The TEX-E Prize
The TEX-E Prize 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 receive a total of $50,000 in cash prizes to advance their ventures.
The TEX-E Prize is an initiative of the Texas Entrepreneurship Exchange for Energy (TEX-E), a first-of-a-kind collaboration The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, University of Houston, Rice University, and Prairie View A&M University—powered by Greentown Labs and MIT’s Martin Trust Center for Entrepreneurship. TEX-E aims to create a powerful student-driven entrepreneurship ecosystem in and around Houston, focused on energy innovation and implementing lessons learned from building a successful ecosystem in the Greater Boston area.
The finalists pitched at the HETI Energy Ventures Pitch Day during CERAWeek 2023.
Second place: $15,000
FluxWorks is developing a licensed contact- and lubrication-free magnetic gear that can last the entire lifetime of a utility-scale wind turbine and lower the cost of energy by 20 percent, eliminating the costly need to replace gearboxes every seven years. Its co-founders are Bryon Praslicka, Daniel Zamarron, and Craig Newman from Texas A&M University.
Third place: $10,000
Tierra Climate is a two-sided marketplace that offers sustainability-minded corporations carbon offsets linked to new-build energy storage, whereby corporate buyers compensate energy storage facilities for carbon “as-abated.” Its co-founders are Emma Konet and Jacob Mansfield from Rice University.
TEX-E Prize Finalists
Gazelle Ecosolutions works with ranchers to restore ecologically vulnerable grasslands while accelerating nature-based carbon capture. Its co-founders are Amod Caherkar, Mihir Bendre, Siddarth Takur, and Thoralf Meyer from the University of Texas at Austin.
Pike Robotics provides a robotic in-service inspection solution for petrochemical storage tanks, removing humans from hazardous environments, reducing operating expenses, and improving accuracy of the results to reduce a large source of greenhouse gas emissions. Its co-founders are Connor Crawford, Cameron Templeton, Frank Regal, Mitch Pryor, and Zach Jurecek from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Houston.