Rhode Island Business Plan Competition Names 15 Semi-finalists

Winners and Finalists Will Share Prizes Valued at $271,000

PROVIDENCE – (April 11, 2017) – The Rhode Island Business Plan Competition today announced 15 semi-finalists in the 2017 competition, which will award prizes valued at $271,000.

The semi-finalists, chosen from 86 applicants who proposed businesses that address opportunities in agriculture, biotechnology, construction, education, food and drink, green technology, music, patient management and support, philanthropy, and retailing, among other areas of commercialization.

Winners in the 2017 competition will be announced at a public ceremony on May 16 at The WaterFire Arts Center in Providence. Prizes will be awarded to winners and finalists.

Competition Co-chairs Peggy Farrell, partner with the Hinckley Allen law firm in Providence, Anthony Mangiarelli, partner with the KLR accounting firm in Providence, said, “We received an outstanding set of applications this year, and we encourage those who were not selected as semi-finalists to keep working on their idea, which is what all successful entrepreneurs do whatever comes their way."

Entrepreneur Track Semi-finalists

Semi-finalists in the entrepreneur track are:

BI Medical is developing a single use, simple to use device for removing bacterial contamination of prostheses. Principal applicant: James Wagner, Coventry.

Care Thread is a cloud-based, clinically-integrated mobile and web application that delivers patient-specific information in real time, to enable accurate communication across clinical care teams. Principal applicant: Nick Adams, Providence.

Crave Food Services Corporation is an online platform for locally produced food products to be sold to institutional and other purchasers. Principal applicant: Matthew Tortora, North Kingstown.

Farmer Willie's is developing and marketing a ginger beer that has less sugar and fewer calories than others already commercially available. Principal applicant: Max Easton, Providence.

SomaDetect is developing a technology that will allow dairy farmers to measure somatic cell counts and fat percentage in the barn and identify the onset of sub-clinical mastitis. Principal applicant: Bethany Deshpande, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

Spotter Parking is a platform for privately-owned parking spaces to be rented out to consumers and mobility services. Principal applicant: Albie Brown, Providence.

Technologies Against Assault is developing a technologically-advanced swab to rapidly detect whether a given biological sample contains any usable evidence for analysis by a forensic lab. Principal applicant: Richard Park, Providence.

Tvar EdTech is a phonics teaching device that lets students practice the most time-consuming step of phonics instruction independently, and also teaches braille. Principal applicant: Alex Tavares, East Greenwich.

Your Heaven Audio is a microphone system for amplifying and recording acoustic instruments that accurately renders acoustic sound. Principal applicant: Prachi Jain, Providence.

Student Track Semi-finalists

Semi-finalists in the student track are:

5 Commas provides a turnkey control system and personalized analytics that enable indoor farmers to successfully analyze and automatically obtain relevant crop data. Principal applicant: Andrew Oberlander, Brown University.

AirMasons is a drone-based system that supports construction services such as surveying and scaffold construction in difficult to access locations. Principal applicant: Joshua Gyllinsky, University of Rhode Island.

BioPack is a system for blending graphene oxide and related materials with biodegradable polymers for the packaging industry. Principal applicant: Yun Xu, Brown University.

Bloodhound is a system that automates oil rig inspections, allowing frequent, autonomous and more cost effective remote inspections. Principal applicant: Bruce Hall, Brown University.

BridgeWell is developing a device that provides a user-friendly means for creating precise, 3-D imaging of internal flaws or roadway bridges. Principal applicant: Shenglin Tian, Brown University.

Echowear is developing a cloud-based system that enables health care providers to remotely monitor patients. Principal applicant: Nicholas Constant, University of Rhode Island.

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

Sponsors of the 2017 Competition

Sixty-three organizations—including private businesses, professional firms, banks, investors, colleges and universities, nonprofit and service organizations, and public agencies, as well as six former competitors—are sponsoring the 2017 Competition.

Lead sponsors of the 2017 Competition are Bryant University, Everhope Foundation, Hinckley Allen, Integrated Media Group, KLR, Locke Lord, Materials Science Associates (former competitor), MedMates, and Sprout.

Also sponsoring the 2017 Competition are Bank of America, Barlow, Josephs & Holmes, Ltd., Betaspring, 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, GrowthLab Financial, Hatch Entrepreneurial Center, Providence Journal Charitable Legacy Fund, Roger Williams University, Social Enterprise Greenhouse (former competitor), Tech Collective, URI College of Business Administration, and Verizon.

Sponsors also include AAA Northeast, Bank Rhode Island, The Beacon Mutual Insurance Company, Business Development Company, Care New England Health System, Citizens Bank, Collette Travel Service, Delta Dental of Rhode Island, Dimeo Construction Company, The Hilb Group of New England, The Idea Turbine, IGT Global Solutions Corporation, The Moore Company, Navigant Credit Union, Richard Carriere, Slater Technology Fund, Teknor Apex, and The Washington Trust Company.

Additional sponsors include BankNewport, Cherrystone Angel Group, Classic Hassocks, CompNet Insurance Solutions (former competitor), CVS Health, Davol, Deepwater Wind, EpiVax, Freedom National Bank, Gilbane Building Company, Hayes & Sherry Real Estate Services, Johnson & Wales University, Nabsys, Newport Biodiesel (former competitor), Rajiv Kumar (former competitor), Starkweather & Shepley, and StormTree (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 million to developing companies across many industries. See full details at www.ri-bizplan.com.