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Rice University’s international student start-up competition returns to in-person format

Rice University recently brought back its international student start-up competition — the world’s richest — to its in-person format, awarding nearly $2 million in investments plus thousands more in prizes to over a dozen winning start-ups.

The 2022 Rice Business Plan Competition included 42 student teams from 31 different universities, including three from European schools. The teams were divided into five categories: hard tech; energy, cleantech and sustainability; life sciences and healthcare solutions; consumer products and services; and digital enterprise.

Over 250 judges, mentors and investors were involved in the competition, naming seven finalists, each of them receiving major infusions of cash.

In first place came LIDROTEC from RWTH Aachen University in Germany. The start-up has developed a machine that improves the cutting process of cutting microchips for the semiconductor industry. LIDROTEC took home the $350,000 GOOSE Capital Investment Grand Prize, plus more than $300,000 in other investments and awards.

The second place winner was Hoth Intelligence from the University of Pittsburgh. The student team won a total of $386,700 in investment awards to commercialize its novel technology, an AI platform for healthcare providers.

Invitris, a start-up from Technical University of Munich, won third place for its synthetic biotechnology targeting antibiotic-resistant bacteria, garnering $97,200.

In fourth place came LymphaSense from Johns Hopkins, which won $258,000 for its wearable device that detects lymphedema for at-risk patients.

Boston University start-up INIA Biosciences came in fifth place, winning $5,000 for its bioelectric wearable device for kidney donor recipients.

Sixth place went to Bold Move Beverages, a canned coffee cocktail start-up from the University of Texas in Austin, which took home a total of $15,000.

In seventh place came Anise Health, a Harvard start-up developing an inclusive, data-driven platform for culturally adapted mental health treatment. Anise took home a total of $7,000 in investment prizes.

Beyond the seven finalists, a slew of other student start-ups walked away with cash awards in a variety of prize categories.

Source: Houston Innovation Map

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