Rice Business Plan Competition

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About Us

ABOUT The Rice Business Plan Competition is the world’s richest and largest graduate-level student startup competition. It is hosted and organized by the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University and the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, Rice University's internationally-recognized initiative devoted to the support of entrepreneurship. This is the 18th 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 million in cash and prizes. OBJECTIVE The competition is designed to give collegiate entrepreneurs a real-world experience to pitch their startups to investors, receive mentoring, network with the entrepreneurial ecosystem, enhance their startup strategy, and learn what it takes to launch a successful startup. 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. In fact, 84% of the 275 judges at the 2017 RBPC said they were considering investing in a team that pitched at the 2017 RBPC or said they referred a team to an investor in their network. Past competitors have received over $20 million from investors they met at the Rice Business Plan Competition. Alumni from the RBPC have raised more than $1.6 billion in funding and have generated more than 25 successful exits, valued at nearly a billion dollars. BENEFIT We provide an intense, immersive experience over the course three days for student startup founders to pitch to investors, receive multiple rounds of feedback and advance their startup. There will be over $1 million in prizes, and all 42 teams who compete at Rice University in Houston are guaranteed to win cash prizes. The minimum cash prize is $500 and the grand prize winner receives a $300,000 investment (typically in the form of a convertible debt note, without geographic restrictions.)

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Our Team

Catherine Santamaria
Director, Rice Business Plan Competition