To be considered for OwlSpark Class 9 (Summer 2021), one application per team must be completed by a Rice University-affiliated founder. Only one application per startup team may be submitted. Applications are being accepted through Sunday, February 28, 2021.

The application must be completed in its entirety. Because there is no option to save and finish later, startup teams are strongly encouraged to read key program detailsreview the application questions and pitch video criteria, and prepare productive answers before beginning the application. A confirmation email with a copy of your application will be sent to the startup team within two business days.

Eligible Team Composition

OwlSpark is open to Rice University students, staff, and faculty across all schools and all disciplines, as well as alumni within five years, who have an interest in building leadership skills and capacity as innovation-driven entrepreneurs.
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 within five years of graduation. International founders 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.

It is preferred that all team members participate full-time between May 20 and August 6, 2021, and also pitch at the August pitch/showcase event. Exceptions to this requirement are made 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 business.

Preparing for the Application Process

The application is divided into two sections: (1) the technology, and (2) the team. You should be prepared to provide detailed, concise answers to questions surrounding each of these topics. We encourage each founder to review the application questions prior to applying.

Before beginning the application, please read key program details, review the application questions and 60-second pitch video criteria, and prepare productive answers. Be sure to review the information thoroughly, and reach out to us if you need clarification or have questions.

What's Next?

If your application reveals a potential fit for OwlSpark, your startup team will move to the interview phase of the application process. An OwlSpark Leadership Team member will reach out to you regarding details and next steps.