An Arizona State University tech startup took home more than $70,000 from the Rice Business Plan Competition, hosted by Rice University from April 6-8 in Houston, Texas.
Swift Coat, a venture specializing in nanoparticle coatings, performed better than any ASU team to date, ultimately finishing in fourth place overall.
The brainchild of electrical engineering Assistant Professor Zachary Holman and graduate research associate Peter Firth, Swift Coat takes its name from proprietary deposition technology, which is capable of coating any surface with nanoparticles of varying compositions and sizes. The technology, which has applications in a range of industries, was developed through photovoltaic research in Holman’s lab.
Now in its seventeenth year, the Rice Business Plan Competition is considered the premier graduate-level entrepreneurial competition, drawing support from more than 180 corporate and private sponsors.
“Our first day at the RBPC, they told us that this wasn’t just a competition, but the most intense and condensed startup accelerator program in the country,” says Firth. “They weren’t kidding about that, and I can tell you that Swift Coat did not return to ASU the same company that traveled to Houston.”