Media Advisory: 42 teams selected to vie for over $1M in prizes at Rice Business Plan Competition

By Newsroom America Feeds at 12 Mar 13:31

Rice University
Office of Public Affairs / News & Media Relations


Jeff Falk

Mary Lynn Fernau


42 teams selected to vie for over $1M in prizes at Rice Business Plan Competition

World's richest and largest student startup competition offers tech startups big prizes

HOUSTON – (March 12, 2017) – Forty-two teams hailing from some of the world’s top universities will vie for more than $1 million in prizes at the 18th annual Rice Business Plan Competition at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business April 5-7.

For the third year, teams will compete for the $5,000 People’s Choice Competition, sponsored by SoFi, which challenges the spirit of each university. Team members, fellow students, alumni, family and friends can vote for their favorite team via a Facebook survey beginning at noon March 12. To vote, go to

The teams for this year’s competition were chosen from more than 300 applicants to compete in four categories: life sciences; information technology/web/mobile; energy/clean technology/sustainability; and tech innovation.

The winner will take home a grand prize valued at more than $450,000, including seed funding and the opportunity to ring the closing bell at Nasdaq MarketSite in New York City. Judges select the winner based on the company that represents the best investment opportunity.

“The true measure of success for the Rice Business Plan Competition is the number of teams that launch, raise funding and go on to succeed in their business,” said Brad Burke, managing director of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, which hosts the event. “The competition has served as the launch pad for a great number of successful entrepreneurial ventures, and the success rate exceeds the national average.”

More than 201 former competitors have gone on to successfully launch their ventures and are still in business today. Past competitors have raised nearly $2 billion in funding and created more than 2,000 new jobs.

“Innovation and entrepreneurship are the driving factors for economic growth in the United States,” Burke said. “We are pleased to do our part to support these young entrepreneurs who are willing to take risks to commercialize technologies that not only drive economic growth, but also lead to advances in health care, energy and other improvements in the lives of all people.”

More than 140 corporate and private sponsors support the business plan competition, which includes 300 judges from the investment sector and awards of more than $1 million in prizes. Among the top prizes in the 2018 competition are the $300,000 Investment Grand Prize from The GOOSE Society of Texas; $200,000 OWL Investment Prize; $100,000 Houston Angel Network (HAN) Investment Prize; $50,000 Department of Energy Cleantech Prize; $50,000 Women’s Health and Wellness Innovations Prize; $25,000 nCourage Courageous Women Entrepreneurs Prize; $25,000 Texas Business Hall of Fame Best of Texas Prize; $10,000 Pearland Spirit of Entrepreneurship Prize; and two NASA Commercial Space Innovation prizes.

The competition takes place in McNair Hall, the home of the Jones School, 6100 Main St. The awards banquet will be held at 6 p.m. April 7 at Westin Galleria, 5060 W. Alabama St. The banquet is by invitation only but open to the news media.

2018 Rice Business Plan Competition teams



University of Pennsylvania

Active Energy Systems

Cornell University

Aday Technologies, Inc.

Harvard University

Aerospec Technologies

Northwestern University

Alva Motor Solutions


BackWave Technologies

Northwestern University & University of Michigan


Columbia University


The University of Texas at Austin


Texas Tech University

Fairway Biomed

Washington University in St. Louis

Feros Freight Innovations

University of Oregon

find technologies

Carnegie Mellon University

Four Growers

University of Pittsburgh


University of Pittsburgh

Infinite Cooling


Instapath Inc

Tulane University

Iterative Scopes



University of Arkansas

Lunula Health

Georgia Institute of Technology


The University of Michigan

Noleus Technologies

Rice University


Northwestern University

Ocella Inc.

University of California, San Diego

Oculus Prime

Georgia Institute of Technology


Duke University



Paragon Real Estate Technologies, Inc.

Yale University


University of Houston


Brigham Young University


University of Notre Dame


The University of Texas at Austin

Sightecho Limited

Hong Kong University of Science and Techhnology

Smart Blox

University of Arizona & Queensland University of Technology

Smartenius Inc.

University of Delaware


University of Michigan

Spine Align

Johns Hopkins University

SurgePower Materials

Texas State University

Syntr Health Technologies, Inc

University of California, Irvine



Uchooze Lunchbox

University Of Arkansas

WCB Robotics

Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani - Hyderabad Campus


Boston College

For more information on the 2018 Rice Business Plan Competition, visit


For more information, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at 713-348-6775 or

Follow the Rice Business Plan Competition via Twitter, @RBPC, and Facebook,

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

Photo caption: As in years past, the winner of the 2018 Rice Business Plan Competition will ring the closing bell at Nasdaq MarketSite in New York City. (Photo courtesy of Nasdaq)

The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship is Rice University’s nationally recognized initiative devoted to the support of technology commercialization, entrepreneurship education and the launch of technology companies. Since inception of the Rice Alliance, more than 2,200 early stage companies have participated at the 185 programs hosted by the alliance and raised nearly $6 billion in funding.

Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,970 undergraduates and 2,934 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for quality of life and for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for happiest students by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to

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