$100,000 Cleantech Prize Up For Grabs

Teams from 42 of the world’s top graduate schools will compete for prizes this year in the  2011 Rice Business Plan Competition, said to be the “world’s largest and richest” of its type. As part of the competition, the new $100,000 Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers (KPCB) Prize for CleanTech Innovation has been announced. The KPCB prize is intended to encourage business and technology solutions for cleaner power, transportation and water.

KPCB is said to be a venture capital firm in search of the “next big idea” in the commercialization of green technologies. “Innovations in clean energy — demand, supply, storage, efficiency — are more compelling and valuable than ever before,” said KPCB Partner John Doerr, in a statement. “We’re excited by the prospect of disruptive new technologies to change the game and meet enormous global energy needs.”

Rice Business Plan Competition

image via Rice Business Plan Competition

The Rice Business Plan Competition as a whole boasts a total prize pool of more than $1 million and a top prize valued at $400,000. The competition will be judged on April 14-16, 2011, in Houston, Texas, by venture capitalists and other investors from around the world.

More information on the competition is available online, and teams may apply to compete through Feb. 18, 2011.

Last year’s competition, said Rice, included teams from top graduate schools such as Carnegie Mellon, Johns Hopkins, Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Dartmouth, Babson, Northwestern, University of Texas and Rice, as well as international teams from India, Thailand, the United Kingdom and Canada. Through mentoring and networking, it is said more than 100 past competitors from the Rice Business Plan Competition have gone on to successfully launch their companies, raising more than $223 million in funding to build their businesses.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.