A team from Texas A&M University won the Rice Business Plan Competition (RBPC) last weekend, as well as the grand prize in the Elevator Pitch Competition for their startup, Fluxworks. Dr. Brighton Praslicka ’19, electrical engineering alumnus and CEO of FluxWorks, and Mary Beth Graham, master’s student and Chief Strategy Officer of FluxWorks Educational Human Resource Development, received $350,000 in total prizes and another $10,000 from the Elevator Pitch competition. . Other finalists competing for the grand prize included Rice University, Brigham Young University, Yale University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.
RBPC is hosted by the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship. The pageant’s website reads that the 2023 pageant is “the world’s largest and richest student-led pageant” with more than $3.5 million in investment and prize money. This international event attracts student startups from around the world to a wealth of industry leaders, investors and mentors. The competition serves as an opportunity for creative startups to present their unique ideas for a chance to win big.
FluxWorks is a developer and manufacturer of magnetic gears and magnetic gear integrated motors. The innovative technology has revolutionized the industry with improved reliability and reduced maintenance costs compared to traditional mechanical gears. According to FluxWorks, magnetic gears, similar to their mechanical counterparts, “excel at converting high-speed, low-torque rotation into high-torque, low-speed rotation.”
Gears are respected for their ability to reduce the size, weight and capital costs of motor-generator systems. But FluxWorks magnetic gears have a distinct advantage because they operate without physical contact, eliminating the need for lubrication. This breakthrough not only reduces associated maintenance requirements, but also addresses reliability issues often encountered with mechanical gears. What’s more, magnetic gears have a remarkable ability to withstand overloads, greatly reducing the risk of failure.
Magnetic gears developed by FluxWorks represent a quiet, robust and premium solution. Praslica and Graham gears boast an impressive 99% efficiency and are four times quieter than their mechanical counterparts. With their exceptional reliability, these magnetic gears find applications in many settings such as outer space exploration, underwater operations, and the human body.