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Rice Alliance recognized by the Greater Houston Partnership

Awarded Houston’s Greatest Economic Development Ally

The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship (Rice Alliance) was recognized by the Greater Houston Partnership as Houston’s Greatest Economic Development Ally at the fifth annual "Houston’s Greatest" awards banquet on January 27, 2009. The premier annual event honored regional leaders who have advanced the greater Houston region as a business magnet.
 
“Houston is our home, and we are honored to be recognized for our work by our city’s political and business leaders,” said Brad Burke, Managing Director of the Rice Alliance. “Our mission is to help entrepreneurs and business developers build successful new ventures through education, guidance and connections.”
 
The Rice Alliance is Rice University's flagship entrepreneurship center. Unique among many entrepreneurship centers, the Rice Alliance was formed as a strategic alliance of three schools at Rice University: the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management, the Wiess School of Natural Sciences and the George R. Brown School of Engineering.
 
The Rice Alliance’s programs have attracted more than 24,000 entrepreneurs, investors, business executives, researchers and students from around the world.  The Rice Alliance has assisted in the launch of over 230 new technology companies that collectively have raised more than half a billion dollars in early stage funding. More than 600 companies have made presentations to investors and industry leaders at Rice Alliance events. These companies offer new technologies in the areas of energy and sustainability, life sciences, information technology, nanotechnology and other sectors.
 
“One thing Houston is known for is its entrepreneurial, can-do spirit," said Jeff Moseley, President and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership. "The Rice Alliance’s dedication to supporting the creation of technology-based companies and the commercialization of new technologies makes it a perfect recipient of the Houston’s Greatest Economic Development Ally Award.
 
As the primary advocate of the Houston’s business community dedicated to building regional economic prosperity, the Greater Houston Partnership congratulates the Rice Alliance for its innovative support of technology entrepreneurship. It is with the dedication of organizations like the Rice Alliance that Houston has secured its position as a world-class city at the forefront of technology innovation and economic success.”
 
Of the companies Rice has assisted, more than 30 have been launched based on technology developed at Rice and licensed from the Rice's Office of Technology Transfer.
 
Businesses that the Rice Alliance has assisted range from new treatments for cancer that have less toxic side effects than current chemotherapy, new technologies to increase the production of oil and gas from existing reservoirs, and innovative new mobile search tools for PDA users.
 
Key components of the Rice Alliance program that contributed to receiving this award are:

  • Premier venture capital forums in four sectors – energy and clean technology, information technology and Web 2.0, nanotechnology and sustainability, and life sciences
  • Entrepreneurship classes – more than 25 graduate entrepreneurship courses offered
  • Faculty and their recognition – nearly 20 world-class entrepreneurial faculty
  • Rice Business Plan Competition – largest and richest competition in the world, with more than $700,000 in prizes
  • Broad support and engagement from the community – support from more than 450 corporations and individuals
"Rice University is proud that the Rice Alliance has been recognized locally for its leadership role in helping to commercialize promising innovations," said Rice President David Leebron. "The relationship between Houston and Rice is central to our future as a great university, and supporting the city’s economic development is one of the most important features of that relationship."