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Baylor Students Place First in World's Largest Business Plan Competition

April 21, 2010

By Chad Shanks

Graduate students from Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business placed first in the "Shark Tank" round of the 2010 Rice Business Plan Competition April 17 at Rice University in Houston. The award was accompanied by a $1,000 prize.

A team of Baylor students presented their business plan for Whole Tree, Inc., a patent-protected technology that utilizes coir fiber that can be "harvested" from discarded coconut husks to create non-woven fabric composites for a myriad of industries, replacing oil-based, synthetic fiber. This composite is greener, cheaper, has better properties and is currently being evaluated by three major automobile companies and tier-one suppliers.

The Rice Business Plan Competition is the largest and richest business plan competition, with more than $900,000 in total confirmed prizes. Baylor was one of 42 graduate teams that competed after being selected from 425 applicants - the most the competition has ever received.

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