Rice Business Plan Competition to announce 2018 teams via Facebook Live March 1


Jeff Falk

Mary Lynn Fernau

Rice Business Plan Competition to announce 2018 teams via Facebook Live March 1
World’s richest and largest student startup competition draws applicants from top universities 

HOUSTON – (Feb. 28, 2018) – The 42 teams that have been invited to participate in the 18th annual Rice Business Plan Competition at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business April 5-7 will be announced via Facebook Live at noon CST March 1. The teams selected to compete for more than $1.5 million in cash and prizes were chosen from nearly 300 applicants of graduate-student teams with a business plan for a new startup company.

Rice Business Dean Peter Rodriguez and Peter Comeaux of Cisco, sponsor of the $100,000 Cisco Global Problem Solver Prize, will make the announcement on the competition’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/2018rbpc.

Students from the world’s top universities submitted an executive summary and an optional one-minute video pitch through the competition’s website, http://rbpc.rice.edu. All applications were reviewed by a committee comprising select members of the entrepreneurship and investment community.

At the competition in April, the 42 teams will compete in four categories: life sciences, information technology/web/mobile, energy/clean technology and tech innovation. A cohort of more than 300 judges will select the winner based on the company that represents the best investment opportunity.

Top prizes in the 2018 competition are expected to be similar to last year‘s and include the $300,000 Investment Grand Prize from The GOOSE Society of Texas; $200,000 OWL Investment Prize; $125,000 Houston Angel Network (HAN) Investment Prize; $50,000 Department of Energy Cleantech Prize; $50,000 Women’s Health and Wellness Innovations Prize; $25,000 nCourage Courageous Women Entrepreneurs Prize; $25,000 Texas Business Hall of Fame Best of Texas Prize; $10,000 Pearland Spirit of Entrepreneurship Prize; and NASA Commercial Space Innovation prizes.

The 2018 grand prizewinner will ring the closing bell at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York City.

“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.”

For more information about the 2018 Rice Business Plan Competition, visit http://rbpc.rice.edu.


For more information or to arrange an interview with a competition representative, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at 713-348-6775 or jfalk@rice.edu. The media contact for Cisco is Kati Dahm, 650-248-1226 or kadahm@cisco.com.

Follow the RBPC via Twitter @RBPC.

Follow the Rice Alliance via Twitter @RiceAlliance.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship is Rice University’s nationally recognized initiative devoted to the support of technology commercialization, entrepreneurship education and the launch of technology companies. It was formed as a strategic alliance of three Rice schools: the George R. Brown School of Engineering, the Wiess School of Natural Sciences and the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business. Since inception of the Rice Alliance, more than 2,000 early stage companies have participated at the 185 programs hosted by the alliance and raised more than $5.9 billion in funding.

About Jeff Falk

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