Crowell School of Business Launches Startup Competition

Students and alumni invited to enter Biola’s first annual competition for capital to launch a new business

Sep. 14, 2015 By Olivia Bersin

The first annual Biola Startup Competition, hosted by Biola University’s Crowell School of Business, will launch this month giving students and alumni the opportunity to compete for capital and turn their business concepts into reality.

Starting Sept. 14, students and alumni who graduated less than ten years ago, can register for the competition, which boasts an impressive advisory board that will assist participants in creating a business plan and successfully pitch their business concept to potential investors. The competition aims to foster kingdom-minded, Christ-honoring entrepreneurship across the university community and develop greater opportunities for business as ministry.

“It is clear that God has used entrepreneurial innovation to improve the quality of our lives today,” said Gary Lindblad, dean of Biola’s Crowell School of Business.The Biola Startup Competition, sponsored by the Crowell School of Business, will nurture the entrepreneurial spirit across our campus and launch a new generation of business leaders and businesses that serve the common good and impact the world for Christ.”


Following the Sept. 14 kickoff event, students and alumni will collaborate to form teams based on their different skill sets and concepts. Teams will create business plans under the guidance of the advisory board and educational workshops over the course of the academic year.

“God has blessed us with minds to innovatively think outside the box and truly be game changers in our world,” said Robert Harp, director of special projects at Biola’s Crowell School of Business. “‘In the beginning, God created’ are the first words in the Bible. We are excited about launching the Biola Startup Competition to provide a framework to inspire creativity and encourage entrepreneurs that honor the Lord Jesus Christ.”  

Ron Andrews, founder of The Bethesda Group, is one of nine advisory board members for the competition and keynote speaker for the kickoff event. He is best known for his tenure as the CEO of Clarient, Inc., a molecular pathology platform company, where he turned the bankrupt company into a profitable business. Fueled by his grandmother’s battle with breast cancer, he refocused Clarient, Inc. on delivering academic level cancer testing into the community. Andrews attributes much of the success of Clarient, Inc. to his business strategy built on the foundational leadership principles of Christ, namely servant leadership.

Board members will announce finalists on Friday, Dec. 4, when each team’s semester of hard work, innovation, and inspiring ideas are evaluated. Finalists will proceed with more in-depth workshops to pitch their business plans to possible investors and compete for capital on April 8, 2016.


Lindblad said the directors of the competition hope competitors will gain insights and tools needed to be successful as a college graduate. The competition offers a learning experience that will present an accurate demonstration of how real-world companies progress from an idea to a product.


Participants will walk away with an experience to put on their resume, new skillsets and ideas, and possibly a startup that will launch them into their future careers and passions, said Lindblad.

Learn more about the Biola Startup Competition.

Written by Olivia Bersin, iBiola intern. For more information, contact Jenna Loumagne, media relations specialist, at (562) 777-4061 or

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