Veterans Business Battle seeks entries for 2020 competition

6th annual Rice event — this year with more prize money — links aspiring entrepreneurs with investors

Rice’s business competition geared for military veterans is now accepting applications from new entrepreneurs.

The 2020 Veterans Business Battle will take place April 13-14 at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business.

Registration for the 2020 Veterans Business Battle opened Nov. 11, Veterans Day. The event gives veterans an opportunity to pitch their business plans to a panel of investors for a chance at investments, business partnerships and prize money. In the last three years, more than $2.5 million in investments have been funded through the program, with more from the 2019 event still under negotiation. Early-stage businesses and existing companies needing growth capital are encouraged to apply.

This year, Veterans Business Battle will award winners a combined $30,000 in cash prizes, a substantial amount more than last year. The cash will be split between a $15,000 prize for first place, $10,000 for second place and $5,000 for third place.

“While continuing our mission to connect veterans with the best financing options, business mentors and tools to enable their success, we want to also offer a cash prize that reflects the caliber of businesses we see each year,” event co-chair Justin Messenger said.

The event is hosted by the Rice Business Veterans Association, a student organization for military veterans at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business.

To apply, applicants must submit a business plan on the competition website,, by Feb. 1. To qualify, businesses must have an honorably discharged veteran or active duty founder and equity holder who is actively running the venture.

Finalists will be invited to make their business pitches April 13-14 at Rice. All types of businesses are encouraged. Previous winners have included retail products, a commercial drone business, technology firms and more.

About Jeff Falk

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