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Higher Education
Apply now for Rice Business Plan Competition
News Release
Wednesday, January 16, 2019

World’s richest and largest student startup competition adds more prizes

 

HOUSTON – The world’s richest and largest startup business competition is now open for applications from students around the globe.

 

Graduate students with startup ventures are encouraged to apply for the 19th annual Rice Business Plan Competition (RBPC) April 4-6 at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business. Winners will be rewarded with prizes expected to exceed $1.5 million.

 

The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. CST Feb. 10. Students will need to answer a short questionnaire, submit an executive summary and an optional one-minute video pitch through the competition’s website, http://rbpc.rice.edu.

 

The annual competition, which attracts students from the world’s top universities, is expected to draw more than 500 teams in 2019. All applications will be reviewed by a committee comprising select members of the entrepreneurship and investment community. The field of finalists will be narrowed to 42 teams, and a cohort of 275 judges will decide which company represents the best investment opportunity.

 

New for this year: The RBPC has a custom-designed application, judging and scoring system. Developed and managed by Poetic, a Houston-based business technology solutions firm, the new platform will allow the RBPC to be more flexible and innovative than ever before.

 

The winner of the grand prize will ring the closing bell at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York.

 

More than 200 former competitors have successfully launched their ventures and are still in business today, including 25 startups that have been acquired. Past competitors have raised over $1.9 billion in capital 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 far exceeds the national average.”

 

The startup teams will compete in four categories: life sciences/medical devices/digital health; digital/information technology/mobile; energy/clean technology/sustainability; and other innovations. investment opportunity.

 

Top prizes in 2019 are expected to be similar to last year, including the $300,000 Investment Grand Prize from The GOOSE Society of Texas; the OWL Investment Prizes, which totaled $300,000 in 2018; the $125,000 Houston Angel Network (HAN) Investment Prize; and the $50,000 NASA Space Exploration Innovation Awards.

 

Cisco is again offering the largest cash prize at the competition. The $100,000 Cisco Global Problem Solver prize aims to recognize entrepreneurs who promote and accelerate the adoption of breakthrough technologies, products and services that capture the value of technological innovation to society. Special consideration will be given to businesses that also benefit the environment.

 

The second-place investment prize has increased to $125,000 in 2019. Finger Interests, Anderson Family Fund and Greg Novak of Novak Druce have contributed to the prize.

 

A new prize this year is the $50,000 Pediatric Device Prize. The RBPC is partnering with the Southwest National Pediatric Device Consortium at Texas Children’s Hospital/Baylor College of Medicine to offer this award to support the advancement and commercialization of novel pediatric medical devices. Eligible devices must be FDA-regulated with a pediatric indication (0-21 years of age).

 

Station Houston offered a $50,000 investment prize and two Engine of Innovation prizes offering last year’s top winners an opportunity to join Station Houston.

 

A goal of the RBPC competition is to encourage more women to create venture-fundable, technology-based startups, and nCourage Entrepreneurs Investment Group, a group of successful women angel investors, will provide an investment prize to the top startup with female founders. Last year, the group offered two prizes that totaled $100,000.

 

Sandi Heysinger and Dick Williams have supported a Women’s Health and Wellness prize since 2015, and in 2018 they awarded $65,000 in prizes for a plan or plans that best further the cause of specialized diagnosis, treatments or other innovations that let women lead longer, healthier and more satisfying lives.

 

The Texas Medical Center Accelerator, TMCx, offered two investment prizes totaling $50,000, plus a guaranteed spot in their accelerator, while the Texas Business Hall of Fame provided a $25,000 cash prize to the top finishing team from Texas. Pearland Economic Development Corporation offered a $20,000 cash prize.

 

For more information on the 2019 Rice Business Plan Competition and application information, visit http://rbpc.rice.edu.




Remembering Jim Guidry M3 Global Medical Missions


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