42 teams selected to vie for over $1M in prizes at Rice Business Plan Competition

World’s richest and largest student startup competition offers tech startups big prizes

Forty-two teams hailing from some of the world’s top universities will vie for more than $1 million in prizes at the 17th annual Rice Business Plan Competition at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business April 6-8.

For the third year, teams will compete for the $5,000 People’s Choice Competition, sponsored by SoFi, that challenges the spirit of each university. Team members, fellow students, alumni, family and friends can vote for their favorite team via a Facebook survey. To vote, go to www.rbpc.rice.edu, beginning at 5 p.m. March 16.

The teams for this year’s competition were chosen from nearly 400 entrants to compete in four categories: life sciences; information technology/web/mobile; energy/clean technology/sustainability; and other.

The winner will take home a grand prize valued at more than $450,000, including seed funding and the opportunity to ring the closing bell at NASDAQ Marketsite. Judges select the winner based on the company that represents the best investment opportunity.

“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, which hosts the event. “The competition has served as the launch pad for a great number of successful entrepreneurial ventures, and the success rate exceeds the national average.

More than 180 former competitors have gone on to successfully launch their ventures and are still in business today. Past competitors have raised in excess of $1.8 billion in funding and created more than 2,000 new jobs.

“Innovation and entrepreneurship are the driving factors for economic growth in the United States,” Burke said. “We are pleased to do our part to support these young entrepreneurs who are willing to take risks to commercialize technologies that not only drive economic growth, but also lead to advances in health care, energy and other improvements in the lives of all people.”

More than 140 corporate and private sponsors support the business plan competition, which includes 275 judges from the investment sector and awards of more than $1 million in prizes. Top prizes include the $300,000 Investment Grand Prize from The GOOSE Society of Texas, the OWL Investment Prize of $200,000, the $100,000 Cisco Innovation Challenge Prize, the $50,000 U.S. Department of Energy Clean Energy Prize, $50,000 Second Place Prize and the $20,000 NASA Earth/Human Health and Human Performance Innovation Cash Award.

The competition will be in McNair Hall on the Rice campus, 6100 Main St. The awards banquet will be at 6 p.m. April 8 at Marriott Marquis, 1777 Walker St., Houston. The banquet is by invitation only but open to the news media.

2017 Rice Business Plan Competition teams

TEAM NAME                                                            SCHOOL NAME

Alive Home Technologies Pvt. Ltd. IIT Kharagpur
Baby Bloom Columbia University
Droice Labs Columbia University
General Biotechnologies Harvard University
Grox Industries University of Arkansas
Luso Labs Columbia University
MITO Material Solutions Oklahoma State University
NovoThelium The University of Texas at San Antonio
Orthotract Johns Hopkins University
PathVis Purdue University
Perseus Mirrors University of Pennsylvania
Project Starfish Washington University in St. Louis
Resthetics University of Houston
SandBox Semiconductor The University of Texas at Austin
Smart Bandage University of Waterloo
Smart TC Queensland University of Technology
TX2O Texas State University
VasoCorp University of West Georgia
101 Carnegie Mellon University
AIM Tech University of Michigan
Alleviant Medical Rice University
DC ENERGY SYSTEMS Auburn University
Forest Devices, Inc. Carnegie Mellon University
GlauLens Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
HealthTech Solutions (HTS) The University of Iowa
Ingenious Design Technologies Pranveer Singh Institute Of Technology
Intelligent Flying Machines, Inc. Northwestern University
Lilac Solutions Northwestern University
Medical Magnesium RWTH Aachen University
Membrion Inc. University of Washington
Nunami Labs University of Arizona
Okular Technologies Brigham Young University
Panacea Health University of Michigan
Rendever Massachusetts Institute of Technology
RoBotany Ltd. Carnegie Mellon University
STAR The University of Dayton
Swift Coat Arizona State University
TCPoly Georgia Institute of Technology
TraceMatters Rice University
Tri-D Dynamics Purdue University
Twine University of Pennsylvania
Viralchemy Tulane University


For more information on the 2017 Rice Business Plan Competition, visit www.rbpc.rice.edu.

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.