HOUSTON (KTRK) --Forty-two teams hailing from some of the world's top universities will vie for more than $1 million in prizes at the 16th annual Rice Business Plan Competition at Rice University's Jones Graduate School of Business April 14-16.
New this year are three cash prizes of $100,000, $25,000 and $10,000 that will be awarded by sponsor Cisco, which is offering three Cisco Internet of Everything (IoE) Innovation Challenge prizes. For the second year, teams will compete for the People's Choice Competition that challenges the spirit of each university. Team members, fellow students, alumni, family and friends can vote for their favorite team via a Facebook survey. To vote, go here, beginning Thursday, March 24.
The teams for this year's competition were chosen from nearly 400 entrants to compete in four categories: life sciences; information technology/Web/mobile; energy/clean technology/sustainability; and other. 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.
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 161 former competitors have gone on to successfully launch their ventures and are still in business today and another 15 have successfully sold their ventures. Past competitors have raised in excess of $1.3 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 275 judges from the investment sector and awards of more than $1 million in prizes. Top prizes include the $250,000 Investment Grand Prize from The GOOSE Society of Texas, the OWL Investment Prize of 200,000, the $50,000 U.S. Department of Energy Clean Energy Prize and two additional new prizes the TiE $100,000 Investment Prize and the $25,000 Rice School of Engineering Innovation Prize.
The competition takes place in McNair Hall on the Rice campus, 6100 Main St.
TEAM NAME SCHOOL NAME
Arovia Rice University
Ascent Technologies The University of Chicago
BioAesthetics Tulane University of Louisiana
BlueWave Cleaning System University of Florida
Bold Diagnostics Northwestern University
Cemsica University of Pennsylvania
Crossdeck Harvard University
CrystalE Case Western Reserve University
D&P Bioinnovations Tulane University of Louisiana
DV Tech University of Louisville
Electrospun Nanotechnologies Stony Brook University
Eventigrate The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
EximChain Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ez-kie University of California, Los Angeles
Flat Medical National Taiwan University, Taiwan
Gecko Robotics Carnegie Mellon University
Grow Bioplastics The University of Tennessee
Hazel Technologies Northwestern University
Hygia Sanitation Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
Let's Chat Arizona State University
Leuko Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Lumenostics Georgia Institute of Technology
MDAR Technologies Northwestern University
Modvion Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
Neopenda Columbia University
Neurable University of Michigan
Oncolinx Dartmouth College
PalpAid Technologies Carnegie Mellon University
PathoVax Harvard University
PreDxion Bio University of Michigan
Pro-Arc Diagnostics Washington University in St. Louis
RightBiotic Birla Institute of Technology and Science, India
Sensytec University of Houston
Skylark Wireless Rice University
SurgiNet Northwestern University
Tembo Education The University of Tampa
Torr Energy Massachusetts Institute of Technology
TriFusion Devices Texas A & M University
VenoStent Vanderbilt University
Vibronix Purdue University
VivImmune University of Arkansas
YouRefund The University of Texas at Austin