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 a 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 on the number of applications per school.
For more information: Visit the website for Rice Business Plan Competition.