FIESTA: Festival of Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Science, Tech, & Art

FIESTA is a 4-day Festival to kick off the school year and celebrate Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, and Art at Rice University.

  • Discover the mind-blowing research and innovation from Rice University faculty, students, and alumni.
  • Connect with folks across many disciplines and industries who share your interests.
  • Learn about the resources and upcoming opportunities available to you at Lilie.
  • Be inspired to take the first steps on your own entrepreneurial journey.

We aim to inspire and expose students from all disciplines to mind-blowing research and innovation happening across campus. Over the four days, attendees will hear from keynote speakers, faculty researchers, and student innovation fellows about the incredible exploration being worked on by the Rice community. Attendees will also hear about the upcoming opportunities Lilie offers to support students in their entrepreneurial pursuits. 

Open to the whole Rice community!


Day 1 – A Celebration of Entrepreneurship

Monday, August 28 – 6-8PM @ Lilie (COB 130)

Get inspired by our keynote speaker, Trevor Best, the CEO and cofounder of disruptive startup Syzygy Plasmonics. From the humble beginnings of the technology at Rice’s research labs, to now scaling into industrial production, you’ll hear the story of Trevor and team as they disrupt the traditional chemical manufacturing industry, leading the way for Houston’s energy transition efforts. Following the keynote fireside chat, you’ll also hear from some of the ventures that participated in the inaugural Lilie Summer Venture Studio Accelerator to see where you could be in one year’s time if you get started today.

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Day 2 – A Celebration of Groundbreaking Science & Tech

Tuesday, August 29 – 6-8PM @ Lilie (COB 130)

Join us for a keynote fireside chat with Rice Computer Science Professor Anshumali Shrivastava, the cofounder of ThirdAI, a technology company making it easy for businesses to deploy customized large language models — that’s like a custom ChatGPT in the pocket of every business owner! You’ll also hear from some of the 2023 Rice Innovation Fellows, PhDs and Post-Docs from across Rice that are turning their groundbreaking research into real world impact.

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Day 3 – Founder Finder & First Pitch

Wednesday, August 30 – 6-8PM @ Lilie (COB 130)

Do you have an idea for a product, service, or company you’ve been thinking about for a while? This is your chance to grab a mic, get the spotlight, and share your passion, problem, and product ideas with the entrepreneurial community at Rice. With built in time to meet and mix it up with other passionate student innovators, this is the perfect opportunity for you to try something new, build some new skills, meet new people, and possibly connect with your co-founder or customers. No idea is too early to take advantage of this opportunity!

Open only to currently enrolled Rice students from all degree programs and majors.

RSVP on Eventbrite