Connecting startups to capital, networks and success
A catalyst for entrepreneurship at Rice University and beyond
The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship (Rice Alliance) is Rice University’s nationally-recognized initiative devoted to the support of technology commercialization, entrepreneurship education, and the launch of technology companies. Our mission is to support the creation and success of startups and the commercialization of new technologies in the Houston community and beyond.
20+ Years of Startup Support
Companies have participated in our programs
In funding raised by participating companies
Graduate Entrepreneurship Program 5 years in a row by Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine - Rice Business
- Venture Programs
- Accelerators and Workshops
- Rice Business Plan Competition
- The Ion
The Rice Alliance hosts both large-scale and more intimate events to bring together investors, corporations, startups and technology ventures for deal-flow, networking and discussions. These programs incorporate company pitches, private investor dinners and personalized one-on-one investor/startup office hours. Our goal is to be a facilitator to quickly accelerate the growth and adoption of promising tech ventures. Since launch, our energy venture programs have included ventures raising $7.8 billion in funding—and our life science programs saw companies that raised more than $8.9 billion in funding, including 387 successful companies with 67 exits.
Accelerators and Workshops
Through top-tier curriculum and intentional mentorship, the Rice Alliance hosts multiple programs to quickly accelerate startups, from idea-stage to later-stage companies. IdeaLaunch is a learn-by-doing startup bootcamp designed for thinkers and doers to solve problems and turn ideas into potential businesses. OwlSpark is Rice University's tech startup accelerator, founded in 2012, and provides hands-on startup experiences and a roadmap from innovation to commercialization for tech startups. In 2022, an additional track of this accelerator launched (formerly called BlueLaunch) and provides tailored support to small businesses regardless of industry. The Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator, founded in 2021, increases the likelihood of success for early-stage global startups advancing solutions for a cleaner, more efficient and sustainable future.
Rice Business Plan Competition
The world's largest and richest intercollegiate student startup competition, the Rice Business Plan Competition offers an educational program mirroring real-world experience through this multi-day event for student startups from across the world. Student founders pitch to investors, receive feedback and advance their startup. Since 2001, teams have raised more than $5.5 billion in funding.
A membership to the Rice Alliance secures your ability to have access to exciting new businesses and technologies in the areas of life science, energy and clean technology, and information technology. This is an opportunity to show your support of our community of entrepreneurs and network with investors, entrepreneurs, business leaders and leading researchers.
Located in Ion District, the namesake building is the transformative centerpiece of Houston’s innovation corridor. Designed to bring our city’s entrepreneurial, corporate, and academic communities into collaborative spaces and programs, the sunlit structure of steel and glass is a home for advancing diverse knowledge, teams, technologies, and products that propel our world forward.
From Fortune 500s seeking flexible office space to first-time startups looking for the funding to design a prototype, the Ion provides wide-reaching space and support to connect every What if with What now?—welcoming individuals and teams of all kinds to a place to build a better way.
Under the leadership of Rice's Office of Innovation, the Rice Alliance powers programming at the Ion Houston. Want to host an event, check out info on space rental.