Rice’s Veterans Business Battle seeks entrepreneurs for 2019 competition

Rice University’s Veterans Business Battle, an annual business competition designed for U.S. military veterans, is reaching out to new and existing entrepreneurs for the 2019 event. Applications will open on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

Photo courtesy of Rice’s Veterans in Business Association

The event gives military veterans an opportunity to pitch their business plans to a panel of investors for a chance at financing, business partnerships and prize money. The event is hosted by Rice’s Veterans in Business Association, a student organization for military veterans pursuing Master’s of Business Administration degrees from the Jones School of Business.

“We want to help connect veterans with the best financing options, business mentors and tools to enable their success,” said Michael Mundey, a Veterans in Business Association leader. “We are looking forward to seeing the innovations and businesses our applicants have this year.”

For the first time, one applicant from those who complete their applications in November will be given one of the finalist spots. The organization is also offering a $500 cash prize to a finalist chosen at random who applies during November or December.

“Historically, we see a rush of applications near the deadline, which gives the selection committee less time to vet the business plans and make decisions on finalists,” Mundey said. “We hope these incentives will help get applications in early.”

In the last four years, competition finalists have received investments of more than $3 million. Early-stage businesses and existing companies needing growth capital are encouraged to apply.

The finalists will have opportunities to meet with a variety of investors and support resources, including Beachhead Investments and Scout Ventures. Both are private equity groups that have made a commitment to invest a combined $1 million in Veterans Business Battle finalists over the next five years.

Applicants must complete an application through the competition website by Feb. 1. Businesses must be majority-owned by an honorably discharged military veteran living in the United States.

Finalists will be invited to make their business pitch April 12-13 at Rice University. All types of businesses are encouraged. Previous winners have included retail products, a commercial drone business, various technology firms and more. Those interested in competing should visit https://business.rice.edu/vbb or email vetbizbattle@rice.edu.

Veterans Business Battle was established in 2015 by a group of Houston entrepreneurs and Rice’s Veterans in Business Association.

About Jeff Falk

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