Tulane and Advano Advance in Annual Rice Business Plan Competition

Tulane University and Advano have been selected to compete in the 15th annual Rice Business Plan Competition, the ‘world’s richest and largest student startup competition’, April 16 through 18, 2015.

Advano TulaneFounder and CEO of Advano Alexander Girau says they will be competing for prizes in excess of $1.5 million against teams from Harvard, MIT, Stanford and other top schools from around the country.

Advano is a nanotechnology company that specializes in the manufacturing of advanced materials called nanoparticles. Girau founded the company in 2014 while pursuing his PhD research in the chemical and biomolecular engineering laboratory at Tulane.

The teams for this year’s competition were chosen from nearly 400 entrants to compete in four categories: life sciences; information technology/Web/mobile; energy/clean technology/sustainability; and other.

The winner will take home a grand prize valued at more than $450,000, including seed funding and the opportunity to ring the closing bell at NASDAQ Marketsite. Judges select the winner based on the company that represents the best investment opportunity.

“The true measure of success for the Rice Business Plan Competition is the number of teams that launch, raise funding and go on to succeed in their business,” said Brad Burke, managing director of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship at Rice University, which hosts the event.

To date, more than 150 competitors have successfully launched ventures following their participating in the competition and are still in business today. Another 13 have sold their ventures.

“The competition has served as the launch pad for a great number of successful entrepreneurial ventures, and the success rate exceeds the national average,” continued Burke.

The business plan competition has also announced a new People’s Choice Competition that challenges the spirit of each university. Votes will be cast through a Facebook survey, and the chosen venture will receive $5,000. To vote for Tulane and Advano, visit alliance.rice.edu/rbpc.