Total Prizes at the 2012 Rice Business Plan Competition to Exceed $1 Million.
HOUSTON, TX — March 2, 2012 – Start-up businesses with technology solutions for cleaner power, transportation and water are being sought to compete for the $100,000 Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers (KPCB) Prize for CleanTech Innovation at the 2012 Rice Business Plan Competition. The world’s richest and largest business plan competition, hosted by the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship at Rice University, will announce competing schools later this month.
Teams from 42 of the world’s top graduate schools will compete for a total prize pool of more than $1 million in prizes.
“As the world’s premier business plan competition, we are pleased to be working with KPCB, the preeminent venture capital firm, to support the commercialization of green technologies,” said Brad Burke, managing director of the Rice Alliance, which hosts and organizes the Rice Business Plan Competition. “The faster we can advance technologies to provide clean, sustainable energy, the faster that we can eliminate the world’s dependence on current energy sources that are limited in supply, becoming more costly to produce and creating harmful environmental emissions.”
“Innovations in clean energy — demand, supply, storage, efficiency — are more compelling and valuable than ever before,” said KPCB David Wells of KPCB. “We’re excited by the prospect of disruptive new technologies to change the game and meet enormous global energy needs.”
In addition to KPCB, more than 100 corporate and private sponsors are on board this year to support the business plan competition. Venture capitalists and other investors from around the world volunteer their time to judge the competition, with most of the more than 250 judges coming from the investment sector. During the three days of competition, teams will square off in three different categories of investor pitches, including an elevator pitch and business plan presentation. The Grand Prize is valued at more than $400,000.
The event will take place April 12-14, 2012, in Houston, Texas. Winners of the competition will be announced at the Awards Banquet on April 14 in front of more than 600 including a judging panel of more than 250 venture capitalists, investors and business executives at the InterContinental Houston Hotel.
The 2011 competition included teams from top graduate schools such as Carnegie Mellon, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Stanford, Notre Dame, Babson, Northwestern, University of Texas and Rice, as well as international teams from Sweden, India, Thailand, Brazil, the United Kingdom and Canada. Through mentoring and networking, more than 133 past competitors from the Rice Business Plan Competition have gone on to successfully launch their companies, raising more than $417 million in funding to build their businesses.