2017 Final Showcase Teams


Norman Dresden Leebron Prize in Entrepreneurship, Best Student Team ($10,000)
Trace Matters

At Trace Matters, we are making the world’s first lab-grade miniature chemical analyzer. Unlike existent lab-grade analyzers available in laboratories, our device is portable, affordable, and can operate real-time. Being similar in size to a suitcase, refineries and chemical markets will use it for process optimization out in the field.

Presented by:
Al Galindo, 2nd Year MBA Student, Rice University
Samantha Lewis, 2nd Year MBA Student, Rice University

Best Undergradute Student Team ($6,000)
HexIO is creating an educational toy to teach kids about boolean logic gates, one of the smallest units in computer processing. We are driven both by our passion for equitable STEM education, as well as a large market of parents who are craving computer and electronic educational toys for their children’s enrichment.

Presented by:
Andrew Maust, Junior, Political Science, Rice University

Best Alumni Team ($6,000) & Audience Favorite ($2,000)
Alleviant Medical 
Alleviant Medical is a Houston-based company developing next-generation devices to treat heart failure. We are committed to providing symptomatic relief and improved quality of life for over 6 million patients suffering from this disease.

Presented by:
Alex Arevalos, BS and PhD in Bioengineering, alumni of Rice University
Jacob Kriegel, BA in American History and Biology, and MD, Columbia College

4th Place ($3,500)
Over 50% of the five million patients who seek care for headaches in the emergency room are prescribed opioids. OcciGuide empowers physicians to accurately administer a targeted procedure that blocks headache pain from the source and significantly reduces the need for addictive abortive medications.

Presented by:
Jillian Fink, MBA Student, Rice University
Katherine Butler, MBA Student, Rice University

5th Place ($2,500)
Pheramor is pioneering the next generation of online dating. We aim to enhance dating romance through genetics and technology.

Presented by:
Bin Huang, PhD candidate at Center for Theoretical Biological Physics, Rice University
Brittany Barreto, Baylor Graduate Student

Runner Up

designRice is a student-run product design firm that brings together motivated students to create and sell beautiful, thoughtful objects. As the first of its kind, we seek to revolutionize how industrial design is integrated on college.

Presented by:
Madeleine Pelzel, Junior, Architecture, Rice University
Harrison Lin, Junior, Mechanical Engineering, Rice University

CelloBio produces sugar substitutes which help process-chemists in pharmaceutical companies bring generic diabetes drugs to market faster in order to capture 2.5 years of revenue in 6 months.

Presented by:
Li Chen, PhD from Chemical Engineering Department, Rice University
James Erick Hendricks, MBA Student, Rice University

Factor-Xa inhibitors, a class of anticoagulants, are becoming the first choice for preventing clot formation in the nearly 9 million patients at risk for thrombotic events including stroke.  Currently, monitoring factor Xa activity requires a lab test, which is both expensive and takes hours to deliver a result, with BiosensRx, we are developing an affordable device that provides the same results in under 60 seconds.

Presented by:
Matt Peña, Rice Postdoctoral Researcher in Bioscience
Andres Benitez, Rice Postdoctoral Researcher in Bioscience