Riata Business Plan Competition
awards over $43,000 in prize money

by Terry Tush 
(April 23, 2012 at 2:13 pm)

MesoBio was awarded a $25,000 check after winning first place in the Fourth Annual Riata Business Plan Competition. Michael Morris, second from left, head of OSU School of Entrepreneurship, presents the check to MesoBio team members Jose Fulgencio, Jamie Solberg and Xiao Xiao. Shoaib Shaikh, the fourth member of MesoBio, is not pictured.

The Fourth Annual Riata Business Plan Competition awarded more than $43,000 in prize money on Saturday to help winning student teams finance their plans and turn them into viable business ventures.

MesoBio, a business providing highly differentiated miRNA vectors to facilitate researchers’ development of therapeutics for diseases, received top honors and the $25,000 for capturing first place. MesoBio team members are OSU students Jamie Solberg, Jose Fulgencio, Xiao Xiao and Shoaib Shaikh.

The Riata Center for Entrepreneurship in Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business launched the campus-wide competition in December with 90 teams of OSU students competing. The top 16 teams presented business plans to a group of successful venture investors from Oklahoma, New York, Chicago, Texas and Washington, D.C., on Friday, April 20, and four teams were selected to advance to Saturday’s finals.

Teams were critiqued on the strength of their concept, the marketability of their product, the economic feasibility of their company, their planned business operations, the management of their team, and their capability to receive financing.

The top three winners were:   

First place ($25,000): MesoBio, a business providing highly differentiated miRNA vectors to facilitate researchers’ development of therapeutics for diseases. Team members: Jose Fulgencio, Shoaib Shaikh, Jamie Solberg, and Xiao Xiao.


The MaxQ team included Saravan Kumar Shanmugavelayudam, Venkat Gidda, Balaji Jayakumar, and Jessica Shelton.

Second place ($10,000): MaxQ, LLC, a business that would manufacture cold chain shipping containers that are better insulating, lighter, and more durable than currently available products. Team members: Venkat Gidda, Balaji Jayakumar, Shoaib Shaikh, Saravan Kumar Shanmugavelayudam and Jessica Shelton.

Third place ($5,000): Plasma Bionics, a business that would manufacture sterilization hardware, which uses non-thermal plasma to sterilize reusable items in medical, dental, and veterinary applications. Team members: Clint Miller, Jayalakshmi Nail, Kedar Pai and Roshan Revankar.

Other winners from the Riata Business Plan Competition were:

  • Entrepreneurial Dreamer and Doer: Angela Jordan
  • Anthony Galindo Entrepreneurial Spirit: Rocky Renfro
  • Social Entrepreneur of the Year: Rock Andre
  • Best Technology Venture: PristineCal ( Stacey Brandhorst, Rachel Mui, Jay Omanson, Cory Perkins)
  • Student Entrepreneurs of the Year: Alane Metcalf and Justin Walmer
  • CIE Learning Community Leadership Award: Shiho Yoshizaki
  • Outstanding Entrepreneurial Leadership: Fash Fadaei
  • Award for Academic Excellence in Entrepreneurship: Jamie Solberg and Tyler VanArsdale
  • Master’s of Science in Entrepreneurship Award for Academic Excellence: David Walker
  • Excellence in Entrepreneurship Outstanding Doctoral Student: Blakley Davis
  • Outstanding Entrepreneurial Student Consultant: David Walker
  • Entrepreneurship Club Member of the Year: Lauren Baldwin
  • Entrepreneurial Difference Maker Award: Stacey Brandhorst and Rachel Mui
  • Excellence in Entrepreneurial Service: Melia Olson
  • Outstanding Entrepreneurship Educator: Rubin Pillay
  • Faculty Entrepreneur of the Year: Nathan Richardson
  • Outstanding Entrepreneurship Scholar: Justin Webb
  • Founder’s Award: Ken Eastman
  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Kayvon Olomi
  • Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year: Robert Austin
  • Outstanding Graduate Student: Christina Roberts
  • Graduate Teaching Award: Christopher Pryor
  • CIE Scholar of the Year: Aravind Seshadri
  • E-Club Member of the Year: Lauren Baldwin
  • Spring Jabarra Scholarship in Entrepreneurship: Jonathan Bartlett, Erica Williams, and Christian Schroeder
  • Spring Wiese Scholarship in Entrepreneurship: Benjamin Wolff, Jared Tanksley, and Caleb Neil
  • CIE LLC Outstanding Student Scholarship: Shiho Yoshizaki
  • Fulbright Scholar: Tyler Van Arsdale