About

The world’s largest and richest grad student startup competition

Hosted and organized by the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, which is Rice University's internationally-recognized initiative devoted to the support of entrepreneurship, and Rice Business, the Rice Business Plan Competition offers an educational program mirroring real-world experience through this multi-day event.

Student founders pitch to investors, receive feedback and advance their startup. There is also significant time designated for interaction with our judges and prize sponsors—providing valuable access and experience with both early-stage and later-stage investors.

Learn more about the 2021 competition and view an entire schedule. 

Taking Student Ventures to the Next Level

With access to mentors, real-world experience and investment opportunities, the Rice Business Plan Competition helps student founders stay on target and realize their potential. Since inception in 2011, it has grown from nine teams competing for $10,000 in prize money to 42 teams from around the world competing for more than $1.5 million in cash and prizes.

The RBPC was the most impactful competition we've ever participated in—feeling leveled-up after completing it. 

Three students looking and pointing at a camera

Real-World Opportunities

For student founders, the RBPC offers real-world opportunities to learn what’s required to successfully launch a new business. In addition to the substantial cash, investment and in-kind prizes, the heart of the competition is the mentoring from investors and experience entrepreneurs. Before, during and after competing founders and startup teams receive personalized, individual feedback. 

During the event, startups network with potential VCs, other investors and high-caliber, experienced judges—the majority of whom are senior level investors, entrepreneurs and industry leaders. 

Person speak to group in an auditorium

The Most Promising Global Student Startups

More than 500 startups applied to compete in the 2019 competition, so the selected 42 are some of the best in the world, competing against top-ranked and emerging global student-led startups. Each year, we celebrate as many of the startups go on to be selected as Forbes 30 under 30 winners, launch their startups, raise funding and eventually even IPO. 

The RBPC was an extremely rewarding experience. We received valuable feedback to help continue to grow and develop our company, in addition to exposure that helps increase our company's profile worldwide. We had multiple investors reach out after they saw we were competing in the RBPC.

700+ RBPC alum have collectively raised $2.675+ billion in funding

More than 235 RBPC companies are in business or have made successful exits. They've transformed industries and built strong teams along the way—creating an estimated 3,700 jobs. Of the finalists that have launched, 71% are successful. 

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