RaveBio Inc., a biotech equipment startup spun out from the Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering (MAE) Department, beat out over 140 teams at UF’s Big Ideas business plan competition last week, winning 2nd place and a $10,000 prize. 

RaveBio began in Fall 2022 as a student team in MAE’s EML4502 senior design course. The team was challenged to build a prototype orbital shaker table for UF’s Biofoundry. Team member Nickolas Saavedra realized the design’s market potential and founded a startup company to commercialize the shaker. Now a UF alumnus, Saavedra organized RaveBio Inc. as founding CEO and approached Dr. Matthew J. Traum, his senior design instructor, to embed the company with a team in the Capstone course. Dr. Traum, an MAE associate instructional professor, is a serial entrepreneur. He worked with Saavedra to build a student team to turn RaveBio’s prototype into a commercial product. 


Nickolas Saavedra (lead), Antonella Cipriani, Alejandro Navarrete, Drew Latta, William O’Bryan, Jeremy Rutenberg, Tessa Sun, Kyle Verlangieri


Dr. Matt Traum


The key innovation of the company’s flagship product, the Rave Shaker, is the ability for a single table to produce linear, orbital, and double orbital shake patterns in one device. Normally, biological research laboratories must buy three unique shakers to get all three patterns. Moreover, RaveBio’s shaker redesign enabled integration of programmable features and ability to connect wirelessly, both firsts in this industry.