Rice Business Plan Competition
June 20, 2020
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 internationally-recognized initiative devoted to the support of entrepreneurship, and the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business. This is the 17th year for the competition. In that time, it has grown from nine teams competing for $10,000 in prize money in 2001, to 42 teams from around the world competing for more than $1.5 million in cash and prizes.
The 2020 Rice Business Plan Competition has been tentatively rescheduled from March 26-28, 2020 to June 18-20, 2020. All competing startups, academic advisors, judges, volunteers and attendees have been contacted. The 2020 Rice Business Plan Competition is going VIRTUAL.
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 internationally-recognized initiative devoted to the support of entrepreneurship, and the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business.
2020 will be the 20th year for the competition! In that time, it has grown from nine teams competing for $10,000 in prize money in 2001, to 42 teams from around the world competing for more than $1.5 million in cash and prizes. 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.
2019 competition stats
- Roughly 400 applications submitted for 42 slots
- More than 180 corporate and private sponsors
- Close to 300 judges: local and national angel investors, venture capitalists, corporate venture reps, sector specialists
- 197 past competitors have gone on to successfully launch their businesses and are still in business today, with 32 having successful exits
- RBPC past competitors have raised in excess of $2.3 billion in funding.
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.
Team 2-5 members.
General Evaluation Criteria
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. 87% of judges surveyed considered investing in a team that presented at the 2019 RBPC or referred a team to a third-party investor.
Highlights of the Competition include:
- Real-world opportunities to learn what’s required to successfully launch a new business
- Mentoring from investors and experienced entrepreneurs
- Networking with potential venture capitalists and other investors for three days
- High-caliber, experienced judges, the majority of whom are senior level investors, entrepreneurs and industry leaders
- Personalized, individual feedback during three separate sessions as well as on your written business plan before the competition
- 2019: $2.9 Million + in prize money was awarded and pledged with all teams winning at least one cash award
The goal of the RBPC is to provide the best overall educational and entrepreneurial experience of any business plan/new venture competition and we were very gratified by the feedback we have received from past competitors and judges.
The startups competing at Rice must include at least two degree-seeking students:
- One of these students must be a current or recently-graduated graduate-level student. This includes MBA, PhD, MD (up to but not including residency), JD, and Master’s candidates.
- The other student may be a current or recently–graduated graduate-level student, or current or recently-graduated undergraduate-level student.
- “Current” means currently seeking a degree, enrolled on a full- or part-time basis (i.e., in the academic year from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2019).
- “Recently graduated” means students who will graduate any time after September 1, 2019. (For example, December 2019 graduates are eligible to compete).
- Teams may be comprised of students from different schools Up to 4 team members will be allowed to compete and present at the RBPC. All of those 4 team members must be current or recently-graduated students, and at least one of those students needs to be a graduate degree-seeking student.
- At least 2 team members must present in every round on Friday and Saturday, with at least 2 of those members meeting the student requirements above, including one of them being a graduate degreeseeking student.
- The exception is the Elevator Pitch Competition on Thursday night; only one student in the startup will present then.
Not eligible: Students who graduated before September 1, 2019
Not eligible: Startups that have competed in prior Rice Business Plan Competitions
Not eligible: teams or technologies that previously presented or competed in the RBPC