Rice Business Plan Competition - +$150,000

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 flagship initiative devoted to the support of entrepreneurship, and the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business. 

In 2014, more than 1200 applications were submitted. More than 170 corporate and private sponsors support the business plan competition. Venture capitalists and other investors from around the country volunteer their time to judge the competition, with the majority of the 275+ judges coming from the investment sector. 155 past competitors have gone on to successfully launch their businesses and are still in business today, raising in excess of $844 million in funding.  

The competition is designed to give collegiate entrepreneurs a real-world experience to fine tune their business plans and elevator pitches to generate funding to successfully commercialize their product. Judges will evaluate the teams as real-world entrepreneurs soliciting start-up 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. 76% of judges surveyed considered investing in a team that presented at the 2014 RBPC or referred a team to a third-party investor.

We provide an unparalleled experience for the participants by designing a diverse program over the course of three-days; with significant time designated for feedback and interaction with the judging panel.

All teams will participate and present on all 3 days

Thursday: Practice Round and Elevator Pitch Competition
Friday: First Round and Feedback Session
Saturday: Semi-Final Round, Challenge Round and Final Round

Highlights of the Competition include:

Real-world opportunities to learn what’s required to successfully launch a new business

Chance to receive mentoring from investors and experienced entrepreneurs
Scheduled opportunities to network with potential venture capitalists and other investors for three days
High caliber of judges, all senior level investors, entrepreneurs and industry leaders
Opportunities to receive individual feedback during 3 separate sessions
2014: $2.9 Million + in prize money was awarded with all teams winning at least one cash award

[Last year's entry information]


Qualification to participate in the RBPC is determined by the criteria outlined in the Executive Summary section and by meeting the deadlines below. 

How to Enter

The RBPC uses the iStart platform to manage applications. To enter, one individual from the team should complete the online enrollment form found at rbpc2015.istart.org. In addition to the iStart Business Setup information, the Application and Executive Summary must be completed no later than Noon CST, Friday, February 27, 2015.

Note: Schools may submit an unlimited number of entries, but typically only 1-2 teams per school will be invited to compete. (Exceptions to this guideline may be made on a case-by-case basis.)   In the case of multiple entries from the same university, RBPC will choose the team(s) to represent that university at the Competition.