Finalists Named in 2014 Rhode Island Business Plan Competition

PROVIDENCE, RI –– Seven finalists have been named in the 2014 Rhode Island Business Plan Competition, and will share more than $200,000 in prizes when winners are announced next week.

The finalists have proposed businesses that span the insurance, health, hospitality, green, energy, and personal technology industries.

All finalists will briefly present their business idea at an Awards Ceremony, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 1, at The Garage, a half-day business development conference at the Rhode Island Convention Center, to which the public is invited, after which the winners will be announced.

Following are the finalists:

Entrepreneur Track Finalists

CompNet Insurance Solutions aims to provide instant insurance quotes online, direct to the consumer, eliminating the need for an insurance broker. Principal applicant: David Bedard, Providence.

KloudBook provides a universal way to look-up mobile number, email address, and other contact online without the endorsements, resumes, photos, and personal postings that clutter other websites. Principal applicant: Michael Mullen, Seekonk, Mass.

Nordic Technology Group is developing software that uses 3-D motion sensors to identify and alert caregivers to changes in behavior that show a need for help. Principal applicant: Erik Wernevi, Providence.

StormTree has developed a green technology that enables property developers and municipalities to manage storm water runoff as a sustainable alternative to traditional underground pipe systems. Principal applicant: Paul Iorio, Pawtucket.

Student Track Finalists

Dual Server Cooling is using licensed technology to help data centers use energy more efficiently to cool electrical equipment with lower implementation cost. Principal applicant: Ze Chen, Brown University.

MedSynergies proposes to use a low cost, high sensitivity, optically activated micro device to detect lung cancer at its early and treatable stages. Principal applicant: Aditya Singh, Brown University.

Pronto Solutions is a smartphone application for ordering and paying catered to full-service restaurants, allowing customers to order on impulse and pay when they are ready. Principal applicant: Jesse Hartheimer, Brown University.

Sponsors of the 2014 Competition

Supporting this year’s competition are 59 sponsors, the most ever since the competition began in 2000, including 14 banks and investors; nine colleges and universities; foundations; construction, insurance, health-related, software, other businesses, professional firms, and services organizations; and two former participants.

Lead sponsors of the 2014 Rhode Island Business Plan Competition are Davol Inc, Providence Journal Charitable Foundation, and the University of Rhode Island, along with Cumulus Media-Providence (AM 790), Edwards Wildman, Embolden, Hinckley Allen, and Kahn, Litwin, Renza.

Also supporting the competition are Brown University, Bryant University, the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, and Rhode Island School of Design, as well as AAA Southern New England, Bank of America, Collette, Envision Technology Advisors, FM Global, Johnson & Wales University, Providence Business News, Providence College, Rhode Island College, Roger Williams University, Slater Technology Fund, Utilidata, and Verizon New England.

Additional sponsors include Bank Rhode Island, Business Development Company, Care New England Health System, Center for Women and Enterprise, Centreville Bank, Cherrystone Angel Group, Deepwater Wind, Delta Dental of Rhode Island, Dimeo Construction Company, Gencorp Insurance Group, Gilbane Inc., GTECH Corporation, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, Navigant Credit Union, Nortek, Inc., RBS Citizens, Rhode Island Foundation, Santander Bank, Teknor Apex, The Moore Company, Washington Trust, and Ximedica.

Also, Bank Newport, Betaspring, Biomedical Structures, Community College of Rhode Island, CVS/Caremark, Freedom National Bank, Haverhill Incorporated, Hayes & Sherry Real Estate Services, InsureMyTrip.com, ShapeUp, Starkweather & Shepley, and Tech Collective.

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 more than $1.4 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 Contest. Complete competition information, including rules, application procedures, guidelines, and business plan resources, is available at www.ri-bizplan.com.

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Avatar About the Author: The Rhode Island Small Business Journal is a printed monthly magazine and an online resource for the aspiring and start-up entrepreneur and small business owner.

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