TEX-E Prize

The TEX-E Prize

The TEX-E Prize, hosted in partnership with the Houston Energy Transition Initiative (HETI) and the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, is a multi-round startup competition for Texas students who are developing innovative technologies and business models to advance the energy transition and address climate change. The goal of the competition is to support, encourage, and inspire students across the state of Texas to pursue entrepreneurship as a way to reduce emissions while also building a healthier and more resilient society. Winners received a total of $50,000 in cash prizes to advance their ventures.

2024 TEX-E Prize Winners

First place ($25,000) — Solidec

Solidec extracts the most sought-after molecules from the most sustainable sources. It upgrades molecular building blocks from water and air into pure chemicals and fuels, without any fossil emissions. Its team is from Rice University.

Second place ($15,000) — Coflux Purification

Coflux uses an in-stream module to break down PFAS using a novel foam for chemical-free water. Current technologies to remove PFAS are incredibly energy intensive and don’t permanently destroy PFAS. By using Coflux, customers can avoid energy use (and emissions), using significantly less energy per gallon of water processed. Its team is from Rice University.

Third place ($10,000) — AirMax

AirMax is an HVAC retrofit system designed to materially increase efficiency of existing commercial air conditioning equipment. Its proprietary system is engineered to reduce ongoing utility expenses and lower greenhouse gas emissions for grocers and big box retailers. Its team is from The University of Texas at Austin.

The five student-led startups selected as finalists pitched at the Rice Alliance Energy Venture Day and Pitch Competition hosted by TEX-E, Rice Alliance, and the Houston Energy Transition Initiative (HETI) during CERAWeek in Houston, TX.