Rice University Business Plan Competition

The Rice Business Plan Competition is the world’s richest and largest graduate-level student startup competition. It is hosted and organized by the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, which is Rice University's flagship initiative devoted to the support of entrepreneurship, and the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business. This is the 15th year for the competition. In that time, it has grown from nine teams competing for $10,000 in prize money in 2001, to 42 teams from around the world competing for more than $1 million in cash and prizes.


In 2014, more than 1200 applications were submitted. More than 170 corporate and private sponsors support the business plan competition. Venture capitalists and other investors from around the country volunteer their time to judge the competition, with the majority of the 275+ judges coming from the investment sector. 155 past competitors have gone on to successfully launch their businesses and are still in business today, raising in excess of $844 million in funding.  


The competition is designed to give collegiate entrepreneurs a real-world experience to fine tune their business plans and elevator pitches to generate funding to successfully commercialize their product. Judges will evaluate the teams as real-world entrepreneurs soliciting start-up funds from early stage investors and venture capital firms. The judges are asked to rank the presentations based on which company they would most likely invest. 76% of judges surveyed considered investing in a team that presented at the 2014 RBPC or referred a team to a third-party investor.


We provide an unparalleled experience for the participants by designing a diverse program over the course of three-days; with significant time designated for feedback and interaction with the judging panel.



All teams will participate and present on all 3 days

  • Thursday: Practice Round and Elevator Pitch Competition 
  • Friday: First Round and Feedback Session 
  • Saturday: Semi-Final Round, Challenge Round and Final Round 

Highlights of the Competition include:

Real-world opportunities to learn what’s required to successfully launch a new business


  • Chance to receive mentoring from investors and experienced entrepreneurs 
  • Scheduled opportunities to network with potential venture capitalists and other investors for three days
  • High caliber of judges, all senior level investors, entrepreneurs and industry leaders 
  • Opportunities to receive individual feedback during 3 separate sessions
  • 2014: $2.9 Million + in prize money was awarded with all teams winning at least one cash award (2014 Prizes and Winners)

The goal of the RBPC is to provide the best overall educational and entrepreneurial experience of any business plan/new venture competition and we were very gratified by the feedback we have received from past competitors and judges. (Testimonials)

For more information about the Rice University Business Plan Competition, please review the website, or email the Competition Director with specific questions not answered on the website.

About the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship


The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship (Rice Alliance) 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 schools: the George R. Brown School of Engineering, the Wiess School of Natural Sciences and the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business in collaboration with the Vice Provost and the Office of Research.

Since inception in 2000, more than 1,500 early-stage companies have benefitted by participating in the 165+ programs hosted by the Rice Alliance and have raised in excess of $2.8 billion.


The Rice University Business Plan Competition is the World’s Richest and Largest, awarding more than $2.9 million in prizes in 2014; more than 155 past competitors are in business today having raised in excess of $844 million and employing more than 2000 in these early stage businesses.

Recent recognition:

  •  2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 Top Ten Best U.S. Graduate Entrepreneurship Program – Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine
  • 2011 NASDAQ OMX Center of Entrepreneurial Excellence Award – GCEC
  • 2011 National Model MBA Entrepreneurship Program – USASBE
  • 2011, 2009 Marketer of the Year – American Marketing Association
  • 2009 Outstanding Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership - GCEC 
  • 2009 Excellence in Technology Entrepreneurship Award - GCEC
  • 2009 Outstanding Technology Entrepreneurship Program – USASBE
  • 2008 Houston’s Greatest Economic Development Ally – Greater Houston Partnership


For more information about the Rice Alliance, visit  


About Rice 


Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation's top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,708 undergraduates and 2,374 graduate students, Rice's undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 4 for "best value" among private universities by Kiplinger's Personal Finance. To read "What they're saying about Rice," go to