RSSAll Entries in the "Business Plan Competition" Category



All Will Share Prizes Valued at $265,000


PROVIDENCE – (April 26, 2018) – The Rhode Island Business Plan Competition today announced that six finalists have been chosen in the 2018 Competition, which will award prizes valued at $265,000 when winners are announced next month.


The finalists have proposed businesses that address opportunities in agriculture, document management, energy, health, music recording, and nutrition.


All finalists will briefly present their business idea on May 17 at an Awards Ceremony to be held at the Rhode Island Nursing Education Center, located in South Street Landing on the Providence waterfront, after which the winners will be announced.


Following are the finalists:


FungEye is a rover-based detection system, using multispectral imaging, to identify mold growth before the human eye can, replacing manual inspections which often lack accuracy. Principal applicant: David Katzevich, Brown University.


goTeff is a low sugar, all-natural, nutrition bar that uses Teff, a gluten-free super-grain with low-glycemic index and a superior balance of nutrients, for cardio, nutrition, and health-minded consumers. Principal applicant: Saron Mechale, Brown University.


PowerDocks has created floating platforms, such as moorings and docks, that use renewable energy sources to generate, store, and distribute power at those sites. Principal applicant: Anthony Baro, Newport.


Predictive Optics is developing a portable, inexpensive wearable device that optically evaluates cerebrovascular health by quantifying retinal blood flow dynamic differences between eyes. Principal applicant: Vishnu Dantu, Brown University.


TextUp has developed an encrypted, affordable software package for social workers that increases their efficiency by enabling them to manage all documents and information flows. Principal applicant: Michelle Petersen, Brown University.


Your Heaven Audio has developed a hardware/software technology platform for amplifying and recording acoustic musical instruments accurately and easily. Principal applicant: Prachi Jain, Providence.


Sponsors of the 2018 Competition


The 2018 competition is supported by 58 sponsors, including private businesses, professional firms, banks, investors, colleges and universities, nonprofit and service organizations, and public agencies, as well as five former competitors.


Lead sponsors of the 2018 competition are Bryant University, Cox Business, Everhope Foundation, Hinckley Allen, Integrated Media Group, KLR, Locke Lord, Materials Science Associates (former competitor), MedMates, The Providence Journal Charitable Legacy Fund, and Sprout.


Also sponsoring the 2018 competition are Bank of America, Barlow, Josephs & Holmes, Ltd., Brown University Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship, Center for Women and Enterprise, Cumulus Media, Envision Technology Advisors, FM Global, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at CCRI, Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, Hatch Entrepreneurial Center, Luminous, RevUp Capital, Roger Williams University, Social Enterprise Greenhouse (former competitor), Tech Collective, and the URI College of Business Administration.


Sponsors also include AAA Northeast, Bank Rhode Island, The Beacon Mutual Insurance Company, Business Development Company, Delta Dental of Rhode Island, Dimeo Construction Company, The Hilb Group of New England, The Idea Turbine, IGT Global Solutions Corporation, Morgan Stanley-Richard Carriere, The Moore Company, Navigant Credit Union, RI Student Loan Authority, Savings Institute Bank and Trust, Slater Technology Fund, Teknor Apex, and The Washington Trust Company.


Additional sponsors include BankNewport, Cherrystone Angel Group, Citizens Bank, Classic Hassocks, CVS Health, Deepwater Wind, Fidelity Investments, Hayes & Sherry Real Estate Services, InsureMyTrip, Johnson & Wales University, Newport Biodiesel (former competitor), Pawtucket Credit Union, StormTree (former competitor), and Virgin Pulse (former competitor).


About the Competition


Established in 2000, the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition has been recognized as one of the top 40 business plan competitions in the country. To date, it has awarded prizes valued at more than $2.3 million to developing companies across many industries. More information is available at

Backpack Lock Idea Wins Rhode Island Elevator Pitch Contest

PROVIDENCE – (Dec. 6, 2012) – A proposal to create a backpack lock that will give urban travelers peace of mind took the top prize at the seventh annual statewide Elevator Pitch Contest last night, which drew 46 established and aspiring entrepreneurs who presented a wide range of business ideas to a panel of judges.

“Everyone, including the many who just came to watch and listen, learned how a well crafted pitch can make a huge difference in a company’s ability to attract investors, partners, and employees,” said Competition Co-chair Larry Davidson, principal with the Providence-based accounting firm of Kahn, Litwin, Renza & Co., Ltd.

The event, sponsored by the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition, was held at the Johnson & Wales University Harborside Campus, attracted people who have never created a company as well as experienced entrepreneurs.

Co-chair Peggy Farrell, partner in the law of firm of Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP, said, “The judges helped the presenters understand the importance of stating a problem, explaining why their solution is better than anything now available, and how their solution will make money.”
Top Prize Winner

Receiving the top prize was David Emanuel, a senior undergraduate mechanical engineering student at Brown University, who pitched Lock’d, which enables travelers to attach their backpacks to stationary objects such as hostel beds and train seats.

“With even just a little bit of funding we will fully develop a working prototype, enabling Lock’d to give travelers what they deserve: a worry-free and relaxing adventure,” he said.

Presenters reflected a wide range of ages, from college freshmen to seasoned business veterans, and came from many walks of life – from inventors to business owners and professionals, including a preacher. Each had 90 seconds to present a business idea to a panel of expert judges from the Rhode Island business community, who provided constructive feedback, telling presenters what they did well and how they could improve their pitch. A total of $1,000 in cash prizes was awarded to the top 10 presenters.

The other winning presenters included the following:

  • Harry Shamir, of Carver, Mass., who presented SaEF Technologies, a wireless scoring system to make fencing competitions safer.
  • Cory Abbe, a senior business major at Brown University, who pitched Sonacatch 3D Complete Trawl Sonar System, an all-inclusive trawl sonar system that keeps underwater fishing nets safe from harm.
  • Tim Kwak, a Brown University student, who pitched SEVA, a software that will allow mariners to indicate their preferred content to be broadcast on a satellite network.
  • Tara Comer, of Warwick, who presented RYSE, a structured wellness program to active women, in the prime of life.
  • Nishant Sharma, of East Greenwich, who pitched Easy Island, Inc., a Rhode Island company that makes biodegradable and compostable, plates made from the fallen leaf sheaths of the Areca Palm tree.
  • Isha Gulati, a senior English major at Brown University, pitched Resolute Racing Shells, a power output meter that delivers key readings of power output of oarsmen.
  • Cliff Weitzman, a freshman studying economics and renewable energy at Brown University, who pitched BoardBrake, an attachable brake for longboards to make skateboarding safer.
  • Sidney Kushner, a senior at Brown University studying applied mathematics, presented CCChampions, a nonprofit corporation he established to build a national network that links children with cancer to professional athletes.
  • Andrew Mallon, of Lincoln, pitched Calista Therapeutics, Rhode Island company he established last year to develop inhaled peptide therapeutics to treat cystic fibrosis.

Serving as judges were:

  • Cary Collins, professor of banking and finance, Bryant University, Smithfield
  • Peter Dorsey, president, The Business Development Company, Providence
  • Katharine Flynn, director of corporate and foundation relations, University of Rhode Island, Kingston
  • Jim Grace, president and CEO,, Warwick
  • Gil Lantini, publisher, Rhode Island Small Business Journal, Providence
  • Brendan McNally, associate director, Business, Entrepreneurship and Organizations Program, Brown University, Providence
  • Pamela O’Hara, president, BatchBlue Software, LLC, Providence
  • Christine Smith, executive director, Rhode Island Science & Technology Advisory Council, Providence

The Rhode Island Business Plan Competition is expected to award $200,000 in prizes to this year’s winners. The deadline to apply is April 1, 2013.

Sponsors of the 2013 Competition
Lead sponsors of the 2013 competition are Davol Inc., Providence Journal Charitable Foundation, and University of Rhode Island, along with Cumulus Media-Providence, Edwards Wildman & Palmer LLP, Embolden, Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP, Kahn, Litwin, Renza & Co., Ltd.,

Also supporting the competition are: Braemar Energy Ventures, Bryant University, Business Development Company, Collette Vacations, FM Global, Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, Rhode Island Small Business Journal, and Slater Technology Fund.

In addition, Bank Newport, Betaspring, Care New England Health System, Center for Women and Enterprise, Centreville Bank, Cherrystone Angel Group, Citizens Bank Rhode Island, Deepwater Wind, Freedom National Bank, GTECH Corporation, Hayes & Sherry Real Estate Services,, JH Lynch & Sons, Johnson & Wales University, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, New England Institute of Technology, Nortek Inc., Rhode Island Small Business Development Center, Roger Williams University, ShapeUp, Tech Collective, Teknor Apex, and Ximedica.

About the Competition

Established in 2000, the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition recently was named one of the top 40 business plan competitions in the country. To date, it has awarded more than $1.2 million in prizes to competitors developing companies across many industries.

In addition to awarding prizes, the competition hosts educational events in the months leading up to the application deadline in early April. They include business development, financial planning, and presentation skills workshops. In addition, the competition hosts the annual Rhode Island Elevator Pitch Complete competition information, including rules, application procedures, guidelines, and business plan resources, is available at

Elevator Pitch Contest

The Rhode Island Business Plan Competition will host the seventh annual
Rhode Island Elevator Pitch Contest on Dec. 5, in which participants
will get a chance to win $1,000 in cash prizes.

The free event, open to the public, will be held 5:30 – 7:30 pm at the
Amphitheater in the Harborside Academic Center on the Johnson & Wales
Harborside Campus in Providence.

Aspiring and established entrepreneurs will present their business ideas
in 90 seconds to a panel of judges. Following each presentation, the
judges will give feedback about the clarity and persuasiveness of the
presentation. At the end of the event, cash prizes totaling $1,000 will
be awarded to the best presenters.

Those looking to make a pitch must register. People who want to watch
without making a pitch are invited to attend, but we ask them to
register as well. For more and to register, please see

previous arrow
next arrow