ANN ARBOR, Mich., March 31, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Chosen from nearly 400 entrants, two University of Michigan student teams, Neurable and PreDxion Bio, will compete with some of the world's top universities for more than $1 million in prizes at the 16th annual Rice Business Plan Competition at Rice University, April 14-16.
This year, teams will compete for $5,000 online in the People's Choice Competition that challenges the spirit of each university. Team members, fellow students, alumni, family and friends can vote for their favorite team via a Facebook survey. People can participate by going to http://alliance.rice.edu/rbpc.
Neurable, co-founded by Ramses Alcaide (PhD Neuroscience '16) and Michael Thompson (MBA '17), has created the first non-invasive brain-computer interface (BCI) that allows for real-time control of software and physical objects. Neurable's fully functional prototype incorporates proprietary, patent-protected technology developed at the University of Michigan's Direct Brain Interface Lab. Neurable's technology has already allowed people to control wheelchairs, robots and even a full sized car in real-time with no training and a significantly lower cost than existing BCI technologies. Neurable was a finalist in the 2016 Michigan Business Challenge (MBC).
Co-founded by Walker McHugh (MSE Biomedical/Medical Engineering '17) and Caroline Landau (MBA '16), PreDxion Bio is a precision medicine diagnostics company with a beachhead product called MicroKine, a patent-pending near-bedside diagnostic device that measures certain proteins ("cytokines") in the blood of critically-ill patients. MicroKine delivers this information at the bedside, in less than 30 minutes, from a single drop of blood, providing physicians with the information to precisely tailor treatments to a specific patient's immune response. Earlier this year, PreDxion took home the Pryor-Hale award for best business for $25,000, and the Williamson Award for $5,000 for the most outstanding business and engineering team at MBC.
"The true measure of success for the Rice Business Plan Competition is the number of teams that launch, raise funding and go on to succeed in their business," said Brad Burke, managing director of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship at Rice University, which hosts the event. "The competition has served as the launch pad for a great number of successful entrepreneurial ventures, and the success rate exceeds the national average."
The winner of the Rice Business Plan Competition will take home a grand prize valued at more than $450,000, including seed funding and the opportunity to ring the closing bell at NASDAQ Marketsite. Judges select the winner based on the company that represents the best investment opportunity.
"Events like the Rice Business Plan Competition allow University of Michigan students to showcase their ventures, commercializing technologies developed at the university," said Stewart Thornhill, executive director of the Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. "These opportunities allow students to raise funding and gain traction in front of a wider community of investors and business leaders. We are proud of the tremendous entrepreneurial spirit and drive shown by PreDxion and Neurable, and are confident that the resources they've received from the Zell Lurie Institute will help them achieve even greater success."
More than 140 corporate and private sponsors support the business plan competition, which includes 275 judges from the investment sector and awards more than $1 million in prizes. Top prizes include the $250,000 Investment Grand Prize from The GOOSE Society of Texas, two OWL Investment Prizes totaling at nearly $250,000 and the $100,000 Mercury Fund Tech Transfer Investment Prize.
For more information on the 2016 Rice Business Plan Competition, visit http://alliance.rice.edu/rbpc.aspx.
About the Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies
The Institute and its Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance bring together a potent mix of knowledge, experience, and opportunities from the front lines of entrepreneurship and alternative investments. The student learning experience is further enhanced through internships, entrepreneurial clubs, and events that serve to provide viable networks and engage the business community. The School's four student-led investment funds, with over $6.5M under management, immerse students in the business assessment and investment process. Founding Board Members include Samuel Zell, Chairman of Equity Group Investments and Eugene Applebaum, Founder of Arbor Drugs, Inc. For more information, visit the Institute at www.zli.bus.umich.edu.
About Michigan Ross
The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan is a vibrant and distinctive learning community grounded in the principle that business can be an extraordinary vehicle for positive change in today's dynamic global economy. The Ross School of Business mission is to develop leaders who make a positive difference in the world. Through thought and action, members of the Ross community drive change and innovation that improve business and society. Ross is consistently ranked among the world's leading business schools. Academic degree programs include the BBA, MBA, Part-time MBA (Evening and Weekend formats), Executive MBA, Global MBA, Master of Accounting, Master of Supply Chain Management, Master of Management, and PhD. In addition, the school delivers open-enrollment and custom executive education programs targeting general management, leadership development, and strategic human resource management.
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SOURCE Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies