Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies Provides Support to Entrepreneurs

Newswise — The Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the USC Marshall School of Business recently announced the winners of its Silicon Beach Venture Competition.

The final round of the competition held September 12 and 13 in conjunction with Silicon Beach @ USC, sought out USC student and alumni startups in digital technology. The competition is one of the many contests and interactions with angel investors that the Lloyd Greif Center organizes each year to help entrepreneurs develop their inventions and grow their companies. A panel of judges selected the following innovations from among 78 USC alumni and students teams who entered the competition:

First Place ($25,000): Music Prodigy: Want to learn to play the guitar (or the piano, or the trumpet) from your mobile phone? Grasping the potential of the company at which he was interning, Anthony Lin (USC Marshall MBA 2012) submitted Music Prodigy’s application to the Silicon Beach Venture Competition. Los Angeles-based Music Prodigy has developed an interactive platform that allows one to learn an instrument through a game-like experience that can be accessed online via computer, tablet or mobile device. http://www.musicprodigy.com/

Second Place ($15,000): Hive Lighting: Hive Lighting is introducing a new kind of lighting for the entertainment industry. Jonathan Miller (MFA 2008) and his business partner recognized that existing production lighting technologies are expensive and often inefficient. While less expensive options are available, Miller and partner Robert Rutherford claim they often sacrifice light quality and output. Their company, Hive Lighting, has developed a high intensity light bulb that is efficient, but far less expensive than competing light sources. Hive Lighting is the first lighting production company using plasma technology—and the company’s products are manufactured entirely in Los Angeles. Launched in April 2012, company has already been used on 30 different productions. http://www.hivelighting.com/

Third Place ($10,000): CodeWars is a platform for software developers created by Nathan Doctor (BS Architecture/Business 2012) and Jake Hoffner, whereby developers can participate in “hackathons” to improve and show off their skills (for themselves, to their peers or potential employers). CodeWars aims to provide what Doctor and Hoffner call “a gamified environment where experienced developers work on real world projects, achieve ranks, and prove their talent to the community.” Doctor and Hoffner recently won Startup Weekend LA and have launched their private beta at: http://codewa.rs

Defining the impact of the Silicon Beach Venture Competition, Gene Miller, executive director of the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the USC Marshall School of Business remarked, “The rise of technology startups in the Los Angeles area, partnered with the entertainment industry’s creativity, has the possibility of making Los Angeles a unique hub for digital technology. The Lloyd Greif Center, along with our partners at Marshall such as the Institute for Communication Technology Management at Marshall and the Entertainment Technology Center at USC School of Cinematic Arts are ensuring that USC will play a starring role in developing startups in the digital space.”

About the USC Marshall School of BusinessConsistently ranked among the nation’s premier business schools, the USC Marshall School of Business is internationally recognized for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, social responsibility, and path-breaking research. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the world's leading business centers and the U.S. gateway to the Pacific Rim, Marshall offers its 5,500-plus undergraduate and graduate students a unique world view and impressive global experiential opportunities. With an alumni community spanning 90 countries, USC Marshall students join a worldwide network of thought leaders who are redefining the way business works.