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MIT tech startup takes grand prize at 2018 Rice Business Plan Competition


Infinite Cooling, a technology company focused on reducing freshwater usage at power plants, took home the top prize at the 2018 Rice Business Plan Competition.

The MIT startup won the $300,000 investment grand prize from the Grand Order of Successful Entrepreneurs [GOOSE] Society of Texas, and a $100,000 Owl Investment prize.

Its founders include MIT graduates Maher Damak, ’17, Karim Khalil, ’14, and Kripa Varanasi, ’04.

“It was a great competition,” said Khalil in an email to MIT Sloan. “It was great to come home with the first prize!”

The competition ran April 5-7, in Houston, Texas, and was hosted by the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, and Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business.

This year’s competitors had to impress 300 judges from the investment sector, and beat out more than 40 other competitors. More than $2 million was awarded in prizes.

The competition started in 2001, when just nine teams competed for about $10,000.

MIT Sloan startup OZÉ also took home more than $200,000 with its sixth place finish at the competition.

OZÉ is founded by Meghan McCormick, MBA ’18. The mobile business app offers digital bookkeeping for small business owners in Ghana.

McCormick recently won the 2018 MIT $100K Accelerate competition.

Fellow 2018 MIT $100K Accelerate competitor Iterative Scopes took home one of the TMCx Life Science Accelerator prizes. The startup uses machine learning, and real-time computer detection tools to help doctors spot signs of colon cancer

McCormick, and Iterative Scopes’ Jonathan Tze Chong Ng, ’19, are both fellows with the Legatum Center at MIT.

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