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 4 years in a row by Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine - Rice Business
2023 Rice Business Plan Competition
On the edge of the future: May 11-13, 2023
The competition, now in its 23rd year, gives collegiate entrepreneurs real-world experience to pitch their startups, enhance their business strategy and learn what it takes to launch a successful company. 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 Rice Business.
The public is welcome to attend the Elevator Pitch Competition on May 11th or the Final Round on May 13: Both will also me livestreamed to our YouTube.
Class 11 and Class 2 of OwlSpark and BlueLaunch Venture Accelerators
17 ventures are participating in the two summer accelerators for Rice University students, faculty, recent alumni and staff, the largest number of ventures in the 11-year history of these programs.
This year’s startups represent 37 universities from six countries and were chosen from a competitive applicant pool. With a goal of not only competing for cash but also understanding what it takes to secure investment, raise awareness and launch a successful venture, these graduate students will pitch their companies through four rounds and three days of competition in hopes of taking home the grand prize.
- Venture Programs
- Accelerators and Workshops
- Rice Business Plan Competition
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. The newest accelerator, BlueLaunch is Rice University small business accelerator and delivers hands-on training and mentoring designed to help scale small ventures. 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. More than 826 teams have competed since 2001 and raised $4.6 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.