One of the most important parts of the RBPC is the mentoring component. Startups accepted to the competition have the opportunity to engage experts before, during and after the event. Our mentoring program helps founders make their startups stronger, better, more equipped to fundraise and excel in the entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Mentoring from Entrepreneurs, Leaders and Investors
In the lead-up to and during the competition, startups will have these mentoring and training sessions.
Business Plan Feedback Before the Competition
All startups submit a business plan for the competition, and judges in your first round are able to offer feedback on the business plans before the competition begins. Feedback is given to the startups, and they may use to refine their business plan or to consider how they may pitch in the competition.
EFN matches startups to one or more of 120 EFN pre-qualified mentors for conversations to answer questions, review business plan feedback, and help teams practice their pitches. EFN also engages RBPC alumni to give one-on-one advice. Startups can also get Pre-Competition Pitch Training with EFN experts. This is one-on-one pitch coaching from EFN pitch trainers. Past RBPC winner pitches are reviewed.
Networking Throughout the Event
Startups are surrounded by judges who are investors, sector specialists and enthusiasts of the RBPC! You will meet, run into, speak with, get advice from, and network with mentors throughout the competition. There is mentoring everywhere! Our surveys report that team members make several contacts at the competition who they follow-up with and also continue to engage their EFN mentors.
"The RBPC/EFN mentoring program was a great experience and our mentors were incredible.”
Additionally, the Rice Alliance partners with Enterprise Futures Network (EFN) (www.enterprisefutures.org) to administer a mentoring program in advance of the RBPC. Each of the 42 competing teams will be matched with, or select on their own, an expert mentor(s) to help prepare them for the competition. Since 2013, approximately 90% of our semi-finalists (top 15 startups) actively participated in the mentoring program.
If you are an experienced entrepreneurial, business and technology expert interested in joining EFN as a mentor, you can apply to become a mentor today. All new mentors are trained.
EFN is global non-profit entrepreneurial organization based in San Francisco founded in 2003 whose mission is to empower and develop young entrepreneurs through mentoring, training and acceleration. EFN’s network is comprised of over 5,000 mentors, entrepreneurs, educators, industry experts and investors. EFN’s more than 500 mentors worldwide coach over 150 university start-ups a year at more than 50 universities.