So for the past few years the winner of the Rice Business Plan Competition (BPC) (www.alliance.rice.edu) has been invited to go to New York City and ring the bell at the NASDAQ and get some additional publicity for their startup company. This year’s winner was NuMat Technologies out of Northwestern University from Chicago. It was nice to see the changes in the personnel and their success begin to accelerate as a result of winning the Rice BPC. Several members of the Houston business community were also present at the bell ringing and it was a great testament to desire of the City to bring new companies and great ideas to grow and prosper in our city.
Recently, I had the opportunity to review a Kauffman Foundation report on the Rice BPC and its impact on the community as a whole. The study showed “that university business plan competitions can go beyond simply being an academic exercise or educational experience. They can serve as a vehicle for building a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem and serve as a launching pad for new businesses, especially high-tech, high-growth startups.” The Kauffman report went on to say that “all net new jobs created in the United States come from startups-companies less than five years old.” Our eco-system benefits from the Rice BPC and we are excited to be a part of that community.