The Rice Business Plan Competition is considered to be the richest and largest graduate student startup competition. The competition is designed to give entrepreneurs a real-world experience to fine tune their business plans pitches to get funding and then commercialize their product.
42 teams from schools around the world have been selected to participate this year, including two from Tulane University in New Orleans. The competition will take place April 14-16 in Houston.
Tulane team BioAesthetics is a startup that provides surgeons with Nipple-Areolar Complex (NAC) grafts for the next step in NAC reconstruction.
D&P Bioinnovations, also from Tulane, is developing a bioresorbable, implantable medical device to regenerate a damaged esophagus.
In 2015, more than 750 applications were submitted. The teams for the 2016 competition were chosen from roughly 400 applicants across four categories: life sciences; information technology/web/mobile; energy/clean technology/sustainability; and other.
“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, which hosts the event. “The competition has served as the launch pad for a great number of successful entrepreneurial ventures, and the success rate exceeds the national average.”
The grand prize package is valued at over $450,000 including seed funding, and the entire competition awards over $1 million in prizes.