Startup showdown 2008

The top finishers at the Rice Business Plan Competition may put scalpers out of business, help you control the elements, and give your neural stem cells a place to chill.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)

Photos
Student grudge match Student grudge match Student grudge match
FSB co-sponsored Rice University's prestigious national competition for the first time this year. The winners took home a total of $327,000 in prize money, plus priceless bragging rights. Meet all 36 semifinalists below. Photographs by Evan Kafka for FSB.

HOUSTON (FORTUNE Small Business) -- "Entrepreneurs are the new rock stars," says Cindy Boyd, president of Houston-based consulting firm Sentigy and one of 170 judges at the 2008 Rice University business plan competition.

Considering the growing number of teams vying for the competition's $675,000 in cash and prizes, she may be on to something.

This year, for the first time, FSB co-sponsored the competition, and a record 234 entrants from universities worldwide - twice as many as last year - battled to make it to the semifinals. Ultimately 36 teams (each of which included at least one student) faced off in four categories: life sciences, sustainability, information technology, and consumer goods and products.

Over three grueling days in Houston, the teams were judged on the viability of their business model, the clarity of their presentation, and the strength of the management team. This year's top finisher won prizes totaling $327,000.

Since the competition began seven years ago, 192 startups have reached the semifinals. An impressive 66 of those are still in business - and of 2007's competitors, more than 50% went on to launch their company.

Check out our start-to-finish coverage, and meet the next round of tomorrow's stars.  To top of page

Features
They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
Yahoo: 20 years of hits and flops The company that once was Google turns 20. We look back at the many, many brands it has cycled through. Remember Geocities? Broadcast.com? More
10 big dot-com flops Remember Pets.com? The Nasdaq is roaring back towards its all-time high. Here are some of the biggest dot-com busts from the last time the Nasdaq topped 5,000. More
The hottest gadgets at Mobile World Congress 2015 Take a look at the devices creating a stir at the world's biggest mobile tech show. More

Sponsors