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Rice Recognized as Top Graduate Entrepreneurship Program

Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management ranked 16th by Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine
 
September 10, 2008
— Rice University’s Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management ranks 16th in the U.S. according to a report released today by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine. The ranking is based on solicited survey data from more than 2,300 U.S. undergraduate and graduate schools.
 
The Rice program moved up six places from last year, the second year in a row that Rice has been ranked in the top 25 in the nation. Rice University is again the only graduate entrepreneurship program in Texas that made the Top 25 ranking.
 
“Over the past decade, the Jones School has invested in the rapidly increasing role of entrepreneurship and innovation in driving the U.S. economy,” said Bill Glick, dean of the Jones Graduate School. “The strong ranking reflects the expanded number of entrepreneurial courses, faculty, and students, as well as support for entrepreneurial start-up companies.”
 
New academic programs include a concentration in entrepreneurship, a capstone project in entrepreneurship required of all Executive MBAs, and a life science entrepreneurship certificate program.
 
The Jones School is home to the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship (Rice Alliance), Rice University’s flagship initiative devoted to entrepreneurship. Since inception in 1999, the Rice Alliance has hosted more than 90 programs attended by over 22,000 individuals. The Rice Alliance has assisted in the launch of more than 225 start-up companies that have raised in excess of $350 million in early-stage funding.
 
The Rice Alliance and Jones School host the Technology Venture Forum series for energy and clean technology, life sciences, information technology and nanotechnology companies seeking angel funding, venture capital and business alliances.
 
One such company that benefited from the Technology Venture Forum was Simbol Mining, founded by Scott Conley and Luka Erceg, both from the Rice MBA Class of ’07. They developed the concept for Simbol Mining, a company which plans to extract lithium, a key ingredient for lithium ion batteries in electric vehicles and consumer electronics, while taking a class together at Rice.
 
Simbol Mining was hand-selected to present their elevator pitch at the Rice Alliance’s 2007 Energy & Clean Technology Venture Forum and were recognized as one of the most promising start-up companies at this event. Dr. Jack M. Gill, an adjunct faculty member at the Jones School and head of the GOOSE Society, and Dr. Bernard A. Harris, founder of Vesalius Ventures, mentored the co-founders and helped raise initial capital.  Simbol Mining recently secured $6.7 million in Series A funding from Mohr Davidow Ventures and Firelake Capital Management, both leading venture capital firms in Palo Alto.
 
“Looking back, it’s incredible the amount of resources would-be entrepreneurs have at the Jones School and at Rice,” Erceg said. “The connections Rice MBA students have to the Rice Alliance and several well-known entrepreneurs who teach are invaluable.”
 
The Rice Alliance and Jones School host the annual Rice Business Plan Competition, the world’s richest and largest intercollegiate, graduate business plan competition. In 2008, 36 of the top schools from around the world competed for more than $675,000 in prizes in front of over 170 judges. Past competitors have gone on to raise more than $80 million in early-stage funding.
 
“More than 500 success stories have been nurtured through the entrepreneurship program at the Jones School. These represent breakthrough technologies that have grown into viable companies, creating new jobs and impacting the lives of numerous people”, said Brad Burke, managing director of Rice Alliance.
 
“The entrepreneurial spirit is strong in the community. The Rice Alliance, Jones School, faculty, staff, students, business leaders and investors are excited about helping nurture that spirit and grow the successful entrepreneurs of tomorrow.”
 
The sixth annual Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine ranking solicited survey data from more than 2,300 graduate and undergraduate schools revealing the nation’s top 25 graduate and 25 top undergraduate programs for entrepreneurship.
 
The survey was based on key criteria in the areas of academics and requirements, students and faculty, and outside-the-classroom support and experiences. The results of the survey, along with the analysis, appeared online today and will be published in the October issue of the Entrepreneur magazine.
 
About the Jones School

 
The Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management at Rice University, one of the world’s best teaching and research universities, offers the Full-Time Rice MBA, MBA for Executives, and MBA for Professionals degrees. The Jones school also offers dual degrees with mechanical engineering and medicine, an undergraduate business minor, Ph.D. in Management, and a full schedule of executive education and customized courses for business and industry. In 2008, the Jones School was ranked 40th by U.S. News and World Report and 34th in the U.S. by the Financial Times. The scenic campus is located in Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city and a leading choice of Fortune 500 headquarters. For more about the Rice MBA visit http://www.jonesgsm.rice.edu/.
 
About the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship

 
The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship (Rice Alliance) is Rice University's flagship initiative devoted to the support of entrepreneurship. The mission of the Rice Alliance is to provide entrepreneurship education and to support the commercialization of technology innovations and the creation of new companies in the Texas and Houston region.
 
Since inception in 1999, the Rice Alliance has assisted in the launch of over 225 new technology companies, of which 25 have been based on technology developed by Rice faculty and researchers.
 
Unique among many entrepreneurship centers, the Rice Alliance was formed as a strategic alliance of Rice University’s the George R. Brown School of Engineering, the Wiess School of Natural Sciences, and the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management.
 
In October 2007, the Rice Alliance was recognized as the #1 University Entrepreneurship Center in the U.S. for Enterprise Creation by the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers. For more about Rice Alliance, visit http://alliance.rice.edu/.