Battery Startup Takes Top Position At Rice Business Plan Competition

For three days every year, for the last thirteen years, Houston has been home to one of the highest densities of business and high tech startup teams--thanks to the annual Rice Business Plan Competition--which just concluded this weekend. This year, the top prize in the competition went to SiNode Systems, a battery technology developer which is lithium-ion battery anodes which the firm says will allow batteries to charge quicker, and hold more charge.

The Rice Business Plan competition has become one of the biggest competitions for business school teams, who present their business plans in a bid to win their share of more than $1.5 million in cash and prizes. For SiNode, which came out of Northwestern University, that meant $911,000 in prizes to help the startup get off the ground. Fellow Northwest University startup BriteSeed scored second prize, receiving $273,000 in investments; the two were just a few of over 1200 applications that were submitted this year for the prizes. 42 teams competed for the final grand prize, $350,000 awarded by the Goose Society of Texas.

Rice University says that so far, more than 138 past competitors successfully launched businesses and are in business today or have had successful exits, gaining a total of more than $600M in funding.