Rice University Business Plan Graduate-Level Student Startup Competition 2018 ($1.5 million in Cash and Prizes)

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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 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 2016 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
  • 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 three separate sessions
  • 2016: $1.7 Million + in prize money was awarded 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.


  • RBC Provides an intense, immersive experience over the course three day for students startup founders to pitch investors, receive multiple rounds of feedback and advance their startups
  • There will be over $1 million in prizes, and all 42 teams who compete at Rice University in Houston are guaranteed to win cash prize.
  • The minimum cash price is $500 and grand winner receive $300,000  investment (Typically in form of a convertible debt note, without geographic restrictions )

Application Deadline: February 9, 2018

Application Link

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