The Liu Idea Lab for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Lilie) is the home of experiential learning in entrepreneurship at Rice University. 

Lilie focuses on teaching both entrepreneurial skills and the entrepreneurial mindset  We prepare our students to be entrepreneurs in whatever walk of society they choose, be it a technology startup, government, civic groups, non-profits or large corporations. 

Lilie is comprised of a state-of-the-art on-campus lab space, experiential courses, co-curricular opportunities, and an array of resources to support student learning in entrepreneurship. 


Our experiential classes engage faculty in business, social science, engineering, and entrepreneurs and innovators from across Houston and beyond. Many courses are cross-listed as part of the curriculum in schools and programs including engineering, social science, global health, and civic leadership. The classes explore and emphasize a combination of entrepreneurial skills and mindset with critical thinking and analytical reasoning at the core.

Experiences and Opportunities

From the internship program to the incubator, Rice provides opportunities for all aspects of entrepreneurship.

The Lab

A flexible and modern space for collaboration and learning, the Liu Idea Lab is Rice’s on-campus hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. Here you will find entrepreneurs and experts in residence, mentors, and innovators from fields across campus. The Lab hosts experiential classes and co-curricular events such as the Lilie Lectures, competitions, and workshops.


The Liu Idea Lab team are faculty and staff dedicated to supporting Rice’s entrepreneurial and innovation community. We are practitioners, researchers, investors, and experienced entrepreneurs who provide support to students as they develop and advance ideas.  

What is it?

Lilie New Entrepreneurs Grant allows incoming students an opportunity to apply for seed funding to turn innovative ideas into reality. The grant will give an exceptionally entrepreneurial Rice student(s) in each entering class the resources to develop an early stage idea or entrepreneurial undertaking during their study.

The grant winner (s) can use the funds to support the design and growth of their project throughout their Rice undergraduate career, with the support of Lilie-connected faculty, mentors, entrepreneurship courses and programs. 

This is your chance to compete for a grant that will launch your entrepreneurship education at Rice.

The highlights?

  • The recipient(s) will be awarded up to $5,000 to develop and implement an exceptional idea, innovation, discovery or entrepreneurial undertaking in the course of their undergraduate study at Rice.
  •  The recipient(s) will be allowed to withdraw funds (not exceeding $5,000) incrementally to support the design and growth of his/her project. Prerequisite to accessing funding, recipients of the grant need to complete the following two courses: (1) BUSI 221 New Enterprises and (2) BUSI 220 Lilie E-Teams Experience.  In addition to financial support, the winner(s) of this award will have the support of faculty, mentors, and programs of the broader university and the Lui Idea Lab for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Lilie). 
  • Any major or discipline is welcome. The program aims to support students seeking to develop ideas while enhancing their educational experience. 


Who can apply?

  • Only incoming freshman are permitted to apply for the grant.
  • Applicant must have been accepted in to Rice University as a first year student beginning Fall 2019.
  • The applicant must have paid their tuition deposit to Rice University by May 1, 2019 (Admissions Office guidelines).



Applications due by July 1, 2019. Winners will be announced no later than July 31, 2019.

What is your innovative idea?

All ambitious, bold, or out-of-the-box ideas are welcome, and there is no required field of study. Ideas need not be new; perhaps you will simply take an existing idea where it needs to go, or apply it to a new field.  Or, you may not currently have an idea, but you have a track record of being innovative and want funding to explore a variety of ideas.  

Submissions may involve the social sciences, humanities, computer science, engineering, another field or even a combination of these. The important thing is that you have the potential to change the future, such as by influencing business, policy, science or creative endeavors.

If you have any questions, contact 

Liu Idea Lab for Innovation & Entrepreneurship