Thursday, December 9, 2010

Brown Students Perform Well at Elevator Pitch Contest

Professor Eric Suuberg reports that students from his ENGN 1930G Entrepreneurship course performed well in the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition’s Elevator Pitch Contest this week. The event took place at the new R.I. Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and is considered a preview to the 2011 Rhode Island Business Plan Competition.

The winner, Theresa Raimondo '11, a chemical engineering concentrator, pitched an idea for a container that can quickly heat and cool beverages and won $300. The winning idea, called HnC (hot and cold), grew out of Suuberg's entrepreneurship class in which Raimondo and six other undergraduates have been working on a way to improve the taste of food eaten by astronauts, who don’t have access to refrigeration in space. Using compact thermoelectric technology, the beverage container they’re designing will heat or cool any drink between 50 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit within 90 seconds. The team is proposing to commercialize the product, which, it says, has the potential to redefine the beverage market. Raimondo made her 90-second pitch to a panel of judges and more than 200 audience members, and finished first in a field of 48 aspiring entrepreneurs.

In addition, students and alumni from the Program in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship (PRIME) were presenting, and Joseph Ramos ScM'10 finished second. Ramos, of Axena Technologies in Providence, won $200 for his idea for a start-up company to combat health-care associated infections. Axena Technologies was founded by four graduates of Brown University's PRIME master's degree program. The biomedical engineering company utilizes a novel antibacterial technology to coat medical devices in order to mitigate healthcare-associated infections.

Dan Aziz '05, of PriWater in Providence, received $200 for his pitch for a drink to help pregnant women decrease the chance of certain birth defects.

Each of these teams is expected to do well in the actual business plan competition next semester.

RI Business Plan Competition Press Release:

Providence Business New online edition that described the outcome of the competition: See,54251