For photos accompanying this release use this shared folder: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/yfkn7o4rnk69561/AAAk8afe-mseA3r17HenN9iNa?dl=0
JACKSON, Miss., Aug. 20, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Against a large field of competitors, Mississippi startup EasyKale Labs LLC, co-founded by Mississippi 2019 Top Entrepreneurs, Bilal Qizilbash and Richard A. Sun, CFA, has made it to the final round of Pepperdine Graziadio Business School’s “Most Fundable Companies” competition.
The competition, which started with more than 3,500 entries a few months ago, was narrowed down to a semi-final round of 100 in July. Each semi-finalist had to complete an extensive “Fundability Assessment,” and Qizilbash just learned this past week of his company’s status as a finalist.
“I still can’t believe it. We know we have a great product, and we provided solid information in our Assessment documents, but with the stiff national level competition we are up against, we just weren’t sure where we would stack up. We are thrilled to be a finalist,” said Co-Founder Qizilbash.
EasyKale™ is still relatively new, having just launched in e-commerce in March 2019. It is a virtually tasteless, textureless, powdered form of kale crafted by an unsual process. It is inherently healthy, is grown on a sustainable farm and once it is turned into powder, it has a low-level, pleasant smell compared to fresh kale. The product has all of the health benefits of kale and can be added to any food, soup, sauce, drink, dip or smoothie.
“When I was studying for my Master’s degree in medical sciences, I found that juiced curly kale selectively kills melanoma cancer cells in vitro while not affecting non-cancerous cells,” Qizilbash said.
Leading up to the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School recognition, EasyKale hit several key milestones.
In May 2019, EasyKale was invited to participate, along with several major brands, in the Loop Zero-Waste Shopping Platform. Loop provides shoppers a way to buy some of their favorite products in reusable packaging delivered in a “tote” by a UPS delivery person.
Additionally, in early June, Qizilbash announced at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in The Hague, the Netherlands, that he and his research collaborator Dr. Elizabeth Brandon, associate professor of biology at Belhaven University, had discovered that juiced kale kills certain types of liver cancer cells in vitro while not affecting non-cancerous cells. This was in addition to their previous discovery that juiced kale kills melanoma cells in vitro (U.S. Patent 9,919,016).
According to Craig R. Everett, Ph.D. and Director of Pepperdine’s Private Capital Markets Project, the 2019 Pepperdine Most Fundable Companies List winners will be notified before September 13, 2019. The winners will be featured on October 17, 2019 at the competition’s showcase event in Malibu, California and again in November via recognition in Entrepreneur magazine.
EasyKale is sold on Amazon and has recently been selected as an Amazon’s Choice product.
EasyKale™ is a virtually tasteless, textureless, powdered form of kale crafted by a patent-pending process. It has a low-level, pleasant smell compared to fresh kale and has the health benefits of kale without the taste or fuss of preparing. It can be added to any food, soup, sauce, drink, dip or smoothie and is a great way for kids to “get their daily vegetables!” (adults too!). EasyKale Labs is based in Jackson Mississippi and is a Triple Bottom Line company. Five percent of EasyKale Labs’ net profits are earmarked for two different causes—feeding the homeless (via the Draw-a-Smile Foundation) and educating a new generation of coders from at-risk backgrounds via the Mississippi Coding Academies. Co-founders Bilal Qizilbash and Richard Sun met when Sun was Innovate Mississippi’s first Entrepreneur-in-Residence. He saw potential in Bilal and EasyKale. For more information visit these pages:
Allison Buchanan, The Focus Group