World’s richest and largest business plan competition to award more than $1 million in prizes
HOUSTON (March 26, 2012) — A student group from the University of Louisville is among the 42 teams hailing from some of the world’s top universities who will vie for more than $1 million in prizes at the 12th annual Rice Business Plan Competition (RBPC) April 12-14.
The teams for this year’s competition were chosen from more than 400 entrants based on their executive summaries to compete in six categories: life sciences; information technology; energy and clean technology; green technology, renewable and recycling; social; and other. The teams will have 15 minutes to present business plans in the competition for the grand prize valued at more than $460,000 and the opportunity to ring the closing bell at NASDAQ OMX this fall. Judges will rank the presentations based on which company they would most likely invest in.
More than 100 corporate and private sponsors support the business plan competition, which includes more than 250 judges from the investment sector and awards more than $1 million in prizes. This year’s prizes include a new $100,000 U.S. Department of Energy Clean Energy Prize to encourage students from across the country to create new businesses and transform promising energy technologies into innovative energy products that will help to create jobs, boost American competitiveness, and strengthen the economy. Other prizes include the $150,000 Investment Grand Prize from The GOOSE Society of Texas, the $100,000 Waste Management „Think Green‰ Investment Prize, the $100,000 DFJ Mercury Tech Transfer Investment Prize, the $100,000 Opportunity Houston/Greater Houston Partnership Technology Prize, the $100,000 Opportunity Houston/Greater Houston Partnership Life Science Prize, the $100,000 Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers (KPCB) Prize for CleanTech Innovation and the $100,000 OWL Investment Prize.
This year’s competitors come from all over, from Bangladesh, India, Germany, Spain and Denmark to Chicago, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Houston. (See below for the full list of teams)
More than 133 past competitors have gone on to successfully launch their ventures and are still in business today. They have raised in excess of $417 million in funding and created more than 600 new jobs in their early stages.
“This success rate is indicative of the quality of teams the competition draws,” said Brad Burke, managing director of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship at Rice University, which hosts the RBPC. “It is also representative of what we are finding to be an increased interest in innovation and entrepreneurship in the U.S. The current economy certainly affects this as well as the willingness by the millennial generation to take risks to start their own companies. These young entrepreneurs are vital to the U.S. maintaining its technology innovation leadership and its position in the world economy.”