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Most Fundable Companies®

We Believe In Great Companies. We Help Them Succeed.


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Our goal is to bridge the gap to get startup companies funded. Are you an early-stage U.S. company seeking private capital? Does your business generate between $0 and $10 million in annual revenue? Are you willing to answer a few questions and invest some of your time to learn about the due diligence process and determine your company's fundability?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, take part in our surveys today! The Most Fundable Companies program is not limited to Pepperdine student and alumni startups, and is not a pitch competition. Get objective feedback on how your business will be viewed by potential investors beyond your introductory pitch. We aim to help you think about how to structure your business and position your service or product so that you are seen as a worthy investment. In 2023, over 3,000 startups across all 50 US states were screened into the nation’s top startups selected for the annual Pepperdine Most Fundable Companies list.

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Gala Showcase Event Highlights


Is Your Company Fundable?

Start with a brief Pre-Screen and Quarter-Finals Survey. All companies receive the following benefits upon Quarter-Finals Survey completion:

  • Analysis and feedback customized for your company
  • General guidance on your likelihood for funding
  • Opportunity to be selected to advance to the Semi-Finals round


Completing the Pre-Screen and Quarter-Finals Survey are the first steps in being recognized as a Most Fundable Company.

Companies selected to be on the Most Fundable Companies list receive the following benefits:

  • National recognition
  • Targeted credible exposure to potential strategic partners, investors, customers, and new hires
  • Brand awareness and marketing tools
  • Access to exclusive events, networking, and services

View Past Winners




  • Complete the Pre-Screen and Qualifier-Finals Survey.
  • Approximately 100 companies will be invited to advance to the Semi-Finals round and complete a Semi-Finals Survey.
  • Top performers (approximately 30 companies) proceed to the Finals round.
  • Approximately 15-20 winners are selected for the Most Fundable Companies list, which provides national recognition and a feature at our annual gala showcase event in Malibu, CA.
  • There is no cost to participate. In addition to our annual list and gala showcase event, our program exists to educate and enlighten founders on what constitutes a fundable company, as well as support relevant distinctive research in identifying characteristics of successful startups.
  • See the Key Dates tab for this year’s schedule.

Please note these key dates for company submissions and the annual gala showcase event:

Round 4: Finals (approximately 30 companies) August 12 - August 23, 2024
List Winners Announcement and Gala Showcase Event September 26, 2024
Round 1: Pre-Screen February 1 - May 21, 2024
Round 2: Quarter-Finals April 1 – May 29, 2024
Round 3: Semi-Finals (approximately 100 companies) June 17 - July 12, 2024

1. Can any company participate?

The Most Fundable Companies program is not limited to Pepperdine affiliated startups. All startups characterized by the following are invited to participate:

  • US-based privately held businesses

  • Original founder(s) is actively involved and is on the executive team

  • Pre-revenue through prior 12-month revenue up to $10M

Companies we cannot support at this time include:

  • Companies based outside of the United States

  • Franchise businesses (either franchisors or franchisees)

  • Nonprofits

  • Any business engaged in products or services not consistent with the goals or mission of Pepperdine University

Startups are about community. Share the program with your network.

2. Is there a cost?

No. Pepperdine is pleased to offer the surveys and feedback report at no cost to you. Your time to complete the surveys will be rewarded with private actionable feedback specific to your company for your use, plus consideration to be featured on the Pepperdine Most Fundable Companies list and its related benefits.

3. How does the competition work?

Companies across all industries are evaluated using Pepperdine's proprietary methodology, which focuses on investor due diligence, and has been utilized to review thousands of startups. The first round Pre-Screen only takes about eight minutes to complete. Every company that submits a Quarter-Finals Survey receives a Quarter-Finals Report that contains objective and customized feedback to improve readiness for funding. Companies are invited to proceed to later rounds in order to be selected for the annual list. See the Key Dates tab for this year’s schedule.

4. Who will be named on the Most Fundable Companies List?

List winners will be selected from the set of companies who complete the Finals round. Each year approximately 15-20 startups are featured on the Pepperdine Most Fundable Companies list. Winners are announced publicly for the first time at our annual gala showcase event held on our campus in Malibu, CA.

5. If I don't make this year's list, can I resubmit next year?

Yes! Many companies compete multiple years. A goal of the Most Fundable Companies program is to provide you with constructive information to generate favorable results for your business and a better position next time. Plus, a lot can happen during a year in the life of a startup, therefore you will need to resubmit your company each year.

6. Are survey responses kept private?

The information you provide will be used to evaluate your eligibility for various programs and opportunities. Pepperdine University may disclose some or all of the contact information you provide to third parties, such as sponsors or strategic partners. Please carefully review the Terms and Conditions before you begin the Quarter-Finals Survey.

7. What if I am not looking for funding?

Insights from the Quarter-Finals Report are valuable to any company. They offer a critical view of your business that you can utilize to help your company grow and thrive. For any company that is invited to proceed to the Semi-Finals round, consider the alignment of your future fundraising plans with timing of the gala showcase event and list winners announcement as well as the subsequent national exposure provided by making the list.

8. Can I nominate a company?

Yes! Share with your network or portfolio of companies. We understand that advertising and PR are expensive and startup resources are limited. The value of potential brand exposure outweighs the time it takes to participate. Plus, every company that submits a Quarter-Finals Survey receives a Quarter-Finals Report that contains objective and customized feedback to improve readiness for funding.

9. What if I still have questions?

Please contact us at mostfundablecos@pepperdine.edu.

  • Final Stage: Introductions and verification may include an on-site or remote interview and a background check. Pepperdine University, in its sole discretion, may choose not to publish a company for any reason it deems appropriate.
  • The Pepperdine Most Fundable Companies List does not represent an offer to sell securities. It does not constitute investment advice, nor is it an endorsement of any particular product or service. Pepperdine University is not a broker-dealer and does not perform services provided by a broker-dealer, including but not limited to any financial or investment advising.

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