NEWS 42 teams to vie in Rice Business Plan Competition

Forty-two teams from some of the world's top universities will vie for more than $1 million in prizes at the 13th Annual Rice Business Plan Competition (RBPC) April 11-13. The teams for this year's competition were chosen from nearly 400 entrants, based on their executive summaries to compete in five categories: life sciences; information technology; energy and clean technology; green technology, social and other.

The teams will have 15 minutes to present business plans in the competition for a grand prize valued at more than $450,000 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 125 corporate and private sponsors support the business plan competition, which includes 300 judges from the investment sector and awards more than $1 million in prizes.

This year's prizes include a new $50,000 Trailblazer Capital Investment Prize and a $25,000 Women’s Health and Wellness Innovations Prize, which was increased from $8,500 in 2012. This is the second year for the $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 awards include the $150,000 Investment Grand Prize from The GOOSE Society of Texas, the OWL Investment Prize of at least $150,000 offered by a group of successful entrepreneurs and investors, the $100,000 Mercury Fund Tech Transfer Investment Prize, the $100,000 Opportunity Houston/Greater Houston Partnership Technology Prize and the $100,000 Opportunity Houston/Greater Houston Partnership Life Science Prizes.

More than 130 past competitors have gone on to successfully launch their ventures and are still in business today. They have raised in excess of $569 million in funding and created more than 1,000 new jobs.

“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 RBPC. "The RBPC has served as the launchpad for a great number of successful entrepreneurial ventures and the success rate exceeds the national average. Innovation and entrepreneurship are the driving factors for economic growth in the United States. We are pleased to do our part to support these young entrepreneurs who are willing to take risks to commercialize technologies that not only drive economic growth, but also lead to advances in health care, energy and other improvements in the lives of all people."

For more information on the 2013 Rice Business Plan Competition, visit

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