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Biz Winners and Flops

Monday, September 17, 2012


One Rhode Island business gem is the annual event hosted by the Business Innovation Factory — a Collaborative Innovation Summit, entitled BIF-8.

BIF-8 is the brainchild of Saul Kaplan — the founder and Chief Catalyst of the Business Innovation Factory. He is the former head of EDC and had a rich and successful career in the Biotech industry.

This year’s summit features Brandon Barnett, the Director of Business Innovation at Intel; Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos, and innovative Rhode Islanders including John Donoghue from the Brain Science Center at Brown and Jeffrey Sparr of PeaceLove.

The event runs Wednesday and Thursday and is sold out.

Happy 60th AnniversaryRoss-Simons jewelers for 60 years in business in Rhode Island. The company that started in downtown Providence in the 1950’s has reinvented itself twice – once into the leading jewelry catalog company and now into a leading online jeweler. Not easy for a company to reinvent once, now the company has successfully done it twice.

Alex and Ani’s generosity – for the second time in a year, the Cranston jewelry company has announce a $1 million gift to a Rhode Island-based college. The companies gift to Rhode Island College is a boost to the state’s emerging school.

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras teamed up with Cathedral Development Group, Inc., Property Advisory Group, Inc., and Rhode Island Housing to announce the renovation and preservation of 121 affordable homes.


Lack of Urgency – While Rhode Island’s economy continues to trail the rest of the nation in employment and is consistently listed as an undesirable place to do business, there simply seems to be no urgency. For each time a candidate mentions that his or her priority is creating more jobs, they should be required to make a donation to a Rhode Island non-profit.

RI Foundation hired a Tennesse firm to help spark the RI ecomony

Out of State Artists over Rhode Islanders – RI Foundation deserves credit for bringing together more than 300 Rhode Islanders to brainstorm new ideas to spark Rhode Island's economy. But, RI's leading foundation made a substantive and stylistic error for hiring Alphachimp Studio of Nashville, Tennessee to capture the, "highly visual notes and drawings are a great way to share the hundreds of ideas that were generated and discussed throughout the two days of Make It Happen."

With Rhode Island home to RISD and the fact that RI is considered a hub to commercial artists, Rhode Island Foundation's use of a Tennessee firm to execute this cartoon-like drawings was a a real misstep.

Sadly, this is not the first time that a prominent RI organization bypassed the creative community in Rhode Island and contract to a Tennessee firm. Then - Mayor David Cicilline contracted to North Star in Nashville to rebrand the City of Providence and launch the orange "P."




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