Events Overview

For 20+ years the Rice Alliance has been hosting premier events that convene entrepreneurs, investors, thought leaders and the community. These events are designed to effectively build networks, raise awareness for new startups and tech and drive action toward commercializing and growing solutions to our world's most pressing challenges. Through pitch opportunities, curated networking and top speakers, our events help capitalize ideas. Through various programs and events, we provide curriculum, support and connections for the entrepreneurial community.

People speaking on a panel

Network and Learn Through Curated Events

Through our expansive network, all of our events are curated to highlight and bring together the top startups and ventures for growth opportunities with investors, corporations and the broader community. We primarily focus on the Energy, Life Science and Digital industries, but many of our events are industry agnostic and serve the broader startup ecosystem. More than 53,000 individuals have attended Rice Alliance events, to hear from 2,800+ startups and hundreds of speakers.

Get your business cards ready and join us for our next event!

Venture Forums and Conferences

Our two forums are the premier venture capital conferences in our region for energy and life science respectively. Forums feature pitches from top startups and ventures, curated office hours (one-on-one meetings between investors and startups), speakers and programming and robust networking. There are opportunities for startups, investors, service providers and really anyone with an entrepreneurial mindset to get involved with the event. You won’t want to miss out on these two gatherings.

  • The premier energy tech venture capital conference to connect energy innovators, investors, corporations and the energy ecosystem—both traditional and renewable. 

    This event is an opportunity to learn about the latest emerging technologies, meet investors to seek funding, see promising companies, hear about investment opportunities, meet individuals from the energy industry, as well network with entrepreneurs, researchers, investment professional and business executives. 

    Register for the 19th Annual Energy Tech Venture Forum on January 27, 2022. 

  • Co-hosted with BioHouston, the Texas Life Science Forum is the premier life science event in Texas that brings together members from industry, emerging life science companies, academic, and investors.

    Register for the 10th Annual conference on February 24, 2022 on campus at Rice University to hear our keynote Dr. Stephen Hahn. 

  • Houston's premier venture capital conference and pitch competition, launched in 2021 by HX Venture Fund and co-hosted by the Houston Angel Network and Rice Alliance. Read more about Venture Houston

Pitch Events

Choose from several events to pitch your startup or venture to our network of investors. There are opportunities for student startups and later-stage ventures looking to scale or raise B or C rounds.

Through partnerships, we offer opportunities to be featured at OTC, CERAWeek and SPE ATCE, along with our flagship student startup event—the Rice Business Plan Competition, the world's largest and richest student startup competition.

  • A fast-pitch event that features pitches from 10+ energy ventures, followed by Q&A from industry leaders. Four companies are announced “Most Promising Companies” voted on by the audience. OTC is where energy professionals meet to exchange ideas and opinions to advance scientific and technical knowledge for offshore resources and environmental matters.

    Read more about the event

  • Rice Alliance is a partner to SPE to host the Startup Competition at the Startup Village, part of the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition. The event features pitches, mentorship and prizes for promising energy startups. Read more about the event

  • A fast-pitch event that features pitches from 10+ primarily clean or energy transition ventures at CERA Week. followed by Q&A from industry leaders. The majority of these companies have initial funding, validated technology, field trial experience, and/or initial company revenue. Read more about the event.

  • Started in 2018 at the Rice Alliance, First Pitch is an opportunity for Rice University startups to quickly promote their startup, business idea, technology innovation or research application in front of the Rice entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

    Learn more about the event

  • The World’s Richest and Largest student startup competition, awarding more than $21.8 million in prizes since 2001. Over 237 past competitors are in business today or successfully exited having raised nearly $2.675 billion in capital and and over $1.23 billion in exit dollars.

    Learn more about RBPC.

  • VCIC is the world’s largest venture capital competition among top MBA students from 70+ prestigious business schools. During the competition, students are acting as venture capitalists: evaluating real start-ups, interacting with entrepreneurs and preparing term sheets. In the meanwhile, judges (real venture capitalists!) are assessing the students’ performances. Learn more about VCIC.

Demo Days

At the conclusion of the Rice University OwlSpark Accelerator and the Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator, you can meet the promising startups at their respective demo days. Please join us to show your support for these growing companies.

  • Celebrates the launch of the newest startups from Rice University’s OwlSpark and University of Houston’s RED Labs after completing the collaborative summer accelerator.

    Learn more about the event.

  • The culmination of the Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator, Demo day is an opportunity to celebrate the inaugural class of the accelerator, learn more about their solutions and connect with them for potential partnerships, dealflow and collaboration. 

    Learn more about the event.

OwlSpark - Bayou Startup Showcase

Find deeper support in one of our programs

In addition to our events that can quickly connect you to a new network, we have multiple programs to provide more dedicated, longer-term support for startups and our community to capitalize your ideas.