Startups Make a Splash at the UC Davis Big Bang Business Competition

UC Davis recently hosted its 22nd annual Big Bang! Business Competition awards ceremony, an inspiring event that celebrates innovation and entrepreneurship on our campus. This year’s ceremony marked a significant milestone as it was the first in-person gathering since 2019. Over $100,000 in prize money and in-kind awards were bestowed upon early-stage startups across various sectors such as food and agriculture, health, energy/sustainability, and social enterprise. 

Organized by the esteemed Mike and Renee Child Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Big Bang! Business Competition provides crucial support to entrepreneurs as they launch and expand their ventures. While participants do not necessarily have to be UC Davis students, they must have a founder associated with a higher education institution in California. The atmosphere at the event was vibrant and celebratory, with a mix of current students, accomplished entrepreneurs, and industry leaders gathering at the prestigious UC Davis Alumni Center.

Among the exceptional innovators recognized at the ceremony were Cameron Gallad, CEO of JusCheckIt, and Jackson Wise, CFO of JusCheckIt, who were honored with the coveted $10,000 Social Entrepreneurship Award. Both Gallad and Wise are proud UC Davis alumni and the visionary co-founders of JusCheckIt, an exceptional online community focused on providing reliable legal information and representation.

It is worth highlighting the profound significance of lawtech in today’s modern landscape. Lawtech, the fusion of technology and legal services, plays a pivotal role in enhancing access to legal information and representation. With legal systems growing increasingly complex and traditional legal services often associated with high costs, lawtech platforms like JusCheckIt are leading the charge in providing innovative solutions.

JusCheckIt’s online community is dedicated to bridging the gap between individuals seeking legal guidance and the availability of affordable, reliable resources. By harnessing the power of technology, JusCheckIt and other trailblazing lawtech ventures are making legal information more accessible, empowering individuals to navigate their legal challenges with greater efficiency. Through the utilization of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and online platforms, the legal sector is being revolutionized, offering unprecedented convenience, transparency, and cost-effective solutions.

As technology continues to advance, lawtech will undoubtedly shape the future of the legal industry, promoting efficiency, inclusivity, and the democratization of legal services. Startups like JusCheckIt are at the forefront of this transformative movement, driving positive change by leveraging technology to address the evolving needs of individuals and businesses in the legal realm. Together, we are ushering in a new era of legal innovation and accessibility.

Chris Denend

Chris Denend is a co-founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for JusCheckIt.  He has over 30 years of experience in the technology field, as both a programmer and as a manager/VP/SVP/CTO at various companies ranging in size from start-ups to publicly traded companies.  Prior to joining JusCheckit, Chris was pursuing his own startup ideas.  Prior to this, he was Senior Vice President of Engineering and Product at TrueCar, a digital automotive marketplace.  Earlier in his career, Chris was a Vice President at Shutterfly where he worked to integrate and scale the ThisLife start-up acquisition.  Before that he spent 5 years at the start-up Prosper, as the first VP of Engineering, then as the CTO.  Chris spent 7 years at Macromedia, in both programming and leadership roles.  He graduated from Stanford University in 1990 with a degree in Electrical Engineering.

Ryan Guaglione

Ryan is a co-founder and Chief Operating Officer (COO) for JusCheckIt. His vast skill set and experience with sales teams, product managers, supply chain logistics, and many more departments give him a knowledgeable mindset into how to oversee and ensure all facets of the company are running smoothly.   The start of his career was heavily marketing and consumer relations based as he served an internship for the BSU athletics program as well as a software consultant for Reynolds and Reynolds. The financial side of these businesses sparked an interest to further develop his career in the field of revenue and pricing; while using what he had learned about the consumer and their needs and reactions to industry changes. Ryan has now compiled several years of analytical experience with companies such as Cardinal Health, Holland America, and CalAmp. Through these roles he has been tasked with maintaining financial stability and consistency in several areas of the businesses including deal making, price logging, competitive analysis, and more. 

Jackson Wise

Jackson Wise is a co-founder and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of JusCheckIt. He brings his experience as a Preconstruction Manager at Deacon Construction managing the financial side of large construction projects ranging from $10MM to $150MM. He graduated from the University of California Davis in June 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. Prior to UC Davis, during his time at a local community college, he held an internship at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as AutoCAD draftsman and Data Center Energy Management Technician with their IT Infrastructure department. His experience estimating and managing complex projects, coupled with his interest in personal finance, makes him a great fit for managing JusCheckIt’s finances.

Cameron Gallad

Cameron Gallad is a co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of JusCheckIt. Cameron is an established professional and entrepreneur who is an Account Executive for 3fold Communications, a member of the Leadership Council for Metro Edge as well as a Board Member for both SMART Sacramento and the UC Davis Young Alumni Association. Prior to JusCheckIt, Cameron worked for various legal and justice based positions while at community college including: the Office of Governor Jerry Brown in the Legal Affairs Division, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and a Business Planning and Estate Planning/Tax law firm. He is a UC Davis Alumnus, where he studied Communication, Economics, & Tech Management.  He was Director of Legislative Affairs for his local student government where he led a committee that built a proposal to help give better resources to sexual harassment and assault survivors. Cameron’s breadth of experience and personal story is what allows him to manage the leadership role of CEO for JusCheckIt.