Spring 2020 Cohort

Founders Dinners

Lilie is pleased to announce the launch of Founders Dinners, a once-a-month Rice student entrepreneur dinner.

Founders Dinners are an opportunity for entrepreneurially-minded Rice University students to build a network of peers and a community of support.  Students will come together once a month over dinner for an honest conversation about the challenges and victories you are experiencing.

The dinner will be facilitated by a professor who brings deep practical experience as well as academic knowledge.  While the dinners will have some structure, this truly is a low-stress opportunity for you to engage with others who share your passion for changing the world through entrepreneurship.

Given the intimate nature of the conversations, admission is by application only.

Spring 2020 Cohort Dates (Tuesdays):

Tuesday, January 28th
Tuesday, February 25th
Tuesday, April 7th

Spring 2020 Cohort

Ananda Nandigam

Preventing Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia (VAP)

In the ICU, VAP is caused by the leakage of microbes along the Endotracheal Tube, past the cuff, and into the patient's lungs. Simply, my idea is to modify the Endotracheal Tube by adding a bowl-like vessel superior to the cuff to suction the microbes before they reach the lungs.

Andrew White


A440 is a content distribution platform for classical music that helps audiences and artists cut through the noise of social media to focus on the content that matters

Caroline Yuki Yang

Bold Millionaire

BoldMillionaire empowers women to build their wealth engine early. The platform provides finance and investing education to women to build money and investing confidence. The customer discovery phase is complete. Building out the product and will be prototyping and testing.

Christine Dobbyn

Christine's Closet

Valet style storage for your wardrobe

Daniel Peterson

Mameluke Holdings

Acquire a business that is in the coating industry or manufacturing. Expand my current logistics company to incorporate a digital footprint.

Darren Corapcioglu


To help improve the shopping experience for college students living in the dormitory

Dee Kimata

Jikoni (Kitchen in Swahili)

Jikoni is a restaurant and urban winery that shares Kenyan culture by incorporating traditional flavors into urbanized entrees. Jikoni will familiarize the (Houston) community with contemporary Kenyan staple dishes in a style that is welcoming. The colorful experience will engage customers both from a visual and culinary standpoint.

Josh McNary

The Thrive Network

It's a democratized Pelaton for specialized sports training. More specifically, an online marketplace that hosts former professional kickers, punter, and long snappers as coaches, and allows aspiring athletes to book online, private lessons conducted through an HD video-chat function. The Thrive Network combines the market place function of UpWork, with the live virtual sessions like Pelaton, with a wide range of vetted, elite, freelance coaches.

Julia Shi


Vrack is a long-range tracking device that will allow people to know where their vehicles are. Part of the New Entrepreneurs Grant program.

Kunal Rai

Simply Stocks

An app that significantly reduces the knowledge barrier of entry for investing earnings and savings in an effective manner. AKA a financial advisor in your pocket.

Qianwen "Coco" Ma

Azuco Jewelry

Affordable fine jewelry eCommerce with gift recommendation function to provide the ultimate online jewelry shopping experience.

Samuel Spitz


filtur is an online community hub that connects university students and graduates to others from their universities to form lasting bonds.

Stephanie Goldsby

Urban Craftsman

Residential construction and development

Sukul Mittal

Mentor, Inspire, Develop, Nurture (MIND Foundation)

MIND is a non-profit foundation with the goal to offer free after-school enrichment programs to students whose schools do not have the resources to provide after-school programs. Programs include after-school tutoring, art classes, music programs, and mentor programs. We strive to bring awareness to the lack of access to enrichment programs for students. We will fulfill our goals by partnering with local schools to offer our services.

Tyler Melton

Circinus Medical

Early-stage medical device start-up based in the Houston Medical Center