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Electrical and Computer Engineering

A Launching Pad for Promising Business Ventures

Startups spawned by research in ECE


A critical step in the path of setting up a business with substantial commercial growth potential is to conduct research in order to validate, assess and develop the ideas or business concepts.

As nurturer of discoveries and contributor to successful startups, ECE enables many talented faculty and student researchers to act on their dreams of proving their ideas, innovations, and expertise in the marketplace. 


Nanospectra Biosciences, Inc.

Founded in 2001, Nanospectra Biosciences, Inc. was formed to commercialize applications of optically tunable gold particles, whose development and applications at Rice University were led by Professors Naomi Halas (ECE, Bioengineering, Chemistry, Physics & Astronomy) and Jennifer West (Bioengineering, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering). Nanospectra is currently focused on the development of the AuroLase™ Therapy, which uses the unique optical tunability of the gold nanoshells for the selective and precise thermal destruction of solid tumors while minimizing damage to adjacent healthy tissue. Clinical trials in humans are presently underway.

Mango Communications, Inc.

In October 2008, Rice University granted an exclusive license to Mango Communications, Inc., a startup company based in Houston, TX. Mango licensed the Rice technologies that constitute the custom hardware components of the Wireless Open-Access Research Platform (WARP). WARP is a scalable, extensible and programmable platform for prototyping advanced wireless networks. As of December 2013, more than 125+ research groups worldwide have adopted WARP for use in their wireless research programs. In 2007 and 2008, Rice distributed WARP hardware to numerous institutions. Mango was founded in 2008 by ECE graduate student Patrick Murphy to facilitate the larger scale manufacturing and distribution of WARP hardware to the wireless research community.