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Twit Pitch Competition Comes to the 2010 Rice University Business Plan Competition

Top cash prizes mirror the 140-character Tweets: $1,400, $140 and $14.

DFJHOUSTON – (March 17, 2010) – One hundred forty characters is the new defining standard for communication and the new Twit Pitch Competition will add a fun element and challenge the social media savvy of the 42 teams competing at the 2010 Rice Business Plan Competition (RBPC).

“Social media and networking is the hot button in business today and you need to know how to use it effectively,” said Gene McCubbin, President of the TwitPitch sponsor, PopLabs. “The TwitPitch is an exciting way to demonstrate this trend. Teams will be asked to demonstrate their ability to be succinct and persuasive by submitting a 140-character text message (a "Tweet") targeted to potential investors.”

Playing off the Tweet 140-character limit, cash prizes will be awarded to the top three teams in the following manner:

First Place: $1,400

Second Place: $140

Third Place: $14

Teams will be asked to submit, one, 140-character Tweet (text message) to the designated, private RBPC Twitter account the weekend before the competition starts.

“The purpose of this “Tweet” is to garner interest of a perspective investor and should be written as such,” said Brad Burke, managing director of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship the hosts of the RBPC. “Winners will be selected on the ability of the message to describe the business and the persuasiveness of the message to interest an investor. This is a challenging task when given in 15 minutes, let alone 140 characters.”

A panel of judges will evaluate each pitch on the merits of understandability, completeness, creativity and salability. At the submission deadline, the Twitter account will be closed and posted Tweets will be displayed on the RBPC Web site.

The three top tweeters will be announced at the RBPC Awards Banquet on Saturday, April 17, 2010.

About PopLabs

Pop Labs is more than just another Search Engine Marketing Agency. We combine our proprietary technology and processes, with our industry leading intellectual property, friendly search engine relationships and qualified service personnel to achieve your desired results – increased ROI! This approach has allowed Pop Labs to build a successful track record of delivering exactly what your business needs from the Web: relevant traffic, profitable results, expert advice, and day-to-day support and assistance.

About the Rice University Business Plan Competition

The Rice University Business Plan Competition is the world’s largest and richest graduate-level business plan competition. It is hosted and organized by the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship which is Rice University's flagship initiative devoted to the support of entrepreneurship.

This is the 10th year for the competition. In that time, it has grown from nine teams competing for $10,000 in prize money in 2001, to 42 teams from around the world competing for more than $900,000 in cash and prizes in 2009.

In 2010, intents to compete increased to nearly 420 teams from around the world from 340 the previous year. More than 120 corporate and private sponsors support the business plan competition. Two hundred plus venture capitalists and other investors from around the country volunteer their time to judge the competition, with more than half of the judges coming from the investment sector. More than 85 past competitors have gone on to successfully launch their business, including 30 of the 36 teams from the 2008 competition. In total, past competitors have raised more than $218 million in funding.

The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship (Rice Alliance) is Rice University’s nationally-recognized initiative devoted to the support of technology commercialization, entrepreneurship education, and the launch of technology companies. It was formed as a strategic alliance of three schools: the George R. Brown School of Engineering, the Wiess School of Natural Sciences and the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business.

Since inception, the Rice Alliance has assisted in the launch of more than 250 start-ups which have raised more than half-a-billion dollars in early-stage capital. More than 750 companies have presented at the 115+ programs hosted by Rice Alliance.

Media Contact:
Mary Lynn Fernau
Rice Alliance for Technology & Entrepreneurship