Notre Dame Undergrad Team Takes Second Place at the Rice Business Plan Competition

Author: Nick Swisher

Resonado 2019 2 Resonado's co-founders, from left to right: Peter Moeckel ('20), Christian Femrite ('19), Brian Cho ('19) and Erikc Pérez-Pérez ('19)

Resonado, an Innovation Park-based startup founded by University of Notre Dame undergraduates, placed second in the prestigious Rice Business Plan Competition on April 6, earning more than $425,000. 

The 19-year-old competition, with 42 teams from around the globe and $2.9 million in cash and prizes, is the largest and richest in the world. 

Resonado, which aims to redefine the shape of sound with its patented Flat Core Speaker Technology. won the $300,000 GOOSE Society Investment Prize and the $125,000 Finger Interests, Anderson Family Fund, Greg Novak and Tracy Druce Second-Place Investment Prize.

Resonado, which competed in the 2018 McCloskey Competition, and will compete again this year, was founded by CEO Brian Cho, a senior majoring in finance and applied mathematics; Erikc Pérez-Pérez, a senior majoring in business marketing; Christian Femrite, a senior majoring in electrical engineering; and Peter Moeckel, a junior majoring in finance and economics.

Cho helped his father, L.H. Cho, a serial entrepreneur in Korea and Resonado’s chief technology officer, invent a thinner, lighter speaker, the disruptive technology now called Flat Core Speaker technology. It uses two bar magnets and a flat voice coil, rather than the widely-used but 140-year-old design of a voice coil wound around a cylindrical magnet, to generate sound production. 

Resonado claims that the lighter, more efficient speaker provides superior sound and that its flexible design makes it especially attractive to a host of manufacturers of TVs, cars, boats, RVS, airplanes, cellphones, laptops, tablets, navigation, wearables and home theaters, among others. The speakers can also serve public announcement systems, concert halls, homes, apartments and karaoke bars. 

In the final round of the Rice competition, 300 judges from the investment sector judged seven companies. Vita Inclinata Technologies from Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minn., took the top prize.