Startup Successes

Help us celebrate some of the startups that have participated in Rice Alliance programs as they reached exciting milestones over the years! Check out the most recent highlights and updates by signing up for our email digests. 

Ayrton - Startup Successes - Dec 2023

Ayrton Energy, Class 3 Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator, joins Halliburton Labs. 

Class 3

Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator

Nanotech - Startup Success

NanoTech Materials, Clean Energy Accelerator Class 2, with Mike Francis, CEO, Rice MBA '12, closed an oversubscribed funding round for an undisclosed amount. 

Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator

Class 2


Mitra Chem founder Vivas Kumar, who also founded OwlSpark and Ignite Entrepreneurship Trek location host, raised $60 million



SINHA - Time 100 - Husk.

Manoj Sinha, CEO and co-founder of Husk Power Systems, 2008 Rice Business Plan Competition | University of Virginia, named to the Time100 Climate List

Class 3

Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator

Arolytics - Startup Success

Arolytics, Clean Energy Accelerator Class 1, closes seed round of fundraising over $3.5M lead by BDC Capital

Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator

Class 1

EarthEn - Startup Success

EarthEn, Clean Energy Accelerator Class 3 and RBPC 2022, partners with Ørsted and Newlab, receives a portion of CalSEED's awards of US$4M to early-stage clean energy innovations and awarded funding from the DOE's Technology Commercialization Fund

Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator

Class 3

Emission Critical - Startup Success

Emission Critical Technologies, Class 2 Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator, joins the Chevron Technology Ventures Catalyst Program

Class 2

Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator

Quino Energy - Startup Success

Quino Energy, Class 2 Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator, raises a total of $4.55M of seed funding.  

Class 2

Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator

Banofi - Startup Success

Banofi Leather, RBPC 2023 competitor, wins $1M Hult Prize


Rice Business Plan Competition

AtmoSpark - Startup Success

AtmoSpark, OwlSpark Class 5, launches their first product at the Annapolis Boat Show.  

Class 5


Mallard Bay - Startup Success

Mallard Bay, RBPC 2022 Competitor, announces move to Houston.  


Rice Alliance Business Plan Competition

Ziosk - Startup Success

Ziosk, 2006 RBPC, acquired—selling the payments processing part of their business.  


Rice Business Plan Competition


Relyion, Class 3 Clean Energy Accelerator, closed their $4.4M seed round supported by the Active Impact Investments and Planeteer Capital. Relyion is enhancing battery lifespan and performance—repurposing retired EV batteries for second-life.

Class 3

Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator

Eden - Class 2 Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator

Eden, Class 2, Clean Energy Accelerator, closed an oversubscribed $12M seed funding round, and a total of $21.3M to date. Eden’s Electrical Reservoir Stimulation Technology has the power to revolutionize how we recover Earth's natural resources. 

Class 2

Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator

Gecko Robotics Rice Business Plan Competition 2016

Gecko Robotics, a 2016 Rice Business Plan Competition finalist, raised $100 million in its Series C funding. Gecko Robotics develops AI-powered software and its robotics assess the safety and condition of infrastructure for industries including defense, oil and manufacturing.

2016 RBPC


Hyllion with Check

Hyliion goes public on NYSE at market valuation above $2B and raises $600M in funding—the first RBPC to go public.

2015 RBPC

Third Place Winner

Arovia Splay Screen

Arovia, led by Alexander Wesley (MBA ’16) and George Zhu (Rice ‘16), successfully launched their second Kickstarter Campaign to introduce their second product, the Splay, a 2-in-1 portable display + projector. 

Class 3, Owlspark

2016 RBPC Competitor

Pumani Baby

Pumani (formerly InfantAir) joined the Global Innovation Exchange’s Million Lives Club by impacting the lives of 1 million babies.

2010 RBPC


Triton Anchor - Startup Success

Triton Anchor, Clean Energy Accelerator Class 3, secures investment from Katapult and 2023 accelerator spot—and is named a finalist for the Business Network for Offshore Wind 2023 Ventus. 

Class 3

Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator

Venostent - Startup Success

VenoStent, RBPC 2016 competitor and TLSF presenter, secures $16M series A

RBPC 2016


Tympanogen - Startup Success

Tympanogen, RBPC Competitor, receives $3.23M from National Institute of Health to conduct clinical study. 

Rice Business Plan Competition


Cardiosense - Startup Success

Cardiosense, 2020 RBPC, Northwestern University, recognized as one of Poets & Quants' 20 Highest-Funded MBA Healthcare Startups Of 2023, recognizing their $15.1M Series A raise



Syzygy - Startup Success

Syzygy, Rice-licensed technology and ETVF multi-time participant, raised $76 million



NuMat - Startup Success

NuMat Technologies, 2012 RBPC, Northwestern University & 2023 ETVF Most Promising Co., is a global leader in metal-organic frameworks and is building the world's first industrial scale MOF campus in Chicago. 


Rice Business Plan Competition

If you have participated in a Rice Alliance program and have exciting news to share, please reach out to us so we can highlight your success! 

Icetero Announcement

Ictero Medical Closes $6M Series A, Co-Led by S3 Ventures

Texas Life Science Forum, 2019 & 2020

2020 Most Promising

Criterion Energy Founders

Criterion Energy Partners receives strategic investment from Patterson-UTI, and receives DOE grant supporting community-driven energy transition with Baytown.

Class 1

Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator

Oil Renewell

Renewell Energy receives DOE grant. 

Class 1

Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator

Volumetric founders

Rice University bioprinting startup, Volumetric, was acquired by 3D Systems. Originating in the bioengineering labs at Rice, founders Jordon Miller, Ph.D. and Bagrat Grigoryan, Ph.D. created a bioprinting platform for whole organ replacement.

Southwest I-Corp, Fall 2015

Texas Life Science Forum Presenter, 2018 and 2019

Topl What is Impact

Topl, founded by Christopher Georgen (Rice ’16), James Aman (Rice ’19), and Kim Raath (Rice ’20), closed a $3m seed funding round led by Mercury Fund with participation from GOOSE Capital, Chingona Ventures, Beni Venture Capital, Blue Collective, RevTech Ventures and Social Impact Capital. Topl builds blockchains that enable digital and sustainable transformation across value chains.



Class 4

EveryShelter Team Photo

Every Shelter, led by Scott Austin Key (Rice ’15) and Sam Brisendine (Rice ‘14), designs, creates and delivers shelter products for those displaced by natural disasters and acts of war. Every Shelter won second place at Dubai’s International Humanitarian Hackathon.


Class 1

Three Rice Students - Starling Medical, Formerly Dash

Starling Medical (Formerly Dash), founded by Drew Hendricks (Rice ‘19), Sylvie Kalikoff (Rice ‘19) and Hannah McKinney (Rice ‘19), and now led by Alex Arevalos (Rice ‘17), won the Texas A&M New Ventures Competition with their novel approach to neurogenic bladder management.

Class 7, OwlSpark

Michael E. DeBakey Memorial Life Science Award Winner at 2020 TLSF

Data Gumbo team

Data Gumbo closed a $7.7 Million Series B Funding Round and named to the 2020 CB Insights Blockchain 50.


2020, 2018, 2017 ETVF

Most Promising in 2018

Nimbic System

Nimbic Systems, led by CEO Sean Self a Rice MBA alum, is acquired by Mizuho OSI to Expand into Helping Protect Surgical Sites from Airborne Particulates.

2012 Most Promising Company

Texas Life Science Forum


Calwave successfully commissioned open-water wave energy pilot.

2015 RBPC

2020 Energy Venture Forum

Medical Informatics Team

Medical Informatics led by Emma Fauss, CEO (PhD and RICE MBA '13), announced a partnership with Intel for the Scale to Serve Program to rapidly expand remote ICUs to 100 US hospitals.


2013 RBPC, Competitor

OwlSpark, Class 1

Syzygy Plasmonics Reactor Assembly

Syzygy Plasmonics Attracts Global Investors, Raises $23 Million Series B to Electrify Chemical Manufacturing

2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017 Energy Events

Most Promising 2019


Saranas, a Texas Life Science Forum presenter (and 2013 Rice Business Plan Competition competitor), announces their $12.8 million Series B investment led by Baird Capital.

Life Science Forum


Mission Secure laptop data

Mission Secure Announces Series B Venture Funding to Further Advance Its Patented OT Cybersecurity Protection Platform

2018, 2019 Energy Presenter

2019 Most Promising Company

Tvardi science

Tvardi Therapeutics raised $74 Million in Series B Financing to Advance Clinical Programs.

2020 Texas Life Science Forum

Most Promising Company

Recursion female researcher in lab

Recursion, co-founded by Rice electrical engineering alum, is Granted Orphan Drug Designation for REC-4881 for the Potential Treatment of Familial Adenomatous Polyposis, and Granted FDA Fast Track Designation for REC-2282 for the Potential Treatment of NF2-Mutated Meningiomas

2014 Texas Life Science Forum

Most Promising Company

Bioaesthetics - head shots of 2 founders

BioAesthetics announced a $5M Series A to Commercialize NACgraft, a Regenerative Nipple Graft for Breast Cancer Survivors


2018 Texas Life Science Forum Most Promising Company

2016 RBPC Competitor

Koda Health young and old women embracing

Houston health tech startup, Koda Health, received a $256,000 grant to test its product.

2020 Texas Life Science Forum

Most Promising Company

Membrane on a roll

Membrion raises $3M for wastewater treatment tech and plans to double size of Seattle facility.

Life Science Forum


Female lab researcher

Houston-baed Cemvita Factory Inc. announced its initial closing of Series A, led by 8090 Partners, to accelerate industrial decarbonization.


2020 Life Science Forum


Illustration of batttery breaking

Everactive Raises Oversubscribed $35 Million Series C Financing to Accelerate Growth of Batteryless Pervasive Remote Monitoring for Industry 4.0.

2019 Energy Tech Venture Forum

Presenting Company