Rice Alliance For Technology and Entrepreneurship

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Founded in 2000, the Rice Alliance is devoted to the support of technology commercialization, entrepreneurship education, and the launch of technology companies. Its mission is to support creation of technology-based companies and commercialize new technologies at city and statewide levels.

The Rice Alliance provides education, guidance, and connections to its recipients. It works closely with the George R. Brown School of Engineering, the Wiess School of Natural Sciences, and the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business. The program has launched more than 230 startups, collectively raising over half a billion dollars in early-stage capital. They have awarded more than $1.3 million [1] in prizes. Recipients have a high success rate in their business ventures, with over 133 past competitors in business today having raised in excess of $394 million [2]. The Rice Alliance is best known for its Rice Business Plan Competition.


Board of Overseers

  • William Glick, Dean, Jones Graduate School of Management
  • Peter J. Rossky, Dean, Wiess School of Natural Sciences
  • Yousif Shamoo, Vice Provost for Research
  • Edwin "Ned" Thomas, Dean, Brown School of Engineering

External Advisory Board

  • Dr. Robert R. Maxfield
  • Dr. Steve Sheafor
  • William N. Sick

Executive Advisory Board

  • Jack M. Gill, PhD
  • Rod Canion
  • Daniel E. Steppe

Faculty Advisory Committee

  • Kazimir Karwowski
  • Yael Hochberg
  • Andrew Barron


  • Brad Burke, Managing Director
  • Mary Lynn Fernau, Director of Marketing
  • Thomas Kraft, Director of Technology Ventures Development
  • Lea Aden Lueck, Director of the Rice Business Plan Competition
  • Quynhmai Nguyen, Director of Operations and Event Planning
  • Kerri Smith, Managing Director, OwlSpark and Director of Programs, Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, Rice University
  • Noy Shemer, Program Specialist


  • 2014, #1 University-Related Business Incubator, UBI Index
  • 2012, 2009 Marketer of the Year – American Marketing Association
  • 2012, 2011 #14 Best U.S. Graduate Entrepreneurship Program – US News & World Report
  • 2011 National Model MBA Entrepreneurship Program – USASBE
  • 2011, 2010, 2009 Top 10 Best U.S. Graduate Entrepreneurship Program – Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine
  • 2009 Outstanding Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership - GCEC
  • 2009 Outstanding Technology Entrepreneurship Program – USASBE
  • 2008 Houston’s Greatest Economic Development Ally – Greater Houston Partnership