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Rice Cleantech Innovation Competition (RCIC)

Rice Cleantech Innovation Competition (RCIC)

Presented by Rice Business Cleantech 

RCIC is a student led case competition that welcomes passionate cleantech leaders from communities across the US to discuss solutions addressing a pressing issue: Greenhouse Gas Emissions. We are proud to offer a platform for students and industry professionals to learn from each other and discuss challenges and opportunities presented by decarbonization. This case competition is an opportunity for students to engage with real-world problems and provide impactful solutions that showcase critical analytical and problem-solving skills within a short period of time.

The competition is held in-person at Rice University followed by networking events with industry leaders and participation at the Rice Energy Finance Summit. There are two rounds of competition with the five selected teams invited to provide their presentation to judges at Rice University. The winning teams are announced during the Rice Energy Finance Summit.

If you have any questions regarding the case competition, please email rcic@rice.edu.

Past Competitions

  • Topic: Investments in Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction
    Date: November 10, 2022

    Program  Photos


    1st Place: The Decarbonators (Rice University)
    2nd Place: Emission Impossible (Rice University)
    3rd Place: Windmillionaires (Emory University)
    4th Place: The Deuterium’s (University of Michigan + Babson College)
    5th Place: Carbon Reducers (University of California, Berkeley)


  • As mentioned in the table, the 2nd Rice Cleantech Innovation Competition will be held in 2 rounds. Round 1 will be held virtually and teams will submit presentation materials online Based on the top 5 scores of the entries, 5 teams will have the pleasure to visit Rice University’s campus to compete in person.

    Round 2 will consist of a 25 minute presentation and 15 minutes of question and answers by the judges on Thursday, November 10th, 2022. After round 2, the top 3 scores from round 2 will be announced at the Rice Energy Finance Summit at an award ceremony during lunch time on Friday, November 11th, 2022.

  • Each school may enter up to a maximum of three teams. Teams will consist of at least four members, but no more than five members. Team members must be currently enrolled as full-time or professional MBA students or other graduate students AND at least 50% of members must be a currently enrolled MBA student as described previously. There is no set for number of first and/or second year students. Participating teams must submit team names, school represented, team participants and their resumes by October 7th, 2022, 11:59pm CST.

    The actual members of the team may not change after case submission on Monday, October 24th, 2022, 11:59pm CST, whichever is soonest. Team members may be removed after this date, so long as the minimum number of four is present for the live presentation portion of competition. New members may not be added after Monday, October 24th at case submission time.

  • The case will be distributed at approximately 12:00 pm (CST) Wednesday, October 12 via email to each team main point of contact. Teams will be able to prepare their case analysis and presentation materials. Each presentation must be submitted in PowerPoint slide format (.PPTX). Presentations are due no later than 11:59 pm (CST) Monday, October 24th. A confirmation will be sent to each team upon receipt of the document(s). Upon submission of the case solution on October 24th, the teams may NOT make additional changes to the PowerPoint presentation submission. Each team should be prepared to share the presentation from your computer using the original version which you have submitted to present to the judges, if invited to round 2.

  • While working on the case solution, assistance outside of the team is UNAUTHORIZED. This includes utilizing non-registered team members, other graduate school students, professors, interviewing of industry professionals, reaching out to a company/inventor/firm, school alumni, or plagiarizing other online documents. Open source or databases with access provided by your school (ie FactSet, PitchBook) are appropriate sources. Procuring unauthorized assistance is prohibited and will result in disqualification from the competition. The presentation submission should be composed entirely of original content by registered team members and represent their own analysis. In addition, please site the sources on the case submission at the end.

  • Questions that arise after the case has been distributed on Wednesday, October 12th, 2022, should be submitted to the email provided with the case prompt. They will be answered by our co-chairs within 24 hours. For more advanced questions which may affect all teams, we may indeed be in contact with the judges, if the judges deem the answer critical to a team's ability to solve the case AND the case does not contain enough information for the teams to solve the issue themselves.

  • Each team should select a name which provides no reference to their school or school mascot. School logos or any other school references are not to be included on the team’s presentation materials. This includes PowerPoint presentations, slides, posters, clothing, and documents. No verbal references of school affiliation can be made to the judges during a team’s presentation.

  • On Tuesday, November 8th, 2022, presenting finalists teams will be assigned a presentation time for Thursday, November 10th, 2022. We will email the team’s specific schedule in advance. Assignments will be randomized. The first presentation of round 2 will begin promptly at 10:30am CST.

  • Each presentation will be strictly limited to 30 minutes in length (25 min presentation, 15 min Q&A) Judges will also be asked to give feedback to each team on the presentation during the last five minutes of question and discussion. These timing guidelines will be enforced by the designated room host to ensure the competition remains on schedule. Appropriate timing will be an evaluation criteria and sufficient practice is recommended to make the best use of your presentation time. In addition, we ask the teams to arrive 10 minutes earlier than their presentation time to ensure we follow strictly with our schedule. We strongly encourage every team member to participate with a speaking role in the presentation.

  • As mentioned in the section “Timeline,” the top 5 teams will be announced on Saturday, October 29th, 2022 and will need to make transportation logistics to Rice University. Teams that require travel will be eligible to subsidize from our sponsors. After round 2, the decisions and results made by the judges are final. Cash awards to the winning teams will be announced on Friday, November 11th at the Rice Energy Finance Summit. All participants may attend round 2 presentations (except finalists who have yet to present) in a separate room. In addition, round 2 will be open to other interest parties (faculties, parents, friends) if they choose to attend.

  • After round 2’s presentations, the results will be aggregated to be announced during the next day’s lunch of the Rice Energy Finance Summit for the compliments of judges and RCIC competitors. All students and judges are expected to be present for the awards ceremony and there will be cash prizes available to the top 3 teams.

  • Business professional attire is required on the day of the presentation in addition to the award ceremony (for all round 2 contestants).

  • We will be also offering networking opportunities on Thursday, November 10th with energy/cleantech firms for a coffee chat. More information forthcoming. In addition, a networking partio will be allowed for sponsors and contestants to attend on the night of Thursday, November 10th followed by a networking event on Friday, November 11th, 2022 after the Rice Energy Finance Summit.

  • By entering the inaugural case competition, the team accepts the rules. Failure to comply with these rules may result in disqualification from this competition and may place the school on probation or ability to participate in future case competitions.

Corporate Sponsorships

Chevron Corporation
Artemis Energy Partners
Mitsubishi Corporation Americas
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
OGCI Climate Investments
Saber Equity
Wood Mackenzie
Syzygy Plasmotics
Cemvita Factory
Key Capture

For information on corporate sponsorships or to volunteer as a judge for the competition, please contact Andrew.J.Corman@rice.edu and Steven.K.Penshorn@rice.edu.

2023 Committee