LIDROTEC, a student startup from RWTH University of Aachen in Germany that aims to increase production in the semiconductor industry, has won the grand prize in the 2022 Rice Business Plan Competition ( RBPC).
Amid global semiconductor shortages, LIDROTEC says its technology can eliminate material waste in the cutting process during manufacturing, both saving money and increasing productivity.
The RBPC, organized annually by the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship and Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business, is the world’s largest and richest student startup competition. This year’s edition saw 42 startups compete for more than $2 million in prizes.
The winners were announced at the end of the three-day pitching, mentoring and networking event which included an elevator pitch contest, practice round, semi-finals, wildcard and final round . The compelling innovations presented by this year’s teams led corporate sponsors to add a number of last-minute cash prizes.
The 42 startups represented 34 universities from four countries, with 11 universities represented by two different teams. They were chosen from more than 400 applicants to compete in one of five categories: energy, clean technology and sustainability; solutions for life sciences and healthcare; consumer products and services; hard technology; and digital business.
The more than 250 RBPC judges act as — and most are — early-stage investors assessing the potential of startups. Teams showcase their businesses to investors, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and ecosystem partners during the event, then network and receive real-time feedback, guidance, and mentorship.
Some of the major awards this year and the teams that won them include:
* $350,000 GOOSE Capital Investment Grand Prize – LIDROTEC, RWTH Aachen.
* $155,000 The OWL Investment Prize – Hoth Intelligence, University of Pittsburgh.
* $65,000 The OWL Investment Prize – Mallard Bay Outdoors, Louisiana State University.
* $50,000 The OWL Investment Prize – TransCrypts, University of Toronto and Harvard University.
* $250,000 TMC Innovation Healthcare Investment Award – LymphaSense, Johns Hopkins University.
* $125,000 Softeq Venture Studio Prize (two prizes) – Mallard Bay Outdoors, Louisiana State University; LIDROTEC, RWTH University of Aachen.
* $100,000 Jon Finger and Finger Interests, David Anderson and the Anderson Family Fund, Greg Novak and Tracy Druce Second Investment Prize – Hoth Intelligence, University of Pittsburgh.
* $50,000 Jon Finger and Finger Interests, David Anderson and the Anderson Family Fund, Greg Novak and Tracy Druce Third-Place Investment Prize – Invitris, Technical University of Munich.
* Houston Angel Network Investment Prize of $100,000 – Hoth Intelligence, University of Pittsburgh.
* TiE Houston Angel Group Investment Prize of $100,000 – LIDROTEC, RWTH Aachen University.
* Thomas Healy, $50,000 RBPC Alumnus, Investment Prize – LIDROTEC, RWTH Aachen University.
* Thomas Healy, $25,000 RBPC Alumnus, Investment Award – Mallard Bay Outdoors, Louisiana State University.
* Thomas Healy, RBPC Alumnus of $10,000 Investment Prize – Bold Move Beverages, University of Texas at Austin.
* $40,000 Investment Prize for Courageous Female Entrepreneurs from the nCourage Investment Group – Invitris, Technical University of Munich.
* $10,000 Investment Prize for Courageous Women Entrepreneurs from nCourage Investment Group – Pareto, Stanford University.
* $25,000 Southwest National Pediatric Devices Award (two awards) – Advanced Optronics, Carnegie Mellon University; EpiSLS, University of Michigan.
* $25,000 Urban Capital Network Investment Award – Woobie, Brigham Young University.
* $25,000 IN2 Prize for Energy, Clean Technology and Sustainability – EpiFresh, Rice University.
* $25,000 Pearland Economic Development Corporation – Hoth Intelligence Entrepreneurial Spirit Award, University of Pittsburgh.
* New Climate Ventures Investment Prize of $25,000 – Mantel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
* $20,000 in-kind award OFW Law FDA Regulatory Strategy – Advanced Optronics, Carnegie Mellon University.
* Eagle Investors Prize of $5,000 – LIDROTEC, RWTH Aachen University.
* $3,000 prize from the Nixon Institute – LymphaSense, Johns Hopkins University.
* $3,000 DK Innovation Energy Prize – Mantel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
* $1,000 Mercury Elevator Pitch Competition Prize – EpiFresh, Rice University
The seven finalists based on the judges’ overall scores were:
LIDROTEC, RWTH Aachen University – grand prize and individual prizes with a total value of $682,200.
Hoth Intelligence, University of Pittsburgh – second place and a total of $386,700 in prize money.
Hoth Intelligence’s software uses augmented reality to allow healthcare providers to see “through” and “into” patients to guide procedures and reduce errors.
Invitris, Technical University of Munich – third place and a total of $97,200 in prize money.
Invitris relies on synthetic biology to create new therapies to treat antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections.
LymphaSense, Johns Hopkins University – fourth place and $258,000 in prizes, including the Norton Rose Fulbright cash prize of $5,000 for fourth place.
LymphaSense’s wearable screening device revolutionizes the way breast cancer patients are monitored for signs of lymphedema after treatment.
INIA Biosciences, Boston University – fifth place and $5,000 EY fifth place cash prize.
INIA Biosciences is developing a non-invasive bioelectronic device administered at home to provide treatment after kidney transplantation.
Bold Move Beverages, University of Texas at Austin – sixth place and $15,000 in prizes, including $5,000 Chevron Technology Ventures cash prize for sixth place.
Bold Move Beverages is an early stage liquor brand that combines coffee and whiskey to create Cold Brooze in two flavors.
Anise Health, Harvard University – seventh place and the $7,000 Shell Ventures cash prize for seventh place and Egan Nelson’s Edward H. Molter Memorial Wildcard Award.
Anise Health is a digital platform providing culturally appropriate mental health care to racial and ethnic minorities, beginning with Asian Americans.
All competitors also received:
- Entrepreneur Futures Network (EFN) mentoring: EFN mentors provided pre-competition mentoring and guidance to each of the teams on topics such as fine-tuning a business plan, fine-tuning financial models and improving presentation skills.
- Amazon Web Services: Service credits for each of the 42 startup teams for two years.
- Palo Alto Software: Access to Live Plan presentation and analysis software
- Allianse: 3 months trial for investors and capital platform