Grow Solve

For Rice Startups


Rice University hosts the world’s largest and richest graduate student startup competition, the Rice Business Plan Competition, with 42 national and international university ventures competing for over $1 million in in prizes.

Will your startup be the one to represent Rice University?

Join us! Apply in one of 5 sectors, get insight into what investors look for in a venture, dive into the entrepreneurship ecosystem, fine-tune your message to reach over 250 judges and investors, and compete for over $1 million in prizes!

Rice University is guaranteed one berth in this competition. We determine that startup through an internal review process in February where Rice startup teams pitch their ventures to a panel of judges to determine who advances to the RBPC!

To be eligible, your startup will:

  • Have at least one current Rice student founder
  • Contain at least two current student founders or management team members, at least one of which must be a graduate-degree seeking student (MBA, PhD, MA, JD, etc)
  • Be student-driven, student-created and/or student-managed, but can be from multiple universities and across degree programs
  • Fall into one of the following categories: Energy, Cleantech & Sustainability, Life Science & Healthcare Solutions, Hard Tech, Digital Enterprise, or Consumer Products & Services
  • Will not have raised more than $250,000 in equity capital prior to July 1, 2023
  • Be seeking funding (or will be in the next 12 months) and be a potentially viable investment opportunity

If this describes your startup, then find out more with Eligibility and How to Apply.

Important deadlines:

  • Applications are due Wednesday, January 31, 2024 by 11:59 PM CST.
  • The internal review session (the RBPC Qualifier) to determine which Rice startup will advance to the RBPC is scheduled for Thursday, February 15, 2024, from 5:30 – 8:30 PM in the Jones School
  • The Rice Business Plan Competition takes place April 4-6, 2024 in-person at Rice University!

Complete details with guidelines, rules, prizes and competition format are on the RBPC website.

Contact Catherine Santamaria, RBPC Director, at for more info.