New Entrepreneurs Grant for Incoming Students

What is it?

Rice University, the home of unconventional, is committed to training entrepreneurial undergrads. 

Now, with the newly launched $10,000 Lilie New Entrepreneurs Grant, you, alongside all incoming freshmen, can apply for startup funding to turn your own innovative idea into reality.

All accepted applicants are invited to apply for this new grant, offered through the Liu Idea Lab for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Lilie). The grant will give one Rice student in each entering class the resources to develop and implement an exceptional, early stage idea or entrepreneurial undertaking in the course of their undergraduate study.

The grant winner will use the $10,000 in funding 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.

Who can apply?

All students who have been accepted to Rice University as a first-year student beginning Fall 2016 are eligible to apply; however, to receive the award, the student must pay his or her tuition deposit to Rice University by May 1, 2016 (Admissions Office guidelines).


Applications will close at 5 p.m. on June 17, 2016. Winners will be announced no later than July 18, 2016.

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

H. Albert Napier Rice Launch Challenge Startup Competition is Rice’s new entrepreneurship competition, awarding  over $60,000 in prize money to Rice-affiliated startups. Students and alumni enter business ideas (high growth ventures or small business ideas) to compete. The Startup Competition will be held the evening of March 28th in Lilie.


  • At least one member of your team must be a current Rice student (undergraduate or graduate), or alumni (fewer than 5 years out). The Rice affiliate must be an active contributing member to the team beyond an advisory role, and he/she must give the final presentation if selected as a finalist.
  • Applicants will be asked to answer a variety of questions about the business plan, to submit an executive summary (no more than 1 page), as well as a one minute video (YouTube or Vimeo) of your team member pitching (informal, mobile phone video).
  • Applications are due by midnight on Sunday, February 3rd.  Second round finalists will be announced shortly after.  Secod round applications will be due February 12th.
  • Finalists will be required to attend two mandatory training sessions on pitch scripts and pitch delivery.

If you have any questions regarding the application process or event, please contact Caitlin Bolanos at 

Liu Idea Lab for Innovation & Entrepreneurship