The Rice Business Plan Competition is the world’s richest and largest student startup competition. It is hosted and organized by the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, which is Rice University’s internationally – recognized initiative devoted to the support of entrepreneurship, and the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business.
The competition is designed to give student entrepreneurs a real-world experience to fine tune their business plans and elevator pitches to generate funding to successfully commercialize their product. Judges will evaluate the teams as real-world entrepreneurs soliciting start-up funds from early stage investors and venture capital firms. The judges are asked to rank the presentations based on which company they would most likely invest. 76% of judges surveyed considered investing in a team that presented at the 2016 RBPC or referred a team to a third-party investor.
This is the 17th year for the competition. In the years of its existence, it has grown from nine teams competing for $10,000 in prize money in 2001, to 42 teams from around the world competing for more than $1.5m in cash and prizes. Startups that participate in this competition have gone on to raise more than $1.8b in capital and also exit funds.
The competition is open to student startups from any country in energy and clean tech, life science, biotech and IT. The winners will be provided access to mentoring and training from experienced investors and entrepreneurs; also opportunities to network and also over $1.5million in cash prizes.
Each team MUST have at least one member that is currently a student, while postgraduate students or those in certificate programs will not be accepted. 42 teams from all over the world will be selected to compete against each other at pitching events in April.
Applications close on February 10, 2017.
All teams will participate and present on all three days
- Thursday: Practice Round and Elevator Pitch Competition
- Friday: First Round and Feedback Session
- Saturday: Semi-Final Round, Challenge Round and Final Round
Highlights of the Competition include:
- Real-world opportunities to learn what’s required to successfully launch a new business
- Chance to receive mentoring from investors and experienced entrepreneurs
- Scheduled opportunities to network with potential venture capitalists and other investors for three days
- High caliber of judges, all senior level investors, entrepreneurs and industry leaders
- Opportunities to receive individual feedback during three separate sessions
- 2016: $1.7 Million + in prize money was awarded with all teams winning at least one cash award
The deadline for the competition is on February 10th, 2017.