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NEW: Elevator Pitch Contest Awards Top Innovators

Friday, December 09, 2011


90 second elevator ride is all it takes to make a business plan a reality

Ninety seconds in a pseudo-elevator might just save thousands of American lives.

Kipp Bradford – biomedical engineer and lecturer at Brown University’s School of Engineering – took home top honors at the RI Elevator Pitch Contest on Wednesday night. His pitch, the KippCool Medical Cooling System is an ambulance-based, emergency-cooling system that would improve the chance of survival for heart attack and stroke victims. Currently in the production phase, the system could potentially serve more than 35,000 first-responder ambulances in use across the United States.

48 innovators take the stage

Bradford faced off against 47 other innovators with a full range of business experience – some who have never created a company as well as experienced entrepreneurs. Each presenter had 90 seconds to present their business idea to a panel of judges from the Rhode Island business community and a live audience. The experts provided feedback and awarded a total of $1000 in cash and prizes to the top nine presenters.

Now in its sixth year, the annual contest was sponsored by the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition and held at the Rhode Island Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (RICIE).

RICIE Director Brendan McNally served on the judging panel, along with InsureMyTrip.com president Jim Grace, Andera president and CEO Charlie Kroll, Social Venture Partners RI director Kelly Ramirez, Lockify and Betaspring co-founder Jack Templin, and Brooks Houghton & Company, Inc. director Barbara Shoenfeld.

The start-up state

“Rhode Island is being called the start-up state and for good reason, judging by the breadth and originality of ideas presented last evening” said Competition Co-chair Larry Davidson, principal with the Providence-based accounting firm of Kahn, Litwin, Renza & Co., Ltd. “If only a fraction of these ideas evolve into new businesses, we’ll all be gainers."

And the award goes to...

Other honored innovators included three Brown University students and one URI student. The eight honorees receiving prizes alongside Kipp were:

Jeffrey Aghjayan for the Espalier Hybrid Vegetative Green Roof Solution, a rooftop gardening system addressing weight and heat gain issues;

Martin Akhavan for Innovostics, a low-cast test determining the cause of infection in impoverished children around the world;

Brielle Friedman, a Brown University student, for BodyRox Fitness, a dance fitness company;

Michael Kelso for VitalNotes, web-based software allowing physicians and hospitals to spend more time focusing on patients’ needs;

Han Lee, a Brown University student, for GLS Mobile Board, a solar-powered mobile display that projects on location-specific billboards, including the backs of trucks;

Kristen Legge, a URI student, for Easy Island, a producer of natural, biodegradable and compostable dinnerware;
James McGinn, a Brown University student, for JCD Wind, producer of high strength, lightweight carbon fiber turbine blades and;

Daniel Russo for The Shopping List Bag, a patent-pending solution to reusable bag forgetfulness.


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