American Lending Center Acknowledges Semi-Finalists In 2024 Stella Zhang New Venture Competition

American Lending Center of Irvine wants to congratulate all of the semi-finalists in the 2024 Stella Zhang New Venture Competition, organized by the Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Student teams at the University of California, Irvine, present business concepts in the competition, which is in its 20th year. It was named after Stella Zhang in 2022. She was a 2005 UCI graduate with an MBA from the UCI Paul Merage School of Business and has made a commitment to sponsor the pitch contest long-term.

Zhang is the Chief Operating Officer at American Lending Center and a partner in Sunstone Management, Inc. Both companies are headquartered in Irvine.

“Within every individual resides the seed of entrepreneurship, yet oftentimes, the lack of opportunity stifles its growth,” according to Sally Chou, a 2023 UCI graduate with a Master of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and now an IT Business Analyst at ALC. “The Stella Zhang New Venture Competition serves as the bridge, uniting aspiring entrepreneurs with the means to accelerate their dreams into reality. It’s not just a contest; it’s a catalyst for transformation, igniting innovation, and propelling visions forward.”

American Lending Center, a private non-bank lending institution and nationally recognized leader in small business lending, has strong ties with UCI, including several graduates of the school.

“The Stella Zhang New Venture Competition is where dreams meet opportunity,” said Junman Zhang, a master of Innovation and Entrepreneurship degree candidate at UCI and social media intern at ALC. “It’s more than a competition; it’s a nurturing ground for the next generation of business leaders, ready to navigate their own path in the business world.”

Student teams are presenting potential businesses in five categories – business products and services, consumer products, consumer services, life sciences, and social enterprise. There are 10 semi-finalists in three categories, and 11 in the other two categories.

All of the teams will present a board room pitch to a panel of judges on Friday, May 10. Those judges will have the tough task of choosing 10 teams to present their pitches at the SZNVC Grand Finale on May 23.

The stakes are high – the winner of each business track will receive $10,000, and second place is $5,000. Finalists receive help from mentors, and the winner of the finale will receive $20,000. 
Here are the semi-finalists.

  • Business Products and Services:, Cartello, Comma, DataDiet, DriveGuard, Hydronium, IVRIS, KiddoCare, Petpoint Dx, Projify, and Sentinel.
  • Consumer Products: Beacon, Brarin/FLARE, Cleo Cosmetics, Clio, KYA Beauty Hai, Lynne, PortaCable, TranquilBand, Shrine, and Unlockit.
  • Consumer Services:, BagIt, BIRU, Crafty Palate, Ease AI, Eatery, MOVE-IN, Office Hours, Quiver, Travelly, and ValSteer.
  • Life Sciences: A-Eye Scan, Flutter, NeoMold, Osan Systems, PsyAI, Solytics, Sweat-A-Way, The Microneedle Patch, Titan64, and Two Cube.
  • Social Enterprise: Con Corazon Mexicano, DermaVision, FreshConnect, Mai Glow, match:Point, Omni Glasses, PZ Nanopore, Sea Tag, Sparker, and WellnessU.

For more information about the Stella Zhang New Venture Competition, go to this website.

About American Lending Center: A Financial Times (FT) Americas’ Fastest Growing Company   

American Lending Center (ALC) is a private nonbank lending institution and nationally recognized leader in small business lending. By the end of 2022, ALC has fully financed senior loan products to 83 qualified EB-5 projects in 19 states, contributing to a combined construction and business expansion budget of over 1.2 billion dollars. ALC’s lending practice has successfully created more than 13,000 new jobs nationwide since 2009.

In 2022, ALC launched its new rural construction and development fund with capital available for construction of fixed assets of all types in rural areas including manufacturing, energy, infrastructure, hospitality, specialty use, multi-use and other project types.   

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