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Rice Business Plan Competition Announces 2008 Winning Teams

The 2008 Rice Business Plan Competition (RBPC) awarded more than $675,000 in cash and prizes at an awards banquet on Saturday, April 5, which nearly doubled the prizes compared to last year’s competition. The banquet marked the conclusion of the three-day RBPC, the largest and richest intercollegiate business plan competition in the world.
 
FORTUNE Small Business
joined the competition this year and featured the semifinalists in the May 2008 issue of the magazine and on CNNMoney.com.
 
The event, hosted by the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship and Jones Graduate School of Management, marked the eighth installment of the RBPC. Thirty-six of the top MBA/graduate schools from around the world presented business plans in front of a judging panel of over 170 venture capitalists, investors, and business executives. The distinguished judges were selected based on their expertise in venture capital, early-stage investing, and entrepreneurship.
 
Brad Burke, managing director of the Rice Alliance said, “Through the mentoring and networking available at the RBPC, 50 percent of last year’s competitors have gone on to successfully launch their companies, raise funding, and build their businesses. We look forward to watching the future successes of this year’s crop of competitors.”
 
The competition’s Grand Prize was valued at over $325,000 and included a $225,000 equity investment, $20,000 cash and over $80,000 of business services including office space, marketing support, and business mentoring. The Grand Prize was awarded to qcue from The University of Texas at Austin. Qcue is a dynamic pricing solution for concert promoters, sports teams, and venues. Its software application transforms existing box offices into electronic markets by implementing elements of airline pricing and NASDAQ trading to provide dynamic pricing based on market conditions, while hosting a secondary market which is seamlessly integrated with the primary market.
 
All 36 teams that took part in this year’s RBPC received cash prizes. The Grand Prize included:

  • $125,000 Investment Prize from The GOOSE Society of Texas TM, (the “Grand Order of Successful Entrepreneurs”) comprised of Bob Brockman, Rod Canion, Nancy Chang, M.D., Arthur A. Ciocca, Terry M. Giles, Jack M. Gill, PhD, Michael Holthouse, and Leo Linbeck III
  • $100,000 Technology Award from Opportunity HoustonSM and Greater Houston Partnership
  • $20,000 grand prize cash award provided by Kenda Capital and Shell
  • $2,500 cash award for receiving the DFJ Mercury IT Award for best IT company
  • Marketing and design services provided by BrandExtract and The Padgett Group
  • Office space and facility services provided by the Houston Technology Center and 1-Service
  • Strategic Assessment provided by SGT
  • Treasury services provided by Bank of America
  • Business mentoring provided by the Silver Fox Advisors
  • Two Roundtrip airline tickets on Continental Airlines
  • The development of  a company Web site and hosting services for one year provided by ContentActive
  • MS Office and Windows Server software package provided by Microsoft
  • Business Plan Pro Premier software provided by Palo Alto Software
  • ACT! and Peachtree Accounting software provided by Sage Software
  • Opportunity to give Venture Pitch to the Houston Angel Network
  • Automatic entry into the 2008 MOOT CORP competition
  • A feature story in FORTUNE Small Business
  • Opportunity to ring the closing bell at Nasdaq

Media Contacts:
 
CJ Pappas, The Padgett Group
713-590-3771
cj@thepadgettgroup.com
 
Mary Lynn Fernau, Rice Alliance
713-348-5374
mlfernau@rice.edu