The Pepperdine Graziadio School of Business, in partnership with the Venture Alliance, is launching an initiative to better prepare startups for investment funding. The main component of the initiative will be the compilation of a “most fundable companies” list. Entrepreneurs who apply will be provided a free, customized data-driven roadmap produced by Venture Alliance with steps they can take to make their companies more likely to receive investments. Some of these startups will then be added to the list that will be made available to investors interested in identifying fundable startups. “The vast majority of startups would benefit from data-driven company analysis that details how they stack up and what can be done to improve their chances of attracting investors,” Deryck J. van Rensburg, dean of the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School, said in a statement. “We’re aiming to bridge the widening gap between early-stage companies and the capital they need to succeed by helping entrepreneurs think about how to structure their business so they are valued as worthy of investment.” Startups in existence fewer than five years and with less than $10 million in revenue are invited to take a free, proprietary qualifier survey; the deadline to apply is May 15. Finalists will be invited – again free of charge – to complete a more intensive fundability assessment survey. From this group, the top startup finalists deemed the most investment-worthy will be selected this fall and included in the first annual list of most fundable companies. Some of the data from the surveys will be aggregated and analyzed, with findings released to the public. The initiative is being funded by Venture Alliance of Newport Beach and the Peate Institute for Entrepreneurship at Pepperdine’s Graziadio School.