How are teams selected to compete at the Rice University Business Plan Competition?

Teams are selected based on the executive summaries and video pitches submitted. A small group of individuals with various expertise review each application and are evaluated based on the judging criteria outlined in the Rules section.

If selected to compete, does the competition cover any of my travel expenses?

Each team is responsible for paying for their own airfare and hotel expenses. During the three days of the competition, most of your meals will be covered. We also provide shuttle service to and from the Competition Sponsored hotel to the University each day. Also check with your University, they may have funds to help pay for these travel expenses.

How many people can be on one team?

Teams must be between two and five students and at least one of those students must be graduate level (MBA, MD candidate, other Master candidate, or Ph.D. candidate).

Can I change my team after I've submitted my application?

Yes, you have until March 23, 2015, to make any changes to your team. Any changes must result in a team that meets eligibility requirements as listed in the rules, i.e. two-five total current students, with at least one current graduate student, as well as student management and equity requirements.

Is a computer provided to my team during the competition or do we bring our own?

Teams must bring their own laptop computer for thier presentations. Each team will have the opportunity on Thursday in the Practice Round (non-scoring) to connect to the room AV equipment and make any necessary changes before competing on Friday.

Does our faculty advisor have to attend the competition?

No, faculty advisors are not required to attend the competition, but we strongly encourge them to attend.

How is the confidentiality of the intellectual property protected?

Due to the nature of the competition, we are not able to ask judges, reviewers, staff, or other audience members to agree to sign non-disclosure statements. However the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship makes every effort to limit the distribution of business plans to only the invited judges of the competition.

Who are the judges and what are their backgrounds?

We hand select a diverse group of individuals with experience in starting new businesses. They are venture capitalists, angel investors, entrepreneurs, service providers, and local business executives.