Student entrepreneur Super Bowl is fast approaching

February 14, 2011: 12:59 PM ET
Rice University, Houston, Texas, USA - detail ...

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Budding entrepreneurs take note: more than $1 million in cash and prizes will be up for grabs at the upcoming Rice Business Plan Competition.

By Jessica Shambora, writer-reporter

From iPad apps to deal-a-day websites, it seems like everybody has a business idea these days. So why not put yours to the test, with the chance to win seed money to launch? More than $1 million in cash and prizes will be up for grabs at Rice University's eleventh annual Rice Business Plan Competition, which runs from April 14 to 16, in Houston, Texas. Entries are due this Friday, February 18 for the 42 slots to be granted in categories including clean tech, social entrepreneurship and consumer goods.

The competition some call the Super Bowl for student entrepreneurs drew entries from nearly 420 teams from around the world last year. The winner, BiologicsMD from the University of Arkansas, took home winnings totaling $419,250.

The event also draws high-powered investors from the venture and angel communities, with John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers scheduled to attend the finalist's reception this year.

All teams will compete for the $150,000 grand prize, which includes a mix of cash, equity investment, incubation and mentoring services. But there are many ways to win, a few of which reward brevity. The TwitPitch challenges teams to craft the best 140-character pitch. Entrants get 60 seconds to make their case to the judges at the opening night elevator pitch contest.

The competition is hosted and organized by the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, the school's flagship initiative devoted to supporting entrepreneurship. This year, Fortune is also co-sponsoring the contest, so be sure to check back in April when we'll be reporting live from the competition.

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