Rice Business Plan Competition winner to ring Nasdaq opening bell


Jeff Falk

Mary Lynn Fernau

Rice Business Plan Competition winner to ring Nasdaq opening bell

HOUSTON — (June 27, 2019) — The winner of the 2019 Rice University Business Plan Competition (RBPC) will ring Nasdaq’s opening bell on the day before Independence Day.

Vita Inclinata Technologies from the Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, will perform the ceremonial opening of the Nasdaq Stock Market trading day at 9:30 a.m. CDT on Wednesday, July 3.

Vita, based in Denver and Seattle, is pioneering new, innovative hardware solutions for daily safety challenges in aerospace, construction and other dangerous industries. Vita’s first product, the Load Stability System, was created to solve the deadly swinging of helicopter hoisting and sling-load systems.

Vita CEO Caleb Carr will be joined by Brad Burke, managing director of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, which hosts the annual business plan competition, and Will Roper, the U.S. Air Force’s assistant secretary for acquisition.

A live webcast of the Nasdaq opening bell will be available at https://new.livestream.com/nasdaq/live. To receive a photo of the Vita team and Rice representatives at Nasdaq, email jfalk@rice.edu.

What: Ringing of Nasdaq opening bell.

When: Wednesday, July 3, 9:30 a.m. CDT. The ceremony begins at 9:25 a.m.

Where: Nasdaq MarketSite, 4 Times Square, 43rd and Broadway, Broadcast Studio, New York City.

Vita won nearly $700,000 of the record $2.9 million in cash and prizes awarded at the world’s richest and largest student startup competition April 4-6.

“We are honored to win the Rice Business Plan Competition,” Carr said. “It has opened doors to new resources and relationships that have accelerated our progress, and ringing the Nasdaq bell is an example of that. It is an extreme honor for me and my team and another opportunity that the Rice Business Plan Competition has provided us.”

Held at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business and described by Forbes magazine as “the Super Bowl and World Series of business plan competitions,” the 2019 RBPC brought 42 university teams from across the globe to pitch their new technology businesses to more than 300 venture capital and investor judges. Judges evaluated the businesses based on the investment potential.

More than 140 corporate and private sponsors support the business plan competition.

Since the RBPC’s inception in 2001, when nine teams competed for $10,000, more than 229 competitors have gone on to successfully launch their ventures and are still in business today or have sold. Past competitors have raised nearly $2.3 billion in funding and created more than 3,000 new jobs.

For more information, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at 713-348-6775 or jfalk@rice.edu.


Follow the Rice Business Plan Competition via Twitter @RBPC.

Follow Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business via Twitter @Rice_Biz.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

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The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship is Rice University’s nationally recognized initiative devoted to the support of technology commercialization, entrepreneurship education and the launch of technology companies. Since inception of the Rice Alliance, more than 2,300 early stage companies have participated at the 185 programs hosted by the alliance and raised nearly $7.2 billion in funding.

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.