Rice Announces New $100,000 KPCB Prize for CleanTech Innovation  With Call for Entries of Annual Business Plan Competition

 Total Prizes at the 2011 Rice Business Plan Competition to Exceed $1 Million.

HOUSTON – (Jan. 19, 2011) – The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship kicked off its Call for Entries for the 2011 Rice Business Plan Competition today by announcing the new $100,000 Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers (KPCB) Prize for CleanTech Innovation. The KPCB prize is intended to encourage business and technology solutions for cleaner power, transportation and water.

Teams from 42 of the world’s top graduate schools will participate this year in the overall business plan competition, which has a total prize pool of more than $1 million in prizes. Teams may apply to compete until February 18, 2011 at www.alliance.rice.edu/rbpc

“As the world’s largest and richest business plan competition, we are pleased to be working with KPCB, the preeminent venture capital firm, to support the commercialization of green technologies,” said Brad Burke, managing director of the Rice Alliance, which hosts and organizes the Rice Business Plan Competition. “The faster we can advance technologies to provide clean, sustainable energy, the faster that we can eliminate the world’s dependence on current energy sources that are limited in supply, becoming more costly to produce and creating harmful environmental emissions.”

"Innovations in clean energy — demand, supply, storage, efficiency — are more compelling and valuable than ever before,” said KPCB Partner John Doerr. "We're excited by the prospect of disruptive new technologies to change the game and meet enormous global energy needs."

In addition to KPCB, more than 100 corporate and private sponsors are on board this year to support the business plan competition. Venture capitalists and other investors from around the world volunteer their time to judge the competition, with most of the more than 250 judges coming from the investment sector. During the three days of competition, teams will square off in three different categories of investor pitches, including an elevator pitch, business plan presentation and TwitPitch. The Grand Prize is valued at more than $400,000.

The event will take place April 14-16, 2011, in Houston, Texas. KPCB Partner John Doerr will be in attendance on April 15 for the Finalists’ Reception at the Jones Graduate School of Business. Winners of the competition will be announced on April 16 in front of more than 650 including a judging panel of more than 250 venture capitalists, investors and business executives at the InterContinental Houston Hotel.

The 2010 competition included teams from top graduate schools such as Carnegie Mellon, Johns Hopkins, Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Dartmouth, Babson, Northwestern, University of Texas and Rice, as well as international teams from India, Thailand, the United Kingdom and Canada. Through mentoring and networking, more than 100 past competitors from the Rice Business Plan Competition have gone on to successfully launch their companies, raising more than $223 million in funding to build their businesses.

About the Rice University Business Plan Competition (RBPC)

The Rice University Business Plan Competition is the world’s largest and richest graduate-level business plan competition. It is hosted and organized by the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship which is Rice University's flagship initiative devoted to the support of entrepreneurship.

This is the 11th year for the competition. In that time, it has grown from nine teams competing for $10,000 in prize money in 2001, to 42 teams from around the world competing for more than $1 million in cash and prizes in 2011.

In 2010, intents to compete increased to nearly 420 teams from around the world from 340 the previous year. More than 120 corporate and private sponsors support the business plan competition. More than 250 venture capitalists and other investors from around the country volunteer their time to judge the competition, with more than half of the judges coming from the investment sector. More than 100 past competitors have gone on to successfully launch their business, raising more than $223 million in funding.

The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship (Rice Alliance) is Rice University’s nationally-recognized initiative devoted to the support of technology commercialization, entrepreneurship education, and the launch of technology companies. It was formed as a strategic alliance of three schools: the George R. Brown School of Engineering, the Wiess School of Natural Sciences and the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business in collaboration with the Vice Provost and the Office of Research.

Since inception, the Rice Alliance has assisted in the launch of more than 250 start-ups which have raised more than half-a-billion dollars in early-stage capital. More than 750 companies have presented at more than 125 programs hosted by the Rice Alliance. www.alliance.rice.edu.

About Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

Since its founding in 1972, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has backed entrepreneurs in over 500 ventures, including AOL, Amazon, Citrix, Compaq, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Google, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Netscape, Sun, Symantec, Verisign and Zynga. KPCB portfolio companies employ more than 250,000 people. More than 150 of the firm's portfolio companies have gone public. Many other ventures have achieved success through mergers and acquisitions.