A medical innovation company founded by a team of University of Utah students won big — to the tune of $153,000 — at the prestigious Rice University Business Plan Competition held April 16-18 in Houston.

Launched by a team of bioengineering and medical students at the University of Utah’s 2012 Bench-2-Bedside competition, Veritas Medical created and is continuing to develop its LIGHT LINE Catheter, which eliminates infection-causing bacteria using high-intensity light. Catheter-related infections are common in hospitals in the U.S. and throughout the world, and the students sought to find a way to eliminate the problem.

“When we first started, we had big plans to change the world,” said Nate Rhodes, a recent bioengineering graduate and CEO of Veritas Medical. “It started out as a learning activity, and we ended up loving the process. We knew we had a really great idea, but we had never done anything like this before, and we weren’t sure how far we would actually get.”

At this point? Pretty darn far.

Veritas Medical took home a competition-best eight awards and finished in fourth place overall at the Rice University contest, which featured teams from many of the world’s top universities including Johns Hopkins, Harvard and Stanford. After repeated trips to the stage to collect prizes, the crowd took notice of the group from Salt Lake City.

Read the full press release in the U News Center.