Application Preview

Before applying, please check your eligibility. Ready to apply but want to check out the questions in advance? Below is a preview. Most questions are required.


A. Startup Leader (the main contact for your startup team)                                  

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Startup Name
  • Mobile Phone Number
  • Email
  • University
  • School/Department/College
  • City, State
  • Country
  • LinkedIn profile
  • Graduate student? Yes/No

B. Startup Member (another student member of your startup team)

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Startup Name
  • Mobile Phone Number
  • Email
  • University
  • Linked profile
  • Graduate student? Yes/No

C. Startup Details  

My startup is in the following primary sector (chose one):

  • Energy, Clean Tech & Sustainability
  • Life Science & Healthcare Solutions
  • Hard Tech
  • Digital Enterprise
  • Consumer Products & Services

And to be slightly more specific, my startup would fall into this subsector (please choose one from the sector you indicated above) - see this page for subsectors

My startup could also fall into this secondary sector (choose one):

  • Energy, Clean Tech & Sustainability
  • Life Science & Healthcare Solutions
  • Hard Tech
  • Digital Enterprise
  • Consumer Products & Services

In 100 words or fewer, describe your startup: the technology or concept, the problem you are solving, your unique selling proposition, etc.

Please link the social media and online presence of your startup:

Has your startup received any funding? Yes/No
What type of funding has your startup received? Check all that apply.

  • Federal Grant
  • Non-federal grant (regional, foundation, community, etc.)
  • Investor / Equity
  • Prize
  • Other
  • None

Total amount of funding received

  • None
  • $1 - $100k
  • $101k - $150k
  • $151k - $200k
  • $201k - $250k
  • Over $250k

Please explain funding and amount

Has the startup had any sales revenue? Yes/No

  • Pre-revenue
  • $1 - $50k
  • $51k - $100k
  • $101k - $150k
  • Over $151k

Please explain and list sales revenue amount in past 12 months, if applicable

Please note your Startup Progress Level below. Choose the level that best corresponds to your status. If you have characteristics of more than one level, choose the higher level. This is a very general scale. We understand it will be different for each sector.

The entrepreneur/startup founder has (choose one):
1.    A vision of the product or service; identified a problem or opportunity; developed a hypothesis
2.    Defined the value proposition; identified the target market;  demonstrated basic functionality; developed a proof of concept
3.    Started developing or developed an MPV; confirmed value proposition through customer and expert feedback; started beta testing;
4.    Started testing the product or MVP, pilots, field trails, and/or demonstrations
5.    Started to see traction; begun customer acquisition
6.    Acquired paying customers; begun generating revenue; initiated commercial application; confirmed sustainable business model; started moves to scale

ls/Has your startup participating/participated in any entrepreneurship programs? Check all that apply.

  • Business Plan / Venture / Startup Competition
  • Incubator / Accelerator Program
  • Entrepreneurship Center, Initiative or Department
  • Student Entrepreneurship Group or Club
  • Other
  • None
  • There are no such offerings on my campus

How did you hear about the Rice Business Plan Competition? Choose all that apply:

  • My school (advisor, entrepreneurship program, accelerator)
  • From past RBPC participants
  • Email from RBPC
  • From another competition
  • Web Search
  • I have applied before
  • Other

Please describe

D. Eligibility and Executive Summary     

My startup contains at least two current or very recently-graduated students. "Current" means currently enrolled and seeking a degree in a university-level program at a university/ college/ school, and "recently graduated " means students who  will graduate any time after August 1, 2023 (For example, December 2023 graduates are eligible to compete)

Yes / No

My startup contains at least one team member who is currently enrolled in a graduate level program at a university/college/school. This may be any graduate-level degree program such as MBA, MA, MS, PhD, JD, MD (up to but not including residency), etc. Dual degree programs, or 5-year programs that result in a graduate degree, are allowed.

Yes / No

Please list your academic advisor. They may be contacted to confirm your startup's eligibility. An academic advisor can be any faculty or staff at your institution who advises, works with, or knows about your start up. If you have more than one, or at an institution other than your home institution, please list the advisor that is most familiar with your start up:

Advisor First Name

Advisor Last Name

Advisor email


School, Department, or Center

I have read the Eligibility and How to Apply document and certify that my startup is eligible to apply and compete in the RBPC. - Yes/No

I understand that any violation of the rules, intentional or non-intentional, is grounds for disqualification from the RBPC application process and competition - Yes/No

I understand that once I submit my application, I cannot make any changes. - Yes/No

I understand that if my startup is invited to compete at the RBPC, at least two students from my startup will need to attend and present at the event, and one of those students needs to be a graduate-degree seeking student or very recently-graduated graduate student. - Yes/No

[If you are a startup from Rice University, please answer this question: My startup is based at, co-hosted at, and/or affiliated with Rice University, and I understand that I will go through an internal review process to determine which Rice startup advances to the RBPC. (Please note that only one startup will compete at the RBPC from Rice University; the other 41 startups will be selected from other universities through this application process.) 

If you are a Rice startup, please confirm with Yes. - Yes/No


Please attach your startup’s Executive Summary.


(1) Your startup name must appear somewhere clearly on the first page of your executive summary

(2) Document MUST BE in PDF format

(3) no more than 5 pages

(4) no larger than 5 MB - if you need to shrink your PDF, go to

(5) application with executive summaries submitted in the wrong format will not be screened

See our website and Eligibility and How To Apply document, pages 6-8, for full details on what to include in your executive summary ( -> Eligibility) You can also see a template for an executive summary here.

E. Outreach

The questions below are optional, but will help us determine the impact of our outreach activities, ensuring we are reaching and connecting with a representative and diverse set of founders.

A founder or management team member from my startup identifies with the following racial or ethnic group (choose all that apply):

  • Black /African American
  • American Indian or Alaska Native
  • Asian
  • Hispanic or Latinx
  • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander

A founder or management team member from my startup is a female or identifies as a woman:

Yes / No

A founder or management team member from my startup is a US military veteran:

Yes / No



Apply to the RBPC here. Good luck!                                                                                       




Ready to apply?