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NEW: RI Business Plan Competition 2013 Names 15 Semi-Finalists

Tuesday, April 09, 2013


The Rhode Island Business Plan Competition today announced that it has named 15 semi-finalists in the 2013 competition from 77 emerging and would-be entrepreneurs who filed applications.

This year the competition will award prizes valued at more than $200,000 to all finalists and winners.

The semi-finalists have proposed new businesses that span biotech, consumer, healthcare, Internet, manufacturing, and software, among other, industries.

“We received many good business proposals across a broad range of industries and markets that have the potential to develop into strong companies in Rhode Island,” said Competition Co-chair Peggy Farrell, partner in the law of firm of Hinckley, Allen & Snyder.

Added Competition Co-chair Larry Davidson, principal with the Providence-based accounting firm of Kahn, Litwin, Renza & Co., “Building a business building requires fortitude, especially if there are setbacks, and we encourage those who were not chosen as semi-finalists to keep working on their ideas and not give up.”

To win prizes, applicants must agree to establish or continue operations in Rhode Island.

Entrepreneur Track Semi-Finalists

Semi-finalists in the entrepreneur track include the following:

Bio-Adhesive Alliance – Proposes to convert swine manure into bio-adhesive (liquid asphalt). The product can be used in pavement, sealing, roofing, construction, carpeting and bookbinding. Principal applicant: Mahour Parast, Greensboro, North Carolina

EndoSphere Surgical, Inc. – Developing a method to reposition laparoscopic surgical tools to replicate open surgery providing surgeons with full control, making laparoscopic procedures easier, faster, and safer to perform. Principal applicant: Melvin Prenovitz, Newton, Mass.

Green Squares – Proposes to divert roofing waste from landfills while collecting valuable data by creating a web-based system for recycling used shingles. Principal applicant: Daniel Cerutti, Providence

Haverhill Incorporated – Designing fashion-forward fine jewelry for women that is price accessible and easily wearable. Principal applicant: Alison Cariati, Providence

Sphere E Inc – Provides software to manage large volumes of data to help enterprises efficiently select products and services which reduce operating costs and environmental impacts. Principal applicant: Deborah Dunning, Providence

TennisHub– Looks to connect tennis players to opportunities to play tennis and process online bookings and payments. Principal applicant: Eddie Ross, Providence

Validus – Developing a proprietary Data Quality Methodology and related software to help companies migrate data and perform systems integration. Principal applicant: Daryl Crockett, Southborough, Mass.

Student Track Semi-Finalists

Semi-finalists in the student track include the following:

Azavy – An online store for 3D printed goods that crowd-sources manufacturing, enabling consumers to buy products designed and 3D printed by users. Principal applicant: Tyler Benster, Benster, Brown University

Fashion-Force – An online business-to-business social community and trade show alternative to cost effectively and efficiently connect and grow a fashion based business. Principal applicant: Melissa Ellard, Bryant University

Graphene Oxide Technologies – Developing coatings that will enable high gas-barrier, biodegradable or recyclable plastics that support reduced use of preservatives while creating new avenues for shelf-appeal. Principal applicant: Varsheeni Raghupathy, Brown University

HMSolution – A cost-effective system that lowers arsenic concentration in household drinking water, without using chemicals, to meet federal requirements. Principal applicant: Margaret Lengerich, Brown University

Optitrum – A handheld, non-invasive glucose meter to manage diabetes that utilizes a small saliva sample to determine glucose concentrations in the body almost instantaneously. Principal applicant: Jenny Yu, Brown University

SEVA – A system that allows professional mariners, who otherwise cannot afford it, to receive up-to-date digital content broadcasted to their ships. Principal applicant: Ilana Foni, Brown University

System X Cooling – A data center cooling system developed and patented by Raytheon embedded within the server rack. Principal applicant: Brown University

Triangulation – A ranging-system that provides accurate reference locations supplemented by an app on a tablet displaying electronic blueprints that links any position on site to within 2 cm on blueprints. Principal applicant: Rajasekeran Sundaram, Brown University

Finalists will be selected later this month. The winners will be announced May 14 at The Garage economic development event 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 The Garage.


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