Winners of the 2017 Lowell Milken Institute-Sandler Prize for New Entrepreneurs

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The Final Round: Lowell Milken Institute-Sandler Prize Winners Selected!

On Wednesday, April 19, 2017, six teams competed in the Final Round for the Lowell Milken Institute-Sandler Prize for New Entrepreneurs. Two prizes were awarded by the blue-ribbon panel of judges: a first place prize of $70,000 and a second place prize of $30,000. The prize money must be used for the ventures created by each of the winning teams.

Mechanodontics won the $70,000 first place prize.  Mechanodontics has developed a new and revolutionary type of dental braces system for orthodontic treatment. Its braces are designed  to be the most hygienic and aesthetic option, while reducing overall treatment time by half and cutting the number of visits to the clinician by 75%. The Mechnaodontics braces system also reduces the overall pain and discomfort of traditional braces.

The Mechanodontics team consists of Mehdi Roein-Peikar, a resident in the UCLA Dentistry School;  Angela Li, UCLA Law ’17; and Jeng-Ya Chen, UCLA Law ’17.


YT AG. was awarded the $30,000 second place prize.  YT AG. is developing a system for monitoring the health of bee hives used by the commercial pollination industry. The commercial pollination industry maintains millions of beehives to pollinate food crops. Beehive health is critical for food production. YT has created a monitor for beehives that monitors nine different conditions of the hive that beekeepers can use to treat the hives and prevent diseases and other problems.

The YT AG. team consists of Tim Yingtian Yu, a PhD candidate in environmental/ mechanical engineering at UCLA; Sofia Beltràn, UCLA Law ‘17; and Jared Xu, UCLA Law ’16.


This year, the Lowell Milken Institute sponsored an Audience Favorite Award, in which audience members were able to vote for the team they thought had the most compelling plan. Team Good Luck Gaming won the Audience Favorite Award, and the team members will receive $1,000 to be split among them.

Good Luck Gaming allows fans of video games to win chances to play with or against their favorite video game celebrities through a raffle. The proceeds from the raffle will be allocated to charities, the video game celebrity and the company. Good Luck Gaming’s goal is to give video game fans a richer experience than just watching video games on

Good Luck Gaming consists of five UCLA Anderson ’17 students, Joseph Lee, Purvi Goyal, Sampo Hynynen, Anish Patel, and Julius Seok; and Peter Hammon, UCLA Law ’17.

The six teams in the Final Round were selected from twenty teams that submitted business plans for new ventures on March 24, 2017. Six judges read and scored the business plans and the top six teams were selected for the Final Round. During the Final Round of the competition, each team made a 10 minute presentation to the judges and the audience. The teams then responded to questions about their ventures from the judges. The Final Round judges all had significant experience in creating and investing in new ventures.

Joel Feuer, Executive Director of the Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy, which administers the competition said, “All six finalist teams made excellent presentations. I was privileged to sit with the judges and listen to their deliberations. This was a very difficult decision because all the teams made compelling cases for their ventures.”

Congratulations to the winners and to all the teams that participated in the 2017 Final Round of the Lowell Milken Institute-Sandler Prize Competition.

Final Round Event Program

Check out the 2017 Final Round Event Program for further information about the six finalist teams.

Visit our main competition webpage to learn more about the Lowell Milken Institute-Sandler Prize for New Entrepreneurs.