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Rice MBA Program places 5th in Entrepreneurship

September 22, 2009 — Today, The Princeton Review entrepreneurship survey, published by Entrepreneur magazine, (www.entrepreneur.com/topcolleges) recognized the Rice MBA program as one of the top five graduate entrepreneurship programs in the U.S. From the more than 2,300 programs surveyed by The Princeton Review, 25 undergraduate and 25 graduate schools were selected.

“Entrepreneurship has become an important area of excellence for our school,” said Bill Glick, dean of the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business. “Our mission has been to build a quality curriculum, taught by the best professors and entrepreneurs. We felt adhering to this one principle would ultimately be recognized not only by those familiar with the Jones School but by the larger community involved with entrepreneurship. Today, we are honored to be ranked #5 among graduate programs by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine.”

Entrepreneurial initiatives
Al Napier, professor and area coordinator for Entrepreneurship, described two new entrepreneurial initiatives that have helped distinguish entrepreneurship at the Jones Graduate School. “This year we introduced a new social entrepreneurship course, Technology Commercialization in Developing Countries. This course challenges students to apply their business knowledge and training to technologies and delivery systems desperately needed in developing countries. In the spring, teams took their education into the field by traveling to Rwanda to implement technologies developed by Rice’s Bioengineering department.

A second initiative, Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program (REEP), was also launched. REEP was designed to develop school leaders for district and charter public schools in the underserved Houston area. No other program exists in the U.S. quite like REEP.”

Outside of the classroom, support exists for students as well as alumni. The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship (Rice Alliance) is devoted to the support of technology entrepreneurship. The award-winning Rice Alliance has become one of the most successful entrepreneurship centers in the country. The Rice Alliance also runs the highly successful Rice Business Plan Competition, recognized as the world’s largest, richest international business plan competition for students competing for prize money in excess of $800,000 in 2009.

Jones Entrepreneurs today
A recent survey revealed that roughly 22 percent of Jones alumni have started one or more companies with 76 percent of these firms still in operation generating an average of $1.4 million in annual revenues. Drawing these successful entrepreneurs together, the Jones Graduate School Entrepreneurs Organization (JGSEO) is launching a variety of activities including: placing alumni who are running entrepreneurial companies into small advisory boards; hosting educational events focused on enhancing leadership and management skills; fostering networking opportunities; and establishing a mentorship program for members and JGSB students. JGSB faculty and administration members are supporting these activities.

Upcoming Entrepreneur Event October 15-17, 2009
The Rice Alliance and the Jones Graduate School will host the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers (GCEC) Conference. The Conference will include learning, sharing best practices, networking and new ideas for education, business development, and center development. More than 300 universities from around the world are expected to attend.
For information about the ranking and methodology can be found at the Entrepreneur Magazine Web site www.entrepreneur.com/topcolleges

Contact:
Julia Nguyen
julianguyen@rice.edu or 713.348.5387

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Backgrounder


Academics and requirements
Social Entrepreneurship
: New in 2009, "Technology Commercialization in Developing Countries" is a unique entrepreneurial course that offers students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to develop business plans for new medical technologies and travel to Africa to test the viability of these businesses. These medical technologies are developed by the Rice University Biomedical Engineering Department, one of the top ten ranked bioengineering departments in the country. The course is run in collaboration with Rice’s Beyond Traditional Borders program. After returning from Rwanda, students were given the opportunity to refine their business plans to ensure they addressed the special challenges faced for those starting entrepreneurial businesses in underdeveloped countries.

REEP: The Jones School, in alliance with Teach for America and Houston A+ Challenge, offers a compelling new program — Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program (REEP) — that combines a world-class business school education with an intensive educational entrepreneurship curriculum to equip current and aspiring K-12 school leaders with exceptional leadership abilities and management principles.

Unlike any other program in the country, REEP's new model for school leader preparation provides educators an opportunity to envision, build, and effectively lead positive, achievement-oriented education environments, while joining a powerful network of experienced school administrators that will tremendously impact their future performance.

Students and Faculty
Students - Jones School students take entrepreneurship seriously. Students competed in multiple competitions in the 2008/2009 school year, placing 1st at Tulane’s Finance Case Competition, 3rd at the NAWMBA (National Association of Women MBAs) Conference and 3rd at the TCU Sony Marketing Case Competition.

Alumni - Jones School alumni put entrepreneurship into practice - a recent Jones School alumni survey found that 22 percent of respondents had started one or more businesses.

Faculty - Henry Gardiner Symonds Professor of Management Edward E. Williams, recognized by BusinessWeek as one of the best entrepreneurship professors in the country, launched the entrepreneurship program. Joined by Al Napier, the 2008 Acton award recipient; G. Anthony Gorry, the Friedkin Professor of Management; and many adjunct faculty/entrepreneurs.
Adjuncts such as Jack M. Gill, Ph.D. and Leo Linbeck III, who are also founding members of the GOOSE Society (Grand Order of Successful Entrepreneurs), a group of successful entrepreneurs committed to helping other entrepreneurs launch their new businesses. Jones faculty are also very active in research on entrepreneurship and related topics, including: George R. Brown Professor of Management Bob Hoskisson, Associate Professor of Strategic Management Haiyang Li, Jones School Distinguished Associate Professor of Management and Associate Professor of Strategic Management Anthea Zhang, Distinguished Research Professor of Management Marc Epstein, and Houston Endowment Professor of Management and Director for Asian Management Research and Education Jing Zhou.

Outside the Classroom Support
Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship (Rice Alliance): Rice University's initiative devoted to the support of technology entrepreneurship, the Rice Alliance has become one of the most successful entrepreneurship centers in the country and in 2009 was presented the United States Association for Small Business and Enterprise (USASBE) best Specialty Entrepreneurship Program award.

Entrepreneurship Boot Camp: Each summer, the Rice Alliance hosts a two-day intensive boot camp on entrepreneurship, to help train individuals on the steps needed to successfully launch their companies.

Rice Business Plan Competition: Run by the Rice Alliance, is the world’s largest and richest intercollegiate graduate-level business plan competition. The Competition began in 2001 with $10,000 in total prize money. In 2009, the competition had grown into an international event with 42 teams competing and prize money exceeding $800,000. The media sponsors for the Rice Business Plan Competition are Fortune Small Business and the Houston Business Journal.

Entrepreneurship Club: For students and alumni (new in 2009)
-Velocity Program: In the spring, the Jones Graduate School hosts the Velocity program for multiple top MBA programs from around the country, a two-day, weekend event. MBA students learn from a dozen successful entrepreneurs about their experiences and challenges.

Action Learning Projects (ALP): All Full-Time Rice MBA students are required to participate in this 10-week program during their first year. Teams of students work for companies in a consulting capacity to solve a specific business problem. Many of the participating companies are startups and/or emerging companies. These real-life projects, set among real companies, are invaluable and enable students to gain actual problem solving experience.

Start-up Technology Career Fair: The annual summer internship fair allows Rice MBA students to identify and evaluate summer internship opportunities with start-up companies and venture capital firms. Approximately, 20 companies participate each year and a number of entrepreneurial students obtain summer internships through this program.
-Rice Executive Education: Programs offer certificates on entrepreneurship in the life sciences.