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Rice University Business Plan Graduate-level Student Startup Competition 2024

The Rice University Business Plan Graduate-level Student Startup Competition, now in its 24th year, provides collegiate entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to pitch their startups, enhance their business strategy and gain real-world experience on what it takes to launch a successful company. Hosted and organized by the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, which is Rice University’s internationally recognized initiative devoted to the support of entrepreneurship, and Rice Business, the competition has grown immensely since its inception. From nine teams competing for $10,000 in prize money in 2001, it now attracts 42 teams from around the world, competing for more than $1 million in cash and prizes. It is the largest and richest student startup competition in the world.

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Participating in the competition comes with several benefits. Each of the 42 startups will walk away from the 2024 Rice Business Plan Competition with at least $950 in prizes, regardless of their position in the competition. The prizes range from no-equity cash, investment prizes from active investors, invitations from Houston accelerators with contingent investment prizes, and in-kind prizes to provide expertise to grow startups. The first-place winner will receive a $350,000 investment from GOOSE Capital, while the second and third-place winners will receive a $100,000 and $50,000 investment respectively from Rice University. The fourth to seventh-place winners will receive $5,000 cash each.

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To be eligible to participate, the startups must be student-driven, student-created, and/or student-managed. They must have at least two current student founders or management team members, and at least one of those students must be a current graduate degree-seeking student. The startups can be from a college or university anywhere in the world, should not have raised more than $250,000 in equity capital before July 1, 2023, and should not have generated revenue of more than $100,000 in any 12 months before July 1, 2023, and must be seeking funding or capital (or will be in the next 12 months). The startups must be potentially viable investment opportunities and can operate in sectors such as Energy, Cleantech and Sustainability, Hard Tech, Life Sciences and Healthcare Solutions, Digital Enterprise, and Consumer Products and Services.

The application deadline for the competition is January 31, 2024. Interested and eligible students can apply at Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship at riceuniversity.zoom.us. The Rice University Business Plan Graduate-level Student Startup Competition is an excellent platform for collegiate entrepreneurs to showcase their startups, learn, and win prizes.

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