Rice Ventures


Rice Ventures is a student-run startup accelerator that aims to foster entrepreneurship on campus by providing a platform to develop student ventures. Over the course of the semester-long program, we help recruit team members to ventures and bring in speakers to teach each stage of building a business in the real world. Our inaugural Spring 2019 cohort featured 5 undergraduate technology ventures in industries ranging from personal transportation to healthcare. We were able to match at least 2 students to join each founding team, and by the end of the semester, every team developed a business plan that they pitched at a public demo day in the Liu Idea Lab.

In Fall 2019, Rice Ventures will run two parallel cohorts, one for early ventures focused on customer discovery, and the other for scoped ventures focused on developing and launching their product. We will be bringing in investors and entrepreneurs from the Houston community and beyond to give invaluable advice on launching a business. Throughout the semester students will be connected with a community of budding entrepreneurs at Rice, learn real-world skills that will serve them for the rest of their career, and have the opportunity to develop their venture to raise initial capital.


Please contact Samuel.Spitz@rice.edu for more information about the Rice Ventures program and your potential involvement.


Leadership Team

  • Shryans Goyal (Co-President, Class of 2021, Computer Science)
  • Samuel Spitz (Co-President, Class of 2021, Mathematical Economic Analysis and Managerial Studies)
  • Scott Smythe (EVP of Events, Class of 2021, Mechanical Engineering)

Speakers we’ve hosted

  • Michael Sklar – Serial Technology Entrepreneur, Entrepreneur in Residence @Lillie
  • Jane Henry – Founder and CEO of SeeHerWork
  • Jamie Jones – Lilie Executive Director, Co-founder of Impact Engine
  • Daniel Lee – Lecturer in Management at Rice University
  • Fahad Punjwani – Independent Design Consultant & Former Ideo CoLab Member
  • Connor Heggie & James Grinage – Co-founders of Cherrypick Analytics

Spring 2019 Cohort Ventures

  • Avorest Aviation: Building a vision of the future through the development of an electric personal flying device.
  • CardStock Exchange: An online marketplace for trading cards aiming to make buying and selling cards cheaper, easier, and safer.
  • Krammer: Empowering patients and physicians to better track mental health.
  • A440: An online platform to connect classical musicians to their audiences.
  • Animo: A platform to help gym-goers find local workout opportunities.