2021 Rice Business Plan Competition

Big Ideas Brilliant Startups

April 6-9, 2021

The 2021 Rice Business Plan Competition—the world’s largest and richest student startup competition—was hosted over four days including elevator pitches, round 1, a semi-finals round and live final pitches. More than 440 student-led startups from around the world applied. 54 promising startups competed making this the largest event in competition history. 

Aspects of the competition were open to the public.The Elevator Pitch Competition was livestreamed on April 6th. If you missed it, you can rewatch it on YouTube. The live Final Round and Awards Presentation were also livestreamed to YouTube. 

$1.6 million in cash, investment and in-kind prizes were announced

Aerial photo of Jones

BIG IDEAS. BRILLIANT STARTUPS: THE LARGEST RBPC YET!

54

Startups Participating 

6

Countries Represented 

$1.6M

In Investment, Cash and In-Kind Prizes

9

New Universities Participating 

Glowing capitalizing ideas sign in Rice Alliance office

$1.6 Million in Prizes

See the 2021 Startups Shine

Learn more about the brilliant ideas student entrepreneurs are working on across the country and world. Startups competed in five sector categories: Energy, Cleantech & Sustainability, Life Science and Healthcare Solutions, Hard Tech, Digital Enterprise, or Consumer Products and Services. Startups competed for $1.6 million in prizes and will receive mentorship and guidance from investors and entrepreneurs.

Re-Watch the Elevator Pitch Competition

The Elevator Pitch Competition is a fast-paced event that kicks of #RBPC21. All 54 startups submitted their 60-second pitches and are competing for a $3,500 prize pool from Mercury Fund. Watch the competition below or on our YouTube
 

 

Re-Watch the Live Finals

Final Round: April 9th 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM CDT

Seven startups advanced on to the live finals and competed for the $350,000 investment Grand Prize. Watch their pitches below or on our YouTube
 

 

Re-Watch the LIVE Awards Presentation!

Congrats to all 54 startups! View the results and see who took home $1.6 million in cash, investment and in-kind prizes. 

 

 

Competition Agenda and Format 

Date Event
Tuesday, April 6

4:00 - 5:15 PM CDT - Elevator Pitch Competition (Open to the public) Watch on YouTube

5:15 - 6:00 PM CDT - Startup Showcase (Open only to judges and startups) 

5:30 - 6:30 PM CDT - Networking (Open only to judges and startups) 

Wednesday, April 7

9:00 AM - 11:30 AM CDT - Round 1 (Open only to judges and startups) Pitch Order

12:30 PM CDT - Semi-Finalist Announcement (Open only to judges and startups) 

Thursday, April 8

9:00 AM - 11:30 AM CST - Semi-Final Round (Open only to judges and startups) 

12:30 PM CDT - Finalist Announcement (Open only to judges and startups) 

Friday, April 9

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM CDT - Final Round (Open to public) - Watch on YouTube

1:30 PM CDT - Awards Presentation (Open to the public) - Watch on YouTube

Watch the Announcement of the #RBPC21 Invited Startup Teams

More than 440 student-led startups from around the world applied to compete in the 2021 Rice Business Plan Competition—the world’s richest and largest student startup competition. For the first time in competition history, we’re expanding and inviting 54 promising startups to #RBPC21.