Rice University logoGeorge R. Brown School of Engineering
Electrical and Computer Engineering

2013 ECE Affiliates Meeting - Poster/Demo Session - Startups by Rice Alums and Faculty

  1. InView: commercializing Rice's "single-pixel" camera
    Authors: Rice University: Dr. Richard Baraniuk, Dr. Gary Woods, Dr. Kevin Kelly;
    InView Technology Corp.: Dr. Bob Bridge, Dr. Lenore McMackin, Dr. Matt Herman

    Abstract: InView Technology Corporation is leveraging Rice's Compressive Sensing intellectual property to reduce the cost of expensive shortwave IR (SWIR) cameras by a factor of five. Using sophisticated signal processing algorithms, InView has dropped the price of SWIR cameras from $55,000 to $12,000. SWIR cameras have a unique ability to see through fog, dust and smoke, and to characterize material in a laboratory. InView achieved first product revenue in Sept 2012, and expects to be profitable by year-end 2013.


  2. Mango Communications
    Authors: Patrick Murphy (Rice BSEE 2002, PhD 2010), Chris Hunter (Rice BSEE 2006, MS 2008, PhD 2012)

    Abstract: Mango communications designs platforms for cutting-edge wireless research. Our platforms provide programmable resources at every layer of the networking stack, enabling fully custom wireless designs.


  3. Join Dropcam and build something
    Authors: Aamir Virani (Rice BSEE 2001)

    Abstract:Dropcam is bringing consumer design and easy-to-understand software to the home monitoring market. The Dropcam HD is #1 on Amazon and its related web and mobile software has defined the market. We're looking for software engineers to join our team and make our offerings bigger and better.


  4. Sentinel Photonics: Laser-based Gas Sensors
    Author: Stephen So (Rice BSEE 2003, MS 2005, PhD 2008)

    Abstract: Sentinel Photonics is a cleantech startup which is commercializing laser-based gas sensing solutions. These developing sensor solutions are a game changing technology for previously impossible industrial, environmental, and air quality/health applications. Portions of the technology were developed at Rice in the Tittel Laser Science Group, with assistance from the Center for Multimedia Communication.


  5. OwlSpark Accelerator
    Authors: Vivas Kumar (Rice BS 2014), Darren Clifford (Rice MBA 2013)

    Abstract: Ranked as one of the top 20 undergraduate institutions and boasting a top 10 MBA entrepreneurship program, Rice University is teeming with business ideas. OwlSpark will provide an accelerator experience to improve the successful commercialization of businesses coming out of the Rice community. The accelerator will provide entrepreneurs with funding and structured mentorship for 3 months over the summer during which they can develop a clear understanding of the market and value proposition of their proposed idea. To further support the companies, a full year of co-located office space will be provided. The accelerator program will bring a positive impact to the Rice campus by empowering students for an entrepreneurial future through a combination of financial and social resources and mentorship.

     Program Structure 

    The accelerator program will last 12 weeks between May and August, coinciding with Rice University’s summer break. Businesses will have the opportunity to iterate through ideas in a co-working space near the Rice campus, and will receive a stipend to cover their living expenses. Throughout the process of forming their businesses, they will have consistent access to mentors to aid them in the process of business plan formation and product development.

    While teams will spend most of their time during the 12 weeks building their products and formulating their business models, they will be invited to participate in other weekly events:
    • Speakers/Q&A Panels – Industry professionals and mentors who focus on themes related to business plan formation
    • Founders Meeting – Founders congregate weekly to evaluate progress and set goals
    • Pitch Practice – One co-founder emerges as the person pitch to potential investors on Demo Day
    • Networking Events – Social events for participants, mentors, investors, and other individuals


    Students compete at various events (eg. 3-Day Startup) at Rice University, and the most promising businesses and entrepreneurs from these competitions will be invited to apply for the summer accelerator program. For each of the three rounds of applications, selected businesses will be invited to interview with a panel of key program stakeholders (mentors, investors, Advisory Board, Managing Director) and will be notified if they will be given a placement in the program soon thereafter. Each of the three months during the program’s duration focuses on different goals:
    • First month – business/mentor partnership building, and lean start-up education
    • Second month – businesses will focus on building their products and business plans, with the ultimate objective to have a great demonstration during Demo Day at the end of the summer
    • Third month – perfecting the product, pitch, and plans before Demo Day

    The accelerator will culminate with the Demo Day event, where teams present their summer’s work to an audience of entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, program participants, and other interested individuals in an attempt to secure further funding. OwlSpark will choose a select few companies in which to invest during Demo Day, and will conduct a follow-on investment round one year after an accelerator class graduates.


  6. Graphene Platform
    Author: Patrick Frantz (Rice BA History/PoliSci '95, MEE '97)