Biomedical engineering PhD student Saurabh Biswas and Mays MBA Ben Price took 5th place overall at the 2006 Rice Business Plan Competition for their presentation of a business plan to commercialize a non-invasive colon cancer diagnostic technology. The team, sponsored by the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE), had Texas A&M’s best showing ever, also taking 1st place for best written business plan and 1st place for best elevator pitch.

Texas A&M competed for top billing with some of the best business programs in the nation. Overall winners are:

  • 1st place, Dartmouth College
  • 2nd, Columbia University
  • 3rd, Stanford University
  • 4th, Carnegie Mellon University
  • 5th, Texas A&M
  • 6th, Duke University
  • 7th, Harvard University

The Mays team’s entry is based on a technology developed in Texas A&M’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences that has the potential to identify the altered genes associated with colorectal cancer a decade before cancer strikes. Biswas is the co-founder of Cologenomics, Inc., the company that licensed the technique.

Among more than 140 universities from across the globe, Texas A&M was one of only 35 invited to Rice for the oral presentations. The team was also the only Texas or southwest regional team to reach the finals. Biswas and Price took away $5,000 as well as software.

The Texas A&M team also received an invitation to the University of Texas’ exclusive MOOT CORP competition in May to present its business plan. That was something Biswas had already qualified for in other events — he continues to excel in his championing of the technology. He took 2nd place at CNVE’s Ideas Challenge last May and 1st place in the Idea to Product International Competition last fall at UT for his colon cancer-screening test. He also won the inaugural Big XII New Venture Championship in March