Era FOCUS™ eliminates the physical constraints of traditional fitness trackers, offering immediate, seamless, and hands-free access to vital workout data made possible by the integration of an innovative heads-up display (HUD) in a pair of premium cycling sunglasses. This expands the visual experience into the cyclist’s entire field-of-view (FOV), ensuring they can stay concentrated on the road and instantly action upon performance insights. Product Era’s first product offering comes with two key components: the Era FOCUS™ (cycling sunglasses with an integrated HUD) for $449/unit and the Era App (mobile fitness app) for $10/month for the premium subscription. By leveraging the seamless combination of the two, Era is redefining what it means to train, monitor, and enjoy the journey of fitness.

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Danny Chmaytelli, UCLA Engineering 2025  
Michael Stallworth, UCLA Law 2025
Yasser Swelam, UCLA 2024

FLiK’s mission is to revolutionize contactless entry throughout industries and universities and leading the charge in eradicating plastic waste across all public and private universities in the United States.

FLiK is a pioneering contactless entry key system designed to not only revolutionize access control in educational institutions, but revolutionize how students access university housing, facilities, and services. With an unwavering commitment to sustainability, FLiK presents a groundbreaking solution to reduce the environmental impact of disposable plastic key cards. Our mission is to deliver a system that is not only secure and convenient but also eco-friendly, ensuring a more sustainable tomorrow.

FLiK’s solution is called FLiKey! A small, durable NFC sticker, composed of 100% plant-based PLA. It attaches easily to the back of mobile phones, enabling swift and secure access to university housing, facilities, and services with a simple FLiK of the wrist. Utilizing 85% less space than traditional keycards, exemplifies not just a commitment to sleek, efficient design but also a stride towards more environmentally conscious and user-friendly technology.

Imagine a tomorrow, where students can access on campus services like: Student health, financial aid, and dining meal-plans. Without the need of inputting sensitive student ID information. Just a simple FLiK on a tablet’s NFC reader, and the student is automatically checked in!

Simple, Seamless, Secure.

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Mingjia Cheng, UCLA Molecular, Cellular & Integrative Physiology 2026
Grant Grech, UCLA Law 2025
Ashley Loureiro, UCLA Molecular, Cellular & Integrative Physiology 2026
Toby Shao, UCLA Law 2025
Rohit Srinivas, UCLA Anderson 2025
We are GenoGuard — a biotechnology company that has developed a cocktail of genes which, through a novel gene therapy method, prevents, treats, and reverses age-related diseases. We have already completed successful in vivo testing in fruit flies, expanding their lifespan by 10- 20%. We have begun trials in rodents, and we seek to bring the same success to humans. To do so, we will use adeno-associated virus (AAV) based gene therapy to deliver a “Gene Cocktail” to genes that are susceptible to age-related diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, Type 2 Diabetes, obesity, and heart failure.

Our first target disease is Parkinson’s Disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder. We chose Parkinson’s Disease because its onset is genetic, and it is widely diagnosed (nearly 90,000 diagnoses every year). Our gene cocktail product GG001 remedies underlying genetic deficiencies that contribute to Parkinson’s progression. This offers not just symptomatic relief, but a complete therapeutic treatment or prevention.

Further, Parkinson’s disease is age related—only 4% of people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s before age 50. The global market for anti-aging and age-related disease treatments is virtually infinite; it includes (1) the aging population with age-related diseases and (2) those who are completely healthy who wish to prevent age-related diseases. We plan to develop our treatment beyond Parkinson’s—with further research, we can provide a prevention method and treatment to many age-related diseases. In essence, GenoGuard will provide a “one treatment” solution for many negative results of aging.

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Rohan Gandhi, UCLA Law 2025  
Henry Hoang, UCLA BioDesign Fellow 2024
Jennifer Kallini, UCLA BioDesign Fellow 2024 2025  
Mahruq Siddiqui, UCLA BioDesign Fellow 2024
Benjamin Tu, UCLA Law 2025

Serenify is dedicated to revolutionizing the healthcare industry with innovative soft robotics technology designed to address hygiene care for urinary and fecal incontinence. Our solution offers a discreet, comfortable, and effective alternative to traditional methods, improving quality of life for millions of individuals worldwide. Currently patent-pending, our device reduces caregiver time by 75% and enhances patient dignity and privacy, while mitigating the harms of unmanaged incontinence. Serenify transforms incontinence care for patients and caregivers, offering unparalleled benefits in nursing facilities, hospital systems, and homes.

Urinary and fecal incontinence affects millions globally, posing challenges to physical health, emotional well-being, and overall quality of life. In the United States, a staggering 90% of long-term care patients rely on caregiver assistance for hygiene care after incontinence episodes, totaling 3.4 million individuals. This critical task consumes 60% of caregiver time per shift, resulting in an estimated annual expenditure of $50 billion for perineal care, including labor and other expenses. With the aging population growing and the caregiver workforce shrinking, the imperative for autonomous incontinence solutions presents a promising opportunity for patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers.

Serenify’s soft robotics technology represents a breakthrough in incontinence care. Our innovative solution utilizes surgical-quality materials and design principles to create a lightweight, flexible, wearable garment that comfortably conforms to the body’s contours. These devices leverage advanced sensing and actuation capabilities to detect and respond to bladder and bowel movements in real-time, effectively managing incontinence cleaning with minimal user intervention. Once activated either manually or with autosensing, a proprietary water-based cleaning and drying process begins. The device consists of two components, a wearable similar to a diaper/shorts, and a portable unit that houses the cleaning engine.

Twig AI

Elie Bichara, UCLA Anderson 2024
Linn Hallberg, UCLA Law 2024
Yuyang Hu, UCLA Law 2025
Artem Miloserdov, UCLA Anderson 2024
Andrei Miloserdov, UCLA Anderson 2024

According to research conducted by Purdue University, there is a 40% labor shortage in the U.S. agriculture market. This shortage has led to several consequences including Reduced Productivity and Revenues to farmers, the need of Offshoring of Production, potential Food Security problem, and impact on Crop production, among others. Farmers are attempting to mitigate this problem by purchasing autonomous robots capable of performing tasks without the need for human labor. Due to their complexity, these autonomous robots cannot be produced by a single manufacturer; instead, they are made by various manufacturers. Therefore, if farmers are genuinely interested in addressing the labor shortage issue, they must acquire different robotic solutions from these manufacturers, who offer complementary rather than competing products.

This situation has led to a connectivity issue among different autonomous solutions in the agriculture industry. The lack of interoperability between various manufacturers’ products adversely affects farmers and manufacturers.

Twig AI will connect several autonomous robots from various manufacturers and provide a unified platform to farmers to simplify operations. Twig AI can capture the gap in the market by being a highly customizable software that specializes in agriculture and has a lower cost than the competitors.

Twig AI provides a software solution that connects different autonomous agricultural robots, leading to a more efficient and reliable operation. The connection helps reduce the need for unnecessary unskilled labor, one skilled worker can manage all autonomous robots from one interface rather than employing many skilled workers to manage the different robots, and finally the connection between the robots offered by Twig AI leads to a more efficient operation for the farmer.

Thank you to those who made this competition possible!

UCLA School of Law and the Lowell Milken Institute offer their thanks to Lowell Milken, the Milken Family Foundation, Richard Sandler and the Richard Sandler Family Foundation for their vision and support.

Lowell Milken Institute thanks Dean Michael Waterstone for his leadership and support of the Business Law Program and this competition.

Final Round Judges:

Carolyn Yashari Becher (J.D. ’98)

Executive Director LOFT; Co-Founder, Hop, Skip Drive; Co-Founder, Clean 30; Mentor, Techstars

Nick Lum (J.D. ’07)

Founder, Beeline Reader; Founder, Read Across the Aisle; MIT Solve Global Challenge Winner; United Nations Solutions Summit Awardee (2018)

Richard Sandler (J.D. ’73)

Executive Vice President, Milken Family Foundation; Partner, Maron & Sandler

First Round Judges:

George Abe
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, UCLA Anderson School of Management

Elaine Hagan (UCLA M.B.A. 1991)
Associate Dean, Entrepreneurial Initiatives, UCLA Anderson School of Management; Executive Director, Harold and Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Nikki Lin
Director of Entrepreneurship and Commercialization, Magnify Incubator, California NanoSystems Institute, UCLA

Neil Wertlieb
Lecturer in Law, UCLA School of Law, Course: Lifecycle of a Corporation: From Start-Up to Sale; General Counsel, Milbank, LLP


Douglas Adler
Keenan Behrle, UCLA J.D. ’70
Justin Brownstone, UCLA J.D. ’09
Tony Chan, UCLA J.D. ’19
Eugene Chong, UCLA J.D. ’07
Gwendolyn Holst, UCLA J.D. ’19
Mark Karlan

Mark Kapczynski, UCLA B.A. ’93
Melis Kilic, UCLA J.D. ’22
Brian Ross, UCLA B.A. ’93 & J.D.’97
Neal Vitale
Larry Weiss