KiLife Tech from Brigham Young University took home the top prize in the 2015 Rice Business Plan Competition. The company walked out with $588,000 in cash and services.
Home of the Day
- Joe Martin
- Reporter- Houston Business Journal
This year’s Rice Business Plan Competition winner was a wearable to help track lost children.
KiLife Tech from Brigham Young University brought in more than $500,000 in cash prizes and services. Children wear the company’s wristband, which is connected to a smartphone, and alerts parents if their kids get too far away.
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The prizes were presented April 18 at a banquet at the Omni Houston Hotel that concluded the three-day event, which began April 16. This year’s Rice Business Plan Competition was a little more tame than last year, when nearly $3 million was doled out to winning student-run startups. This year, around $1.5 million was given to startups by area investors, Fortune 500 company venture arms and business accelerators.
The competition, which hosts startups from around the world, hopes that winners will be more inclined to do business in Houston. Last year’s winner, Medical Adhesive Revolution GmbH won $507,000 and ended up relocating to Houston.
MAR announced April 16 it was about to close a $2.75 million funding round, led by the GOOSE Society of Texas, a society of successful entrepreneurs including Jack Gill, a venture capitalist, and Rod Canion, a co-founder of Compaq Computer Corp.
One of the top energy companies at this year’s competition was Hyliion from Carnegie Mellon University, which has made a hybrid module for tractor trailers that can reduce fuel costs by 30 percent. Hyliion received $80,000 from Houston’s Surge Ventures LLC and $50,000 from the United States Department of Energy.
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Joe Martin covers quality of life, health care and technology for the Houston Business Journal. Follow him on Twitter for more.
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