Deadline: January 27, 2020
Applications for the Rice Business Plan Competition 2020 are now open. The Rice Business Plan Competition is the world’s richest and largest graduate-level 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 collegiate entrepreneurs a real-world experience to pitch their startups to investors, receive mentoring, network with the entrepreneurial ecosystem, enhance their startup strategy, and learn what it takes to launch a successful startup.
Judges will evaluate the teams as real-world entrepreneurs soliciting startup 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. In fact, over 75% of the 275 judges at the 2019 RBPC said they were considering investing in a team they saw pitch or met, or said they referred a team to an investor in their network.
Sectors Startups should fall into one of four categories or sectors:
- Energy/Clean Technology (including but not limited to): Sustainability, Water, Battery Technologies, Control Systems, Smart Metering, PV Technology, Natural Gas, Transportation/Mobility, Oil & Gas Technologies, Algae, Fuel Cells, Hybrid Vehicles
- Tech (including but not limited to): Mobile Apps/Software, Digital Media, Consumer Web, B2B Applications, Enterprise Software, SAAS, Web, Virtual Reality, Big Data, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Drones, Hardware, Robotics, Unmanned Vehicles, Internet, IoT
- Life Sciences (including but not limited to): Medical Devices, Diagnostics, Digital Health, Health IT, Biotech, Therapeutics
- Other Innovations (including but not limited to): Advanced Materials, Composites, Nanotechnology, Consumer, Other Technology
- They provide an intense, immersive experience over the course three days for student startup founders to pitch to investors, receive multiple rounds of feedback and advance their startup.
- There will be over $1.5 million in prizes, and all 42 teams who compete at Rice University in Houston are guaranteed to win cash prizes. Currently, the minimum cash prize is $500 and the grand prize winner receives a $350,000 investment (typically in the form of a convertible debt note, without geographic restrictions.)
You are eligible for the competition if your startup:
- is student-driven, student-created and/or student-managed
- has at least two current student founders or management team members, and at least one of those is a current graduate degree-seeking student
- falls into the sector categories of Energy/Cleantech/Sustainability, Life Science/Digital Health/Medical Devices, Tech/Digital/IoT, Other Innovations
- has not raised more than $250,000 in equity capital prior to July 1, 2019
- is seeking funding and is a potentially viable investment opportunity
One member of your startup, the designated leader, should complete the simple online application. The application consists of an answering a short survey, attaching an Executive Summary (maximum 5 pages), and an optional Video Elevator Pitch (maximum 2 minutes).
Multiple student startup teams from the same school, institution or university center may apply to compete. There is no limit to the number of applications per school.
For more information, visit the Rice Business Plan Competition.