The Rice University Business Plan Graduate-level Student Startup Competition 2024

Deadline: 31st of January, 2024

In its 24th year, the Rice University Business Plan Graduate-level Student Startup Competition provides collegiate entrepreneurs with real-world experience to present their ideas, improve their business plan, and learn what it takes to create a successful firm.Rice University’s internationally acclaimed effort committed to entrepreneurship, the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, and Rice Business hosted and coordinated the event. It has expanded from nine teams fighting for $10,000 in prize money in 2001 to 42 teams from across the world competing for more than $1 million in cash and prizes over the past 23 years. It is the world’s largest and wealthiest student startup competition.


  • Energy, Cleantech and Sustainability
  • Hard Tech
  • Life Sciences and Healthcare Solutions
  • Digital Enterprise
  • Consumer Products and Services


Each of the 42 startups will walk away from the 2024 Rice Business Plan Competition with at least $950 in prizes, no matter how you place in the competition. We have prizes ranging from no-equity, cash, investment prizes from active investors, invitations from Houston accelerators with contingent investment prizes—and in-kind prizes to provide you the expertise to grow your startup.


  • is student-driven, student-created and/or student-managed
  • has at least two current student founders or management team members, and at least one of those students is a current graduate degree-seeking student
  • are from a college or university anywhere in the world
  • has not raised more than $250,000 in equity capital prior to July 1, 2023
  • has not generated revenue of more than $100,000 in any 12-month period prior to July 1, 2023
  • is seeking funding or capital (or will be in the next 12 months)
  • is a potentially viable investment opportunity


  • Business Plan Feedback Before the Competition – All startups submit a business plan or investor pitch deck for the competition, and judges in your first round are able to offer feedback on the business plan or investor deck before the competition begins. Feedback is given to the startups, and they may use to refine their plan or deck to consider how they may pitch in the competition.
  • Pre-Competition Mentorship – The RBPC partners with the Entrepreneur Futures Network, or EFN (full details below), to match competing startups to one or more of the 120 EFN pre-qualified participating mentors for conversations to answer questions, review business plan or deck, give feedback, and help teams practice their pitches. Startups get pre-competition pitch training and coaching with EFN experts, and engage with RBPC alumni who give one-on-one advice. Past RBPC winner pitches are reviewed.
  • Practice Round – The day before the competition practice your full pitch followed by a feedback session with RBPC judges on how to improve and be successful at the competition

Click here to apply 

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