42 teams selected to vie for over $1M in prizes at Rice Business Plan Competition

World's richest and largest student startup competition offers tech startups big prizes

HOUSTON –  Forty-two teams hailing from some of the world’s top universities will vie for more than $1 million in prizes at the 17th annual Rice Business Plan Competition at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business April 6-8.

For the third year, teams will compete for the $5,000 People’s Choice Competition, sponsored by SoFi, that challenges the spirit of each university. Team members, fellow students, alumni, family and friends can vote for their favorite team via a Facebook survey. To vote, go to www.rbpc.rice.edu, beginning at 5 p.m. March 16.

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, 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.

More than 180 former competitors have gone on to successfully launch their ventures and are still in business today. Past competitors have raised in excess of $1.8 billion in funding and created more than 2,000 new jobs.

"Innovation and entrepreneurship are the driving factors for economic growth in the United States," Burke said. "We are pleased to do our part to support these young entrepreneurs who are willing to take risks to commercialize technologies that not only drive economic growth, but also lead to advances in health care, energy and other improvements in the lives of all people."

More than 140 corporate and private sponsors support the business plan competition, which includes 275 judges from the investment sector and awards of more than $1 million in prizes. Top prizes include the $300,000 Investment Grand Prize from The GOOSE Society of Texas, the OWL Investment Prize of $200,000, the $100,000 Cisco Innovation Challenge Prize, the $50,000 U.S. Department of Energy Clean Energy Prize, $50,000 Second Place Prize and the $20,000 NASA Earth/Human Health and Human Performance Innovation Cash Award.

The competition will be in McNair Hall on the Rice campus, 6100 Main St. The awards banquet will be at 6 p.m. April 8 at Marriott Marquis, 1777 Walker St., Houston. The banquet is by invitation only but open to the news media.

2017 Rice Business Plan Competition teams

TEAM NAME                                        SCHOOL NAME

Alive Home Technologies Pvt.  Ltd. IIT Kharagpur

Baby Bloom                               Columbia University

Droice Labs                               Columbia University

General Biotechnologies           Harvard University

Grox Industries                          University of Arkansas

Luso Labs                                  Columbia University

MITO Material Solutions           Oklahoma State University

NovoThelium                             The University of Texas at San Antonio

Orthotract                                  Johns Hopkins University

PathVis                                      Purdue University

Perseus Mirrors                        University of Pennsylvania

Project Starfish                          Washington University in St. Louis

Resthetics                                    University of Houston

SandBox Semiconductor            The University of Texas at Austin

Smart Bandage                        University of Waterloo

Smart TC                                  Queensland University of Technology

TX2O                                        Texas State University

VasoCorp                                  University of West Georgia

101                                              Carnegie Mellon University

AIM Tech                                    University of Michigan

Alleviant Medical                         Rice University

DC ENERGY SYSTEMS                 Auburn University

Forest Devices, Inc.                      Carnegie Mellon University

GlauLens                                      Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

HealthTech Solutions (HTS)        The University of Iowa

Ingenious Design Technologies     Pranveer Singh Institute Of Technology

Intelligent Flying Machines, Inc.     Northwestern University

Lilac Solutions                                  Northwestern University

Medical Magnesium                       RWTH Aachen University

Membrion Inc.                               University of Washington

Nunami Labs                                 University of Arizona

Okular Technologies                     Brigham Young University

Panacea Health                            University of Michigan

Rendever                                     Massachusetts Institute of Technology

RoBotany Ltd.                             Carnegie Mellon University

STAR                                           The University of Dayton

Swift Coat                                   Arizona State University

TCPoly                                         Georgia Institute of Technology

TraceMatters                               Rice University

Tri-D Dynamics                          Purdue University 

Twine                                         University of Pennsylvania

Viralchemy                               Tulane University

For more information on the 2017 Rice Business Plan Competition, visit www.rbpc.rice.edu.