Rice Business Plan Competition to ring Nasdaq

The 2017 winner of the Rice University Business Plan Competition (RBPC) — Forest Devices from Carnegie Mellon University — will ring the Nasdaq stock market closing bell at 3:00 pm. CDT, Tues, Oct. 10. Forest Devices CEO Matt Kesinger will be joined by Brad Burke, managing director of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, which hosts the annual business competition, as well as Peter Rodriguez, dean of the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University.

Forest Devices is a medical device startup located in Pittsburgh that is developing AlphaStroke, the first stroke screening device that can potentially be used by all medical personnel in any environment. Forest Devices won nearly $700,000 of the more than $1.9 million in cash and prizes awarded at the world’s richest and largest student startup competition April 6-8, 2017.

“We are honored to win the Rice Business Plan Competition,” said Matt Kesinger, CEO of Forest Devices. “It has opened doors to new resources and relationships that have accelerated our progress, and ringing the Nasdaq bell is 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.”

Described by Forbes magazine as “the Super Bowl and World Series of business plan competitions,” the 2017 RBPC brought 42 university teams from across the globe to pitch their new technology businesses to more than 275 venture-capital and investor judges. Judges evaluated the businesses based on the investment potential.

Since the RBPC’s inception in 2001, more than 200 former competitors have gone on to successfully launch their ventures and are still in business today have raised in excess of $1.7 billion in funding and created more than 2,000 new jobs. Of the 200 businesses, 24 have successfully exited with a market value of more than $458 million.