To be considered for OwlSpark Class 11 (Summer 2023), one application per startup must be completed. DEADLINE EXTENDED: Applications due March 13.

Eligible Team Composition

OwlSpark is open to Rice University students, staff, and faculty across all schools and all disciplines, as well as recent alumni. Eligible startup teams must include two to five founders, and at least one founder must be affiliated with Rice University. This includes currently enrolled students (in good academic standing), faculty, staff, and/or alumni. International students are eligible, but if accepted to the OwlSpark program, you must secure authorization to participate from the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) prior to program launch. Your startup team can include non-Rice affiliates, so long as at least one founder is affiliated with Rice University.

It is expected that participants will engage full-time between May 17 and August 4, 2023, and also pitch at the August pitch/showcase event (Bayou Startup Showcase). Exceptions to the time requirement are considered on a case-by-case basis. Sessions are held several days each week, and founders are expected to be present at each session. Additionally, all founders must demonstrate a strong commitment and interest in launching their businesses.

Preparing for the Application Process

You should prepare thoughtful, concise answers to the questions below. We encourage you to review the application questions prior to applying.

The application must be completed in its entirety. Because there is no option to save and finish later, startup teams are strongly encouraged to review the program FAQ, and review the application questions and pitch video criteria before beginning the application. Be sure to review the information thoroughly, and reach out to Jessica Fleenor at jef4@rice.edu if you have questions.

What's Next?

A confirmation email with a copy of your application will be sent to the startup team within two business days. If your application reveals a potential fit for OwlSpark, your startup team will move to the interview phase of the application process. An OwlSpark team member will reach out to you regarding details and next steps.