Each and every year, I have the pleasure of judging at the Rice Business Plan Competition. Tens of thousands of enterprising students from around the world compete, with a handful making it to the finals in Houston, Texas. At this incredible event, student entrepreneurs pitch to the crème-de-la-crème of global investment professionals (VC’s, angels, and more) and eventually make it through a series of rounds to a final where they stand to win some serious cash. In 2014 for example, the overall finalists (in industries ranging from apps to engineering to biotech) shared over US$ 3 million in prize-money. Over the years, a disproportionately large number of businesses from the competition have gone on to commercialise, raise further rounds of funding and exit- creating significant economic returns.
In a stagnating global economy, entrepreneurial innovation is hugely important, and as a recent Harvard Business School working-paper ‘Entrepreneurship as Experimentation‘ shows; there are many principles we can apply to strengthen high-growth entrepreneurial activities. Continue reading