Rhode Island Business Plan Competition to Award More than $200,000 in Prizes

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rhode Island Business Plan Competition, the largest publicly supported business plan competition in New England, today announced that it will award prizes valued at more than $200,000—including up to $50,000 in cash to the top competitor—when winners are named in May.

The announcement was made in advance of the March 31 deadline to apply to the competition.

Supporting this year’s competition are 59 sponsors, the most ever since the competition began in 2000, representing a broad cross-section of Rhode Island organizations. Included are 14 banks and investors, nine colleges and universities, construction, insurance, health-related, software, and other businesses, professional firms and services organizations, foundations, and even two former participants: Haverhill Incorporated and ShapeUp.

Competition Co-Chair Peggy Farrell, partner in the law of firm of Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP said, “What makes the competition possible is the enthusiastic, sustained support of our sponsors, all of whom recognize that a strong start-up community is vital to a strong Rhode Island. I thank them on behalf of those who will be competing this year.”

Co-chair Larry Davidson, principal with the Providence-based accounting firm of Kahn, Litwin, Renza & Co., Ltd., lauded the efforts of the organization’s Development Committee led by Richard Carriere, senior vice president at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, which secured the sponsorships.

Serving on the committee were: Katharine Flynn, director of corporate and foundation relations, URI Foundation; John Garcia, development officer, Bryant University; Jeff Jefferson, partner, Edwards Wildman Palmer; Anthony Mangiarelli, audit principal, Kahn, Litwin, Renza & Co., Ltd.; Ray Mathieu, investor; Jamison Miller, financial advisor, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management; Shawn Scott, director of marketing, Collette; and Rick Wilkins, consultant, as well as Farrell and Davidson.

Winners of the 2014 competition will be 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

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 & Snyder LLP, Kahn, Litwin, Renza & Co., Ltd.

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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