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Texas State team captures grand prize in business plan competition

By Matt Flores
University News Service
June 30, 2014

SioTeX, a company formed by an interdisciplinary team of Texas State University graduate students, has won the $10,000 grand prize at the 2014 American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute Business Plan Competition.

The competition, held on June 18 in Bethesda, Md., focused on sustainability-oriented entrepreneurship. Teams were evaluated on their business plans, presentations and social media activities. SioTex produces and distributes an environmentally friendly product called Eco-Sil™, which is manufactured from rice hulls and can be used in the production of paints, plastics and tires.

The company was formed in December 2013 and is built around advancing a technology developed by Haoran Chen, who recently became the first Ph.D. graduate in Texas State’s Materials Science, Engineering and Commercialization (MSEC) program. Other team members include Marcus Goss (MSEC student), Ash Kotwal (MSEC student), Lisa Taylor (MBA student) and Cesar Rivera MFA student). The team is led by CEO George Steinke, an entrepreneur and strategic manager.

It was the second major competition for the group in which it captured a top prize. In April, the SioTeX team won the $125,000 Texas Halo Fund Investment Prize during the 14th Annual Rice Business Plan Competition.

For more information, contact Gary Beall at (512) 245-8796 or at