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Rice University Engineering Students Pitch Projects to Local Venture Capitalists
Date:11/19/2009

HOUSTON, Nov. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Twenty-five Senior Design Teams competed for prizes Thursday night at Rice University's Brown School of Engineering Elevator Pitch Contest. The purpose of the contest was to get students to think about the commercial viability of their designs before building prototypes. Teams had 60 seconds to pitch their design project to an audience of local venture capitalists and business leaders. They were judged on their ability to sell their project in a 60 second pitch. Students had to describe the market need or problem solved, design functionality, market viability and revenue potential.

"It's one thing to have a great idea, it's quite another to convince a room of seasoned venture capitalists that your idea is worth a second thought and that's exactly what these students did," said Tom Kraft of the Houston Technology Center. "Over several weeks, we coached students on how to get their ideas off the drawing board and into the marketplace and it all begins with a solid pitch."

The competition was organized by Dr. Maria Oden, Director of the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK), and Professor in the Practice of Engineering Education in Bioengineering, along with Dr. Gary Woods, Professor in the Practice of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Dr. Marcia O'Malley, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science.

The Houston Technology Center provided lectures and individual coaching to students throughout the semester in preparation for last night's event. Rice Alliance sponsored cash awards for the winning teams:

1st Place Winner - $1000 cash: Team Spatial Suspenders: Accelerating the fight against cancer into the third dimension

Project Description: Using nanotechnology to facilitate large scale three-dimensional cell cultures in order to grow more clinically relevant tumor samples for evaluating cancer treatments
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SOURCE Houston Technology Center
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