NEW: RI Business Plan Competition 2012 Names Semi-Finalists
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
The semi-finalists have proposed new business that span biotech, internet, consumer, distribution, and manufacturing industries.
Competition Co-chair David Mitchell, dean of the College of Business at Johnson & Wales University, said, “The range of proposed business ideas shows that entrepreneurship continues to have strong appeal to a broad cross section of people, which, no matter who wins, is good for Rhode Island.”
Noting that many businesses need to evolve before they are fully functional, Competition Co-chair Larry Davidson, principal with the Providence-based accounting firm of Kahn, Litwin, Renza & Co., encouraged those who were not chosen to continue with their ideas: “Successful entrepreneurs don’t give up.”
To receive prizes, which will be awarded to all finalists and winners, applicants must agree to establish or continue operations in Rhode Island.
Entrepreneur Track Semi-Finalists
Semi-finalists in the entrepreneur track include the following:
Buy with Heart – An online service that will allow consumers to easily find social enterprise products and services. Principal applicant: Kelly Ramirez, Providence.
CREmedical Corporation – A biotech company that aims to solve problems involved in the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy. Principal applicant: Walter Besio, Kingston
Easy Island, Inc. – A company seeking to market all natural, completely biodegradable, and environmentally safe gourmet plates and dinnerware as earth-conscious alternatives to traditional paper and plastic plates. Principal applicant: Nishant Sharma, East Greenwich.
JumpOffCampus – A new company that wants to partner with universities to provide a free online resource for their students to find safe and affordable housing near campus. Principal applicant: Mark Abramowicz, Providence.
RecoVend – Will offer a collaborative purchasing platform to enable college and school administrators save time and money by working together to discover, research and buy the products they need. Principal applicant: Kyle Judah, Providence.
Siren Marine, Inc. – Has developed a waterproof GSM/GPS . device that monitors any marine asset's critical systems and is controlled and operated via any standard cell phone. Principal applicant: Daniel Harper, Mystic, Conn.
Splitwise – An Internet-based system that advises people about fairness and shared bills and automatically pays people back to balance their share. Principal applicant: Jonathan Bittner, Providence
Student Track Semi-Finalists
Semi-finalists in the student track include the following:
Citybase Security – A map-based platform that integrates communication and information systems for emergency responders and public reporting of incidents/crimes. Principal applicant: Julianne Bishop, Brown University.
Fund For America – A platform that will enable growing businesses to tell their stories and offer equity to interested investors. Principal applicant: T. Luke Sherwin, Brown University.
InstaChef – A consumer product that will enable users to save money while cooking a healthy and balanced dinner in less than 15 minutes. Principal applicant: Edward Szumski, University of Rhode Island.
JC Wind – A manufacturing company that will create carbon-fiber based wind turbine blades with an attractive strength/weight profile at less cost. Principal applicant: James McGinn, Brown University.
Overhead.fm – An affordable web app that will provide a customizable stream of music for in-store use, licensing music directly from artists/labels. Principal applicant: Stephen Hebson, Brown University.
Solar4Cents – A manufacturing company that will produce cost, thin-film copper, zinc, tin, and sulfur solar cells for solar panel manufacturers. Principal applicant: Sean Pennino, Brown University.
Finalists will be selected later this month. The winners will be announced May 3 at RIBX 2012 (Business Expo) at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, sponsored by the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce. All finalists will be invited to present their business plans at RIBX.
Sponsors of the 2012 Competition
Lead sponsors of the 2012 competition are Davol Inc., Johnson & Wales University, Providence Journal Charitable Foundation, Rhode Island Commodores, Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, University of Rhode Island, along with Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, Embolden, Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP, and Kahn, Litwin, Renza & Co., Ltd.
Also supporting the competition are: AM 790, Amica Insurance, Bank Rhode Island, Bryant University, Braemar Energy Ventures, Business Development Company, Care New England, Center for Women & Enterprise, Centreville Bank, Cherrystone Angel Group, Citizens Bank of Rhode Island, Collette Vacations, Fidelity Investments, FM Global, Gilbane, Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, GTECH Corporation, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Nortek Inc., NuLabel Technologies, Point Judith Capital, Providence College, Providence Business, News, RI Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, RI Science & Technology Advisory Council, RI Small Business Development Center, Slater Technology Fund, Tech Collective, Teknor Apex, Verizon, and Ximedica.
Also, Banneker Industries, Inc., CVS/Caremark, Freedom National Bank, Hayes & Sherry Real Estate Services, InsureMyTrip.com, Schneider Electric, ShapeUp, Taco, Inc., and TD Bank.