2014 Rice Business Plan Competition Cash Prizes and Awards

2014 Rice Business Plan Competition
Cash Prizes and Awards
In total, more than $1.6 Million in cash and in-kind prizes will be awarded to the winning teams.
Summary of Major Prizes:
1. $200,000 – GOOSE Society Investment Prize: the Grand Prize winner will receive $200,000 in the form of
equity investment from The GOOSE Society of TexasTM in the form of a Convertible Debt Note. Founded, in
2005, the GOOSE Society of TexasTM is a group of successful company founders, entrepreneurs, and venture
capitalists who believe it is their privilege and obligation to recycle the fruits of their successes. They believe
the best way to do this is to support entrepreneurship education, and establish programs and examples to
motivate others to help recognize, study, promote, teach, practice, support and celebrate entrepreneurship.
2. $200,000* – OWL Investment Prizes: The OWL Investment prizes were created to increase the total Grand
Prize of the competition, create a new community of involved judges, and continue to encourage the most
promising teams to compete at the Rice Business Plan Competition. The OWL Investment Prize is provided in
the form of a Convertible Debt note. (*Note: this amount may vary slightly, based on the final number of OWL
investors who participate in the OWL prize. It is likely that the OWL prize will be split among two teams: the
grand prize winner and a team chosen by the OWL Investment Group.)
3. $125,000 – Texas Halo Fund Early-stage Investment Prize: Extraordinary entrepreneurship – demonstrated
by independent thinking, tireless persistence, belief in your big idea, talent to motivate your team, fortitude,
ability to change and adapt to the marketplace, and the aptitude to take a great idea and a small amount of
capital and build a globally competitive business – will determine the winner of the Texas Halo Early Stage
Capital Prize.
The Halo Fund’s 60+ members are all seasoned angel investors, several of whom have been judges at
this competition for many years. Their combined experience traverses numerous industries and each has
been a successful entrepreneur, business owner, or executive in their own right.
The Texas Halo Fund prize will be in the form of convertible debt note, equity investment, or similar
instrument and may require the company to relocated to or operate in Texas. The investment may be
offered in traunches and/or may be split among two teams.
4. $200,000 – Opportunity HoustonSM Investment Prizes: two additional $100,000 equity investment prizes in
the form of convertible debt notes will be awarded for:
- $100,000 for the best Life Science team
- $100,000 for the best Technology team from among the following areas: Energy and Petrochemicals
(including Clean Tech), Information Technology, Nanotechnology, and Aviation/Aerospace.
To qualify for these two $100,000 awards the company must locate its Headquarters in the Houston
region. Teams that qualify for this award will also qualify to receive the Houston Technology Center
Incubation Prize (client services and office space for up to one year). These two $100,000 prizes are
sponsored by the Opportunity HoustonSM program of the Greater Houston Partnership.
5. $100,000 – Mercury Fund Technology Transfer Investment Prize: Mercury Fund will award a $100,000 Tech
Transfer Investment Prize to the best business plan based on a technology developed by university faculty,
researchers, and/or students. The purpose of this prize is to encourage the commercialization of university
technologies. The terms of the investment will be determined by the Mercury Fund and the winning team.
6. $100,000 – U.S. Department of Energy Clean Energy Prize: The U.S. Department of Energy will award
$100,000 to the team with promising energy technologies to promote innovation at our nation's universities
and ensure our nation's competiveness in the clean energy economy of tomorrow, to secure our energy future,
and create jobs in the U.S. This prize is issued in terms of a cash grant (i.e., not an investment).
7. $50,000 – Trailblazer Capital Start-up Entrepreneur Prize: Trailblazer Capital will target entrepreneurs who
are leveraging their experience and drive to build a capital efficient technology or ideas that can be
commercialized addressing a large and established market whose intellectual property can be leveraged and
protected. The terms of this investment will be determined by Trailblazer Capital and the winning team.
8. $80,000 SURGE Accelerator Most Innovative Energy Tech Startup Investment Prize (plus, $70,000 of in-kind
support): This prize celebrates innovation within the energy industry. The winning team must have a disruptive
technology and the ability to execute a commercialization strategy on a large scale. Even the best startups
require mentorship, guidance, industry connections, and capital. The prize includes:
 Invitation to join next SURGE Accelerator class
 $30,000 investment prize
 $50,000 an option for an additional $50,000 convertible note
 $70,000 in-kind support: 3 months office space, legal support, outsourced CFO, hosting, marketing and
design, and other services
9. Wells Fargo $15,000 Clean Technology Innovation Prize: Wells Fargo, a Diamond Underwriter and Event
Sponsor of the Rice Alliance, will offer a new $15,000 Wells Fargo Clean Technology Innovation Prize designed
to encourage students to commercialize clean technology innovations, and connect them with investors and
mentors to help them launch their startups.
10. $334,350 – 65 Other Cash Prizes: Every team that competes in every round and attends the Awards Banquet
will be guaranteed to win at least one of 76 cash prizes. Some teams win more than one cash prize; see
attached prize listing. In total, we expect to award more than $1.6 million in prizes, including the 11 cash
prizes listed above ($990,000), plus 65 other cash prizes totaling $334,350, and in-kind prizes totaling
RBPC – Finalist Prizes:
Grand Prize (1st Place Team): Total Grand Prize Value: $495,000*
$200,000 GOOSE Society Investment Prize
$100,000 OWL Investment Prize
$100,000 Opportunity HoustonSM Investment Prize (Greater Houston Partnership)
$95,000 In-kind Prizes:
+ One year of Incubation Services at the Houston Technology Center and
computing support provided by 1-service ($35,000 value)
+ Branding Design and Marketing Communications from BrandExtract and
The Padgett Group ($25,000 value)
+ One year of free website development from ContentActive ($30,000 value)
+ Present their company at a monthly meeting of HAN
+ Ring NASDAQ bell at the NASDAQ MarketSite in New York City
Second Place Team:
Total Prize Value: $150,000*
$100,000 Opportunity HoustonSM Investment Prize (Greater Houston Partnership)
$15,000 Cash
$35,000 In-kind Prize: One year of Incubation Services at the Houston Technology
Center and one year of computing support provided by 1-service ($35,000
Third Place Team:
$7,500 Cash
Fourth Place Team:
$5,000 Cash
Fifth Place Team:
$4,000 Cash
Sixth Place Team:
$3,000 Cash
Semi-Final Round: (Saturday morning)
Note: The first and second place teams of the First Round and the highest scoring third place team overall will
advance to the Semi-Final Round on Saturday morning (15 teams total). The first and second place winners of the
Semi-Final Rounds will advance to the finals on Saturday afternoon (six teams total). The remaining semi-final
teams will win prize money as follows:
Semi-Final Round 1 - 3rd Place: $2,000 4th Place: $1,500 5th Place: $1,250
Semi-Final Round 2 - 3rd Place: $2,000 4th Place: $1,500 5th Place: $1,250
Semi-Final Round 3 - 3rd Place: $2,000 4th Place: $1,500 5th Place: $1,250
Challenge Round: (Saturday morning)
Note: All teams that do not advance to the Semi-Final Round will advance to the Challenge Round on Saturday
morning. Teams must compete in the Challenge Round and be present at the Awards Banquet to receive their
cash prizes:
Challenge Round 1 Challenge Round 2 Challenge Round 3 Challenge Round 4 Challenge Round 5 Challenge Round 6 Challenge Round 7 -
1st Place:
1st Place:
1st Place:
1st Place:
1st Place:
1st Place:
1st Place:
2nd Place:
2nd Place:
2nd Place:
2nd Place:
2nd Place:
2nd Place:
2nd Place:
3rd Place:
3rd Place:
3rd Place:
3rd Place:
3rd Place:
3rd Place:
3rd Place:
4th Place:
4th Place:
4th Place:
4th Place:
4th Place:
4th Place:
4th Place:
Courageous Women Entrepreneur Prize
$25,000 – Best Business Plan for Women-led Businesses
The nCourage Entrepreneurs Investment Group will award the $25,000 investment prize to a team with:
 A woman as CEO or as a member of leadership team
 The winning team must have at least one woman on the RBPC presenting team in Houston
Sandi Heysinger and Dick Williams
$25,000 Women's Health and Wellness Innovations Prize
Medicine has advanced much in the recent past, yet in some respects Women’s Health is still treated as an
outgrowth of other medical and clinical fields and not as its own specialty. Recent societal developments have
shown that this field has not received the specialized development it deserves. Faster, more accurate, and less
invasive means for diagnosis and treatment are needed. This cash prize will be given to a plan, or plans, that best
further the cause of specialized diagnosis, treatments, or other innovations that let women lead longer, healthier,
and more satisfying lives. Made for women, with a woman in mind.
$20,000 NASA Earth/Space Human Health & Performance Innovation Cash Prize
A team will win a $20,000 cash prize for the best technology company that has applicability to NASA and the space
program (with some type of application on Earth) in the area of life sciences. Examples include:
 Technology innovations that address:
o Bone loss and osteoporosis
o Cardiovascular alterations and cardiac problems
o Sleep problems, human performance factors and chronobiology (biorhythms)
o Radiation effects
o Muscle changes and muscular atrophy
o Neurobehavioral and psychosocial factors
o Nutrition, physical fitness, and rehabilitation
o Neurovestibular adaptation (inner ear and balance)
 Smart medical devices: remote medical care/telemedicine
 Technology development; transportable diagnostic devices, minimally or non-invasive tools,
and low-power/self-powered devices
 Biomedical and environmental health technologies
 Human factors engineering, habitability design, and human-robotics interaction technologies
$25,000 – CASIS ISS National Lab Space Flight Prize
CASIS, the Center for the Advancement of Science is Space, is offering a $25,000 grant and an opportunity to fly an
experiment on the International Space Station. CASIS is interested in identifying new, non-traditional space users
capable of providing experimentation to improve life on Earth. Business Plans that focus on Life Science, Energy,
Chemicals, Clean-tech, Info-tech and Materials could be candidates for flight projects given the ISS National Lab’s
unique research and technology development platform.
Each project submission must demonstrate commercial and terrestrial application. The award will be subject to
the CASIS approval process, which consists of an operational, scientific and economic review, and will also be
subject to successful completion of the CASIS compliance and contracts process. To learn more about CASIS and
additional flight opportunities, visit: www.iss-casis.org.
Heinlein Prize Trust Prize
$15,000 – Best Commercial Space Activity Business Plan
The team with the best business plan which presents a technology that could be applicable to commercial space
activity will receive the Heinlein Prize Trust Prize. The Heinlein Prize Trust is a non-profit foundation which
promotes the commercial uses of space. It provides financial prizes to commercial space entrepreneurs, enhances
public awareness of commercial space, and uses space to inspire students about opportunities of the next frontier.
The Trust is a legacy of Robert and Virginia Heinlein; Robert Heinlein is one of the most popular American science
fiction authors and is often called the “dean of science fiction writers.”
Novak Druce Connolly Bove + Quigg LLP
$15,000 – Innovation Investment Prize
Novak Druce will be presenting an “Innovation Prize” to the team deemed to have presented the most innovative
technology solution to a current problem/market opportunity. The criteria for selection will be as follows:
1. The team must have filed at least a provisional patent application or have a signed license agreement to a
patent(s) or application(s) – in other words, the technology must be specifically identifiable.
2. The technology field is open to all industries/methods.
Sheafor-Lindsay Social Impact Prize
(People, Planet, and Profit)
$10,000 – Best Triple Bottom Line Business Plan Idea
Social Entrepreneurship will again be featured at the Rice Business Plan Competition with the fifth year of the
$10,000 Sheafor - Lindsay Social Impact Prize to be presented to the university team that presents the best
business plan for a Social Impact enterprise.
The Social Impact Prize is provided to encourage business leaders to develop sustainable enterprises which
contribute to the social good and positively impact society, in addition to generating a financial profit. This prize
recognizes the best new business idea that addresses critical social issues and also generates a financial return.
Sheafor-Lindsay Social Impact Prize (continued)
Categories of “social impact value” include, but are not limited to, energy, healthcare, food, water, housing, and
Making healthcare available for underdeveloped or underserved populations
Enabling affordable, effective education for disadvantaged or underserved populations
Creating equal opportunities for women in health, education, business and/or politics
Producing clean energy or alternative energy (to reduce carbon emissions, greenhouse gases, etc.)
Supplying energy (or light or heat, etc.) to underdeveloped or underserved populations
Improving food production or distribution
Creating clean water systems
Making low-cost housing available
Enabling affordable, effective education for disadvantaged or underdeveloped individuals
Shell Technology Ventures
$10,000 – Shell Technology Ventures Energy Prize
The Shell Technology Ventures Energy Prize at the RBPC recognizes the innovative spirit and entrepreneurship of
the next generation of great energy leaders. We hope this prize will build upon the heritage and foundation of
great developments in energy brought about by the RBPC and further promote the need for novel solutions to the
energy challenges of this century. Shell itself has over a century of history in which we have innovated both
technologically and in how we work as a company. We look forward to being inspired and hope to continue to
invest in the future of energy entrepreneurship at the RBPC, for the future benefits we all will share in from the
inventions we see today.
Miller, Egan, Molter & Nelson LLP
$10,000 – Edward H. Molter Memorial Prize for Best Presentation
All 42 RBPC teams are eligible for the Edward H. Molter Memorial Prize for Best Presentation. This $10,000 prize
will be awarded to the team that best presents and defends its plan, without regard for if the business is one in
which the judges would choose to invest. Teams with businesses that are very early stage, have small markets, or
are social ventures, for example, can compete successfully with those whose plans have extraordinary and
immediate commercial potential. The purpose of this prize is to award a team for exceptional work with respect to
oral presentation and Q&A.
FLS Associates Social Impact Mentoring Prize
$15,000 – Mentoring to Social Impact Teams
FLS Associates will award this in-kind prize to one of the teams in the Social Impact flight at the RBPC. The purpose
of the prize is to further educate and mentor the social impact teams on the unique aspects of social
entrepreneurship as well as the challenges and opportunities it offers.
Other Special Cash Prize Categories:
Pearland EDC Spirit of Entrepreneurship Prize
$8,000 – Best Plan Demonstrating the Spirit of
RBPC Alumni Prize
$4,000 – Offered by Past RBPC Competitors
Houston Business Journal
Leadership Prize
$3,000 – Best example of Entrepreneurial Leadership
Energy Ventures Energy Prize
$3,000 – Best Energy Business Plan
Gimmal Outstanding IT Prize
$3,000 – Best IT Business Plan
Palo Alto Software Outstanding
Business Plan Prize
$3,000 – Best Written Business Plan
Venture Fellows “Company to Watch” Prize
$1,000 – Most Promising Future Prospects
McGuireWoods Company Showcase Prize +
$1,000 – Best Company Showcase Table at Awards Banquet
Note: All teams are eligible for the McGuireWoods Company Showcase prize which is voted by all attendees at
the Awards Banquet. Teams are encouraged to solicit votes (tickets) from attendees during the Cocktail
Reception. Each attendee will be given two tickets. The team with the most tickets will be awarded this
$1,000 prize during the dinner.
Austin Ventures
First Place:
Second Place:
Third Place:
Fourth Place:
Fifth Place:
Elevator Pitch Competition
Santé Ventures
First Place:
BBVA and Robert Cuyler, Ph.D.
First Place:
Best Life Science Elevator Pitch
Teen Judges Investor Pitch Competition
Note: All 42 teams are eligible for, and compete for, all of the Elevator Pitch cash prizes.
Intent to Compete Prize:
Palo Alto Software, LivePlan - Intent to Compete Software Prizes
All teams that completed an Intent to Compete for the Rice Business Plan Competition were eligible to receive a
free six-month subscription to Palo Alto’s new SaaS application, LivePlan. LivePlan, by Palo Alto Software, is
the world leader in online business planning, pitch creation, and financial management software with over 60,000
users worldwide.
In-kind Prizes
Houston Technology Center
Incubation Awards
The two winners of the Opportunity HoustonSM $100,000 awards will receive free office space and incubation
services for up to one year (or a value of $35,000, whichever comes sooner) at the Houston Technology Center at
410 Pierce Street in Houston, Texas. The company must be headquartered in Houston (with the CEO as a resident
of the Houston region), in order to take advantage of this award. The team will also become a HTC Client Company
for up to one year. 1-Service will provide the IT infrastructure for the winners at the HTC offices.
The Padgett Group and BrandExtract
Marketing/Branding/PR In-kind Awards
The 2014 RBPC Grand Prize Winner will receive branding design and marketing communications services from The
Padgett Group and BrandExtract.
 Services provided by BrandExtract include:
o Brand design & positioning strategy
o Creative services
 Marketing Communications Services from The Padgett Group
o Evaluation and recommendations for a marketing plan
o Review and edit content for collateral materials
o Perform web site audit and provide recommendations
o Write and distribute one or two press releases
Website and Services In-kind Award
The 2014 RBPC Grand Prize winner will receive up to 1 year of website development and related services from
ContentActive with a value of $30,000. Website services may include: Webmail (included), Design, E-mail
Blast/Newsletter, News and Press releases, Calendar, Shopping cart, Integration and project management, and
Hosting for one year.
Blue Lance
Blue Lance Cyber Oversight and Continuous Auditing Solutions Prize
All finalists are eligible for one year of Lance Blue Lance Cyber Oversight and Continuous Auditing Solutions from
May 2014 through April 2015.
Dun & Bradstreet Small Business Starter Package Prizes
Small Business Starter™ Package ($399 cash value) gives you everything you need to get your D&B® business
credit file established. It is the ideal resource for new businesses seeking to quickly establish their business credit
and promote themselves on line.
Benefits for your new business:
1. Expedited D&B D-U-N-S® Number is 5 days or less*
2. Ability to manage and track what’s being said online about your business with your own Twitter® feed
3. A premium listing in our D&B Credibility Review ™ online business directory, designed to enhance your ranking
on major search engines, with a customized profile page featuring detailed information about your company’s
products and services and a trusted Credibility badge for your website that links to your profile page
*Process could otherwise take up to 30 days
D&B Credibility Review ™-- Platinum Upgrade ($1080 cash value), an online business directory that features the
profiles of over 32 million businesses, provides a thorough and valuable approach for businesses to improve and
control their online presence.
Benefits for your new business:
1. Distinguish and enhance your company’s credibility by adding company logos, testimonials, photos, and product
descriptions to your profile
2. Enhance your chances of ranking higher in search engines like Google™ by optimizing relevant keywords and
content related to your business and industry
3. Manage and track what’s being said online about your business with your own Twitter® feed
4. Increase the credibility of your existing website by adding a trusted D&B Credibility Badge that links to your D&B
Credibility Review profile
Enterprise Futures Network and Buckeye Mentoring
Mentoring for 42 RBPC Final Teams
Enterprise Futures Network (EFN) mentors have offered pre-competition mentoring and advice to each of the 42
teams who have been invited to participate at the 2013 RBPC. They have provided advice in areas such as refining
a business plan, refining financial models, and improving presentation skills.
In addition, all of the top 15 Semi-Finalist teams will be offered the opportunity to receive mentoring after the
Silver Fox Advisors – Mentoring Prize:
Three teams will receive business mentoring and consulting from Silver Fox Advisors. This coaching will include
three 3-hour sessions with each of the three teams, involving 1-2 Silver Fox Advisors at each session. The Silver Fox
Advisors will select the 3 teams to receive these mentoring services.
* Notes Related to all Prizes:
 These prizes are subject to change at the sponsor or competition organizers discretion at any time.
 Several of the prizes involve convertible debt notes or equity investment. These prizes are provided
directly from the sponsor to the winning company and may be dependent on the sponsor and company
agreeing to the terms associated with this prize.
 Some prizes may contain certain restrictions or conditions.