The 2010 Rice University Business Plan Competition is just around the corner. It's scheduled for April 15-17. In addition to many big prizes in various business areas (often with some sort of high technology emphasis), as in past years, NASA is sponsoring prizes for space-oriented business concepts. Here's a press release from a few weeks ago on the NASA contribution: NASA offers $110,000 in Prizes at 2010 Rice Business Plan Competition. I'll include a few excerpts:
The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship (Rice Alliance) of Rice University is pleased to announced that NASA’s Johnson Space Center will increase their prize offering with the addition of the $50,000 NASA “Game Changer” Commercial Space Innovation Prize. ... The award will go to the team that is judged to have the best business plan that supports the commercial space market by addressing a need in technology, service or product for the for sub-orbit, Earth orbit, or the moon exploration.
The press release goes on to list a number of possible commerial space business areas in the suborbital, Earth orbit, and exploration categories. It continues:
NASA will continue to offer the two, $20,000, NASA Earth/Space Engineering Innovation Prizes for the best business plans that represent an engineering technology that has applications to both the NASA space program and to Earth-based activities. ... The new “Game Changer Award” brings a dynamic twist with an increased emphasis on commercial applications,” said Brad Burke, managing director, Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship. ...
Infernal Mechanisms - Mechanical Engineering, the magazine of ASME - This article gives some mechanical engineering and medical context for the winning entry in last year's Microgravity Research Competition for an experiment on board the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft. This contest was part of the 2009 Rice Business Plan Competition.