HOUSTON – (Dec. 9, 2016) – Applications opened today for the 17th annual Rice Business Plan Competition at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business April 6-8. Graduate students with a business plan for a new startup company are encouraged to apply to compete.
Forty-two teams from the world’s top universities will be selected from the applicants to vie for more than $1.5 million in prizes.
Deadline for applications is 5 p.m. CST Feb. 10. Students will need to submit a three-page executive summary and one-minute video pitch through the competition’s website, http://rbpc.rice.edu. This year, all teams who apply will receive feedback on their startup from the competition’s Review and Selection Committee, comprising select members of the judging panel.
More than 750 teams are expected to apply to compete in four categories: life sciences; information technology/Web/mobile; energy/clean technology; and tech innovation. A cohort of more than 300 judges will select the winner based on the company that represents the best investment opportunity.
Cisco is again offering the Cisco Innovation Challenge prize. The $100,000 challenge aims to recognize entrepreneurs that promote and accelerate the adoption of breakthrough technologies, products and services that capture the value of technological innovation to benefit society. Cisco seeks to empower a generation of global problem-solvers especially in the areas of connectivity, health care, the environment, critical human needs, education, and connected/smart solutions (for example, smart home, smart city, smart energy, connected transportation and wearables). Special consideration will be given to businesses that capture this value while simultaneously benefiting society and/or the environment.
Other top prizes include the $300,000 Investment Grand Prize from The GOOSE Society of Texas, the OWL Investment Prize which totaled $280,000 in 2016, the $50,000 U.S. Department of Energy Clean Energy Prize, and specific prizes for the best women’s health innovation, top energy team, top IT team, and for the top team led by women. The 2017 grand prize winner will ring the closing bell at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York City.
More than 163 former competitors have successfully launched their ventures and are still in business today, and another 15 have successfully sold their ventures. Past competitors have raised over $1.9 billion in capital and exit dollars and created more than 3,000 new jobs.
“The true measure of success for the Rice Business Plan Competition is the number of teams that launch, raise funding and go on to succeed in their business,” said Brad Burke, managing director of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship at Rice University, which hosts the event. “The competition has served as the launch pad for a great number of successful entrepreneurial ventures, and the success rate exceeds the national average.”