Indian-American student from University of Texas develops safer allergy test, wins US$15,000

Samir Rahi, along with his team-mate Benjamin Rubanov, has won US$15,000 at an innovative and entrepreneurial skills competition for developing a safer and more effective allergy skin test.

From left: Sanjay Kurani, Abinav Kalidindi and Kiran Achanta of Team Unibees; Jeremy Vickers, executive director of the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Benjamin Rubanov and Samir Rahi of Team Skin Aware; and Tom Hauser and Brandon Burgess of Team Geekstyr at the 2016 UT Dallas Business Idea Competition. Photo courtesy:


The Indian-American first-year student at the University of Texas and his team-mate took home the first prize at the UT Dallas Business Idea Competition finals for their business concept ‘Skin Aware.’

The annual competition was held at Naveen Jindal School of Management.

Skin Aware detects allergic reactions using much smaller doses of allergens than other tests currently on the market, according to a release.

The idea was conceived after Rubanov watched his younger brother suffer from anaphylactic shock while undergoing an allergy skin test. He was then determined to develop a safer, more effective test.

Second place in the competition went to Unibees, an app that has been used by UT Dallas students for the past few months to find free food at campus events. The app has been developed by Abinav Varma Kalidindi, Sanjay Kurani and Chandra Kiran Achanta who were awarded US$5,000 for their efforts.