2017 Rhode Island Business Plan Competition to Launch on Oct. 6

For the First Time, Prizes to Be Awarded to All Teams that Submit Applications

PROVIDENCE – (Sept. 13, 2016) – The Rhode Island Business Plan Competition, New England’s leading community supported business plan competition, today announced that its 2017 competition will launch next month and culminate in May with the awarding of prizes expected to exceed $200,000 in value.

The Kick-Off event, to be held Oct. 6, will be the first of six free public events and educational workshops that the Competition will host through next March. It will run from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at Tech Collective, 166 Valley St., Building 3, Providence. Pre-registration is required and may be completed online at www.ri-bizplan.com.

Previous winners will update Kick-Off attendees on the progress of their business ventures since participating in the Competition. In addition, other former winners, finalists, and semi-finalists will be on hand, providing a unique networking opportunity to meet emerging Rhode Island entrepreneurs.

Competition Co-Chair Anthony Mangiarelli, partner with the KLR accounting firm in Providence, said, “Our goal is to help foster the next generation of businesses, and based on the numbers it seems we’re making headway. But it only happens because of the tremendous support provided by our many sponsors."

Since 2001, when the Competition first awarded prizes, 152 competitors have been named winners, finalists, or semi-finalists. Today, more than 40 of them are operating, employing 400 people, with plans to hire at least another 100 people by next spring. In addition, these companies are purchasing materials, supplies, and services from Rhode Island companies.

All Applicants to Receive Prizes

New this year will be prizes for all teams that submit a completed application, not just winners and finalists, in the form of free coworking space, including free parking and access to meeting rooms, provided by Sprout at the Rising Sun Mills campus in Providence.

"We thank—and commend—Sprout for generously offering free work space to all applicants this year," said Competition Co-Chair Peggy Farrell, partner with the law firm of Hinckley Allen. "It's an important step forward, and demonstrates how existing businesses can participate in the growth of emerging companies."

Other upcoming events include the annual Rhode Island Elevator Pitch Contest on Nov 15 and a Business Resource Briefing on Dec. 6.

Sponsors of the 2017 Competition

Lead sponsors of the 2017 Competition are Hinckley Allen, KLR, Bryant University, and Sprout.

Also supporting the 2017 Competition are Betaspring, Business Development Company, Center for Women and Enterprise, Cherrystone Angel Group, Citizens Bank, Classic Hassocks, Delta Dental of Rhode Island, Envision Technology Advisors, Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, Newport Biodiesel, Rajiv Kumar, Richard Carriere, Social Enterprise Greenhouse, Tech Collective, and Verizon.

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 $2 million in prizes to developing companies across many industries.

The Competition is free and open to everyone age 18 or over whether or not they already have started a business. Complete information, including rules, application procedures, guidelines, and business plan resources, is available at www.ri-bizplan.com