Compete for $1.6 million + in prizes at the world’s largest student startup event

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Find investors and compete for $1.6 million in prizes, with cash, investment and in-kind prizes awarded to competing startups in the Rice Business Plan Competition.  Syracuse students are invited to join top-ranked emerging graduate student-led startups and apply by January 31 here.  

Considered the largest and richest startup competition in the country, it is open to startups from any university.  Hosted and organized by the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship—which is Rice University’s internationally-recognized initiative devoted to the support of entrepreneurship—and Rice Business. Over 20 years it has grown from nine teams competing for $10,000 in prize money in 2001, to 54 teams from around the world competing for more than $1.6 million in cash and prizes. For the first time in competition history, the 2021 event showcased 54 student-led startups.


  • Ventures must be student-driven, student-created and/or student-managed
  • Can come from a college or university anywhere in the world
  • Has at least two current student founders or management team members, and at least one of those students is a current graduate degree-seeking student
  • Falls into one of five sectors: Energy, Cleantech & Sustainability, Life Science and Healthcare Solutions, Hard Tech, Digital Enterprise, or Consumer Products and Services
  • Is seeking funding or capital (or will be in the next 12 months)
  • Is a potentially viable investment opportunity

Learn more and apply here.