The Houston Chronicle recently covered the 16th annual Rice Business Plan Competition, which took place at the Jones Graduate School of Business.

The event, billed as the world's richest and largest student startup competition, has students pitch their businesses to judges who evaluate the teams as if they were going to invest in them. Roughly 60 percent of the judges are actual investors, giving students an opportunity to network and take home real money.

The winner receives a prize valued at more than $300,000, including seed funding and the opportunity to ring the closing bell at Nasdaq MarketSite. Overall, students will vie for more than $1.3 million in prizes.

"Despite the downturn in the energy industry, we've seen an increase in support for some areas of the competition," said Brad Burke, managing director of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, which hosts the event with the Jones School.

The Indus Entrepreneurs, for instance, spearheaded a new angel investment prize of $50,000. The GOOSE Society of Texas increased its portion of the grand prize to $300,000 from $250,000. And there are three new cash prizes of $100,000, $25,000 and $10,000 through the Cisco Internet of Everything Innovation Challenge.

TMCx, the Texas Medical Center's accelerator, also increased the number of teams it will accept into its accelerator program and co-working area.

Read more from the Chronicle.