Student startup selected for largest intercollegiate competition in the country

Surabhi Vinodkeerthi

Surabhi Vinodkeerthi attending the 2023 Tech Devils Retreat in Los Angeles, California. Photo courtesy of Brent Sebold

Engineers are exploring ways to expand the virtual experience to other senses as virtual reality becomes incorporated into various uses.

Surabhi Vinodkeerthi and Mahanthesh Ramachandra, graduate students studying technological entrepreneurship and management and information science, rose to the challenge by founding Quantanx, a startup technology company that supplies haptic gloves that enable a user to interact with virtual objects.

Vinodkeerthi and Ramachandra’s business proposal for Quantanx has been selected for the Rice Business Plan Competition, known as RBPC, hosted by Rice University in Houston, Texas. 

From Thursday, May 11, through Saturday, May 13, Rice will host 42 startup companies in energy, technology and health care sectors from across the globe as they pitch their ventures and compete for funding. The RBCP is the largest and most lucrative intercollegiate startup competition in the country, offering more than $1 million in funding and other prizes. Students will also have the opportunity to connect with industry leaders, investors and fellow student entrepreneurs to learn what it takes to launch a successful company.

The Quantanx team will be judged on their business plan, elevator pitch and full-length pitch. The immersive, multiday event will provide Vinodkeerthi and Ramachandra the opportunity to pitch directly to investors, receive feedback and enhance their startup.

“​​We believe that our selection for this prestigious competition is a recognition of the hard work, dedication and creativity of our team,” Vinodkeerthi says. “We are excited to showcase our innovative solution, connect with other entrepreneurs and leverage the competition’s platform to take our venture to new heights.”

The team is eager to continue developing their product and meet the ever-evolving needs of their future customers, especially after receiving $25,000 from the Venture Devils Demo Day in 2022.

“We firmly believe in the transformative power of our haptic glove technology and are excited to demonstrate its potential to the world,” Vinodkeerthi says.