Judges Announced in 2014 Rhode Island Business Plan Competition

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rhode Island Business Plan Competition, the largest publicly supported business plan competition in New England, today announced its 10-member judging panel for the 2014 competition, which will award prizes valued at more than $200,000.

“We’re very fortunate to have a talented, diverse group of seasoned professionals who bring broad, business-building experience to this year’s judging roster,” said Competition Co-Chair Peggy Farrell, partner in the law of firm of Hinckley Allen, who is one of the judges. “We especially appreciate that they are willing to contribute their time and expertise.”

In addition to Farrell, the following will serve as judges:

  • Roger Darois, VP, Research and Advanced Technologies, Davol, Inc, a Bard Company
  • Larry Davidson, principal, Kahn, Litwin, Renza & Co.
  • Scott DePasquale, chairman and CEO, Utilidata
  • Mark Higgins, dean, College of Business Administration, University of Rhode Island
  • Jeff Jefferson, partner, Edwards Wildman Palmer
  • Ray Mathieu, investor
  • Sandra Potter, director, Global Entrepreneurship Program, Bryant University
  • Shawn Scott, director of marketing, Collette
  • Christine M.B. Smith, director of Innovation Programs, RI Commerce Corporation

The deadline to apply to the 2014 competition is 5 p.m. on March 31. The judging process will then occur during April, with winners announced May 1 at The Garage, a half-day business expo hosted by the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence.

The competition is open to anyone with an innovative business plan. All applicants must be at least 18 years of age and must agree to use winnings to establish or expand a business in Rhode Island. Complete competition information, including rules, application procedures, guidelines, and business plan resources, is available at www.ri-bizplan.com.

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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