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NEW: Brown Student’s Backpack Lock Wins Elevator Pitch Competition

Thursday, December 06, 2012

 

Brown student David Emanuel took top prize in last night's Elevator Pitch competition in Rhode Island.

A proposal to create a backpack lock that will give urban travelers peace of mind took the top prize at the seventh annual statewide Elevator Pitch Contest last night, which drew 46 established and aspiring entrepreneurs who presented a wide range of business ideas to a panel of judges.

“Everyone, including the many who just came to watch and listen, learned how a well crafted pitch can make a huge difference in a company’s ability to attract investors, partners, and employees,” said Competition Co-chair Larry Davidson, principal with the Providence-based accounting firm of Kahn, Litwin, Renza & Co., Ltd.

The event, sponsored by the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition, was held at the Johnson & Wales University Harborside Campus, attracted people who have never created a company as well as experienced entrepreneurs.

Co-chair Peggy Farrell, partner in the law of firm of Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP, said, “The judges helped the presenters understand the importance of stating a problem, explaining why their solution is better than anything now available, and how their solution will make money.”

Pitch winner David Emanuel and Lock'd

Receiving the top prize was David Emanuel, a senior undergraduate mechanical engineering student at Brown University, who pitched Lock’d, which enables travelers to attach their backpacks to stationary objects such as hostel beds and train seats.

“With even just a little bit of funding we will fully develop a working prototype, enabling Lock’d to give travelers what they deserve: a worry-free and relaxing adventure,” he said.

Other winners

Presenters reflected a wide range of ages, from college freshmen to seasoned business veterans, and came from many walks of life – from inventors to business owners and professionals, including a preacher. Each had 90 seconds to present a business idea to a panel of expert judges from the Rhode Island business community, who provided constructive feedback, telling presenters what they did well and how they could improve their pitch. A total of $1,000 in cash prizes was awarded to the top 10 presenters.

The other winning presenters included the following:

  • Harry Shamir, of Carver, Mass., who presented SaEF Technologies, a wireless scoring system to make fencing competitions safer.

  • Cory Abbe, a senior business major at Brown University, who pitched Sonacatch 3D Complete Trawl Sonar System, an all-inclusive trawl sonar system that keeps underwater fishing nets safe from harm.

  • Tim Kwak, a Brown University student, who pitched SEVA, a software that will allow mariners to indicate their preferred content to be broadcast on a satellite network.

  • Tara Comer, of Warwick, who presented RYSE, a structured wellness program to active women, in the prime of life.

  • Nishant Sharma, of East Greenwich, who pitched Easy Island, Inc., a Rhode Island company that makes biodegradable and compostable, plates made from the fallen leaf sheaths of the Areca Palm tree.

  • Isha Gulati, a senior English major at Brown University, pitched Resolute Racing Shells, a power output meter that delivers key readings of power output of oarsmen.

  • Cliff Weitzman, a freshman studying economics and renewable energy at Brown University, who pitched BoardBrake, an attachable brake for longboards to make skateboarding safer.

  • Sidney Kushner, a senior at Brown University studying applied mathematics, presented CCChampions, a nonprofit corporation he established to build a national network that links children with cancer to professional athletes.

  • Andrew Mallon, of Lincoln, pitched Calista Therapeutics, Rhode Island company he established last year to develop inhaled peptide therapeutics to treat cystic fibrosis.

Serving as judges were:

  • Cary Collins, professor of banking and finance, Bryant University, Smithfield

  • Peter Dorsey, president, The Business Development Company, Providence

  • Katharine Flynn, director of corporate and foundation relations, University of Rhode Island, Kingston

  • Jim Grace, president and CEO, InsureMyTrip.com, Warwick

  • Gil Lantini, publisher, Rhode Island Small Business Journal, Providence

  • Brendan McNally, associate director, Business, Entrepreneurship and Organizations Program, Brown University, Providence

  • Pamela O’Hara, president, BatchBlue Software, LLC, Providence

  • Christine Smith, executive director, Rhode Island Science & Technology Advisory Council, Providence

The Rhode Island Business Plan Competition is expected to award $200,000 in prizes to this year’s winners. The deadline to apply is April 1, 2013.

 

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