Rhode Island Business Plan Competition Names 12 Semi-Finalists

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rhode Island Business Plan Competition today announced that it has named 12 semi-finalists in the 2014 competition from among 75 emerging and would-be entrepreneurs who applied at the end of March.

The competition will name winners and award prizes valued at more than $200,000 to all finalists and winners on May 1 at The Garage, a half-day business development conference hosted at the Rhode Island Convention Center by the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce.

The semi-finalists have proposed businesses that address problems in the biotech, consumer, health care, Internet, software, and information technology industries.

“Narrowing down the many excellent applications we received inevitably means those who weren’t selected will be disappointed,” said Competition Co-chair Peggy Farrell, partner in the law firm of Hinckley Allen. “That doesn’t mean they can’t succeed, but that their plan may not have fit the criteria of the competition. We encourage them to keep pursuing their ideas and take advantage of the many excellent resources in Rhode Island that support emerging entrepreneurs.”

Entrepreneur Track Semi-Finalists

Semi-finalists in the entrepreneur track include the following:

Cargenics is developing a technology to treat canine lymphoma that modifies a cancer patient’s T cells that, when re-infused, bind and kill their cancer.

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.

Grindzco is developing protective padding that can be discreetly included in fashion conscious clothing children’s clothes. Principal applicant: Robin Robinson, Barrington.

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 Semi-Finalists

Semi-finalists in the student track include the following:

b. Company is creating shoes for women who have bunions and who experience difficulty finding the right shoes that combine stylish heels with the comfort of sneakers. Principal applicant: Leah Chung, Rhode Island School of Design.

BoardBrake is a removable, foot-activated brake for longboards/skateboards that improves confidence, control, and speed for riders while making it quicker to learn how to use longboards/skateboards. Principal applicant: Cliff Weitzman, Brown University.

Data2Datum has developed a user-friendly, smart-learning data exploration methodology for exploring multidimensional, heterogeneous data sets. Principal applicant: Chandhini Raghupathy, Brown University.

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.

Finalists will be selected later this month. To win prizes, applicants agreed to establish or continue business operations in Rhode Island.


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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