The leaders of the 15 Most Fundable Companies alongside Deryck van Rensburg (Dean, Pepperdine Graziadio Business School), Amy Wood (Most Fundable Companies® Project Manager), and Craig Everett (Assistant Professor of Finance)

The leaders of the 15 Most Fundable Companies alongside Deryck van Rensburg (Dean, Pepperdine Graziadio Business School), Amy Wood (Most Fundable Companies® Project Manager), and Craig Everett (Assistant Professor of Finance)

Los Angeles-area startups took three of the top 15 slots at the Most Fundable Companies competition held by Pepperdine’s Graziadio Business School.

Winners of the second annual event were announced Oct. 17 and were chosen from more than 3,500 participants across 46 states. Candidates were judged on criteria such as financial projections, market opportunity and the strength of their management teams.

Torrance-headquartered Purlin Co. ranked fifth in the competition with its artificial intelligence-driven homebuying platform. Moving Analytics, a downtown-based telemedicine startup finished eighth, while West Hollywood data storage platform Vection Group Inc. landed in the 13th spot.

“L.A. is the fastest growing tech ecosystem in the country,” said Deryck van Rensburg, dean of the Graziadio Business School. While L.A.'s community has historically focused on media-related technology, van Rensburg added, the space was beginning to broaden.

“We’re seeing fintech, we’re seeing biotech here,” van Rensburg said. “We’re seeing encouraging signs that the shift that is taking place is going to contribute to more long-term possibilities.”

Winners of the 2018 competition raised a total of nearly $17 million over the last year, according to Pepperdine.

Although no cash or other prizes are directly awarded, the intensive screening process makes winning companies attractive targets for investors, said Dan Peate, event panelist and founder of Calabasas-based VC firm Peate Ventures.

“I wouldn’t say that any of us (VC firms) have a methodology that is as rigorous or disciplined as the process that this university is going through,” Peate said. “In some ways I feel like I just looked at 3,500 companies.”

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