News & Events

Throughout the 2019 Rhode Island Business Competition a number of free public events were held to help applicants and potential applicants prepare to do their best. 

Date Event Description
Oct. 10, 2018
2019 Competition Kick-Off
Recent winners shared their experiences. Details.
Dec. 5, 2018
Rhode Island Elevator Pitch Contest
A standing-room-only crowd cheered others who pitched their ideas to a panel of judges. Details.
Jan. 9, 2019
Workshop: Define Your Business
Business experts provided guidance on how to determine if an idea can be a growing business. Details.
Feb. 6, 2019 Workshop: Make Your Business Case
A business builder provided guidance on how to present your business idea. Details.
March 6, 2019
Workshop: Find Those Funds
Seasoned entrepreneurs and investors provided insights on how to get early stage funding. Details.
May 7, 2019 Awards Ceremony
Winners were announced at a public ceremony. Details.

RI Business Competition Alumni News


Our Alumni Are Achieving...and Thriving. See the video!

ProThera Biologics – 2010 Entrepreneur Track Winner

  • Established a key alliance for the manufacture of Inter-Alpha Inhibitor Protein (IAIP) with a world leading producer of plasma proteins for clinical use.
  • Completed two commercial development agreements to advance IAIP into clinical use.
  • Won $2 million Small Business Innovation Research Fast Track grant from the National Institutes of Health in June 2019 to study a new prognosis assessment test.

Tvar EdTech  – 2017 Student Track Winner 

  • Won $30,000 in the inaugural 2018 MassChallenge Rhode Island accelerator.
  • Won $25,000 grand prize in the 2017 Get Started Rhode Island business pitch competition.

TextUp     2018 Student Track Winner

  • Named a 2018 Tech10 Award winner in the Entrepreneur/Start-up category. 
  • Finalist in the 2018 Get Started Rhode Island pitch competition.
PowerDocks  – 2018 Entrepreneur Track Finalist

  • Won the 2018 Electric & Hybrid Marine Industry Innovation of the Year Award for its floating solar power supply dock.

goTeff  – 2018 Student Track Finalist

  • One of 40 teams, out of 100,000 applicants worldwide, to compete in the Hult International Business Prize Accelerator program
Premama  2011 Student Track Winner

  • Hired VP of strategy and a controller.
  • Raised $4.6M. Actively raising more funds.
  • Launched in CVS and GNC stores nationwide in 2015. 
  • Its four products sell at CVS, GNC, Amazon, and
Response Technologies2016 Entrepreneur Track Winner 

  • Won SBIR award of $1M for using its technology to improve the U.S. military’s and federal government’s Willard Boat.
  • Won DoD Manufacturing Technology Innovation Award.
  • 3 full-time, 2 part-time employees.

Mighty Well2016 Student Track Winner

  • Won $250,000 in Babson Breakaway Challenge, to help scale the business in Rhode Island.
  • Hired 2 full-time, 2 part-time staff, 2 part-time consultants, and 5 interns.
  • Manufacturing with Pyramid Case Co in Olneyville, and hired McGarry&Sons to help build out a 5-piece capsule collection.
Newport Biodiesel   2010 Green Track Winner   Now a Competition sponsor!

  • Employing 35, and growing rapidly.
  • Now helping 3,000+ New England kitchens manage their cooking oil.
  • Producing and selling millions of gallons of biodiesel, derived from used cooking oil, annually.

Spotter    2017 Entrepreneur Track Semi-finalist

  • Expanded to San Francisco to open first West Coast branch.
  • Launched new spot acquisition platform Cash positive.
Siren Marine2012 Technology Award Winner

  • Sold more than 1,000 boat monitoring and tracking systems to date.
  • Raised $1.5 million in seed funding for development of next-generation products.
  • Signed deal with Vodafone to be Siren’s global cellular provider.
  • Launched second generation products in Q2 2017.
ShapeUp2007 Student Track Winner

  • Acquired in February 2016 by Virgin Pulse, part of Richard Branson's Virgin Group.

Social Enterprise Greenhouse2012 Entrepreneur Track Finalist – Now a Competition sponsor!

  • Launched its first food accelerator in February 2016.
  • Introduced its sixth cohort of Impact Accelerator program participants.
  • Cited as a key element in helping to make Providence a top startup market in the U.S.
StormTree2014 Entrepreneur Track Finalist Now a Competition sponsor!

  • Now selling nationally – California, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan.
  • Became an SBA-certified, woman-owned small business.

Maternova2011 Entrepreneur Track Finalist

  • Partnering with a team in Brazil to run a trial of the CRADLE vital signs monitoring device.
  • Partnering with Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation to introduce the Pratt Pouch to 40,000 HIV-positive mothers in Uganda.
  • Sending thousands of rapid schistosomiasis test kits to the Philippines to equip a Brown University team.
  • Partnering with a major humanitarian organization and sending thousands of rapid dengue test kits to their teams for the first time.
CompNet Insurance Solutions2014 Entrepreneur Track Winner

  • On track to write $5 million in premiums in 2017.
  • Launched a marketing partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.
  • Established partnerships with the Retail Association of Massachusetts, Retail Association of New Hampshire, Virginia Chamber Commerce, and National Payroll Services.
  • Signed partnership agreements with Psychogenics and another company that is a global leader in animal health care. 
XactSense  2016 Entrepreneur Track Finalist 

  • Raised $200K to launch pilot programs with major cell tower owners, carriers, and engineers in the U.S.
  • New prototypes and full working systems in use now.
  • 4 full-time employees.
NuLabel Technologies2009 Student Track Semi-finalist

  • Developed national partner network
  • Named a "Rising Star" by SBANE
  • Raised more than $5 million from investors.
Splitwise2012 Entrepreneur Track Finalist

  • Named one of Top 100 Free Finance Apps on both iPhone and Android.
  • Launched a Spanish translation of its product.
  • Hired its seventh full-time employee.
Zapdot2007 Student Track Finalist

  • Collaborating with Pleasant Dreams, a Dutch game designer, that took the company to conferences, including PAX East in Boston, Boston FIG, PAX Prime in Seattle, and IndieCade in Los Angeles.
  • 5  full time employees.

American Ecotech2011 Green Winner

  • Completed developing the nation’s most advanced truly mobile 4WD air pollution monitoring vehicle.
  • Working on developing the world’s first environmental testing chamber that is able to mimic any ambient air environment and integrates references sensors in order to test small sensor technologies accurately.
  • Developed the first versatile data acquisition technologies deemed suitable for networking ambient air monitoring applications under $2,000.
Aten Energy Conservation2010 Green Semi-finalist

  • Since competing in 2010, Aten Energy Conservation has worked on more than 1,000 Rhode Island homes to make them more energy efficient.
  • Won U.S. Department of Energy and the US Environmental Protection Agency ENERGY STAR ‘Century Club Award’
  • Purchased a 7,200-square-foot facility moved operations to Pawtucket.
BioIntraface2009 Entrepreneur Track  Winner

  • Co-developed a medical device applicator for dispensing its coating technology to create a liquid wound dressing to combat infection.
The Compost Plant2015 Entrepreneur Track Finalist

  • Now serving as Rhode Island's first full-service commercial composting facility.

Dear Kate2009 Student Track Finalist

  • Was the focus of a high profile article in The New Yorker that detailed the ins and outs of doing photo shoots for women’s underwear.
Farsounder2002 Entrepreneur Track Winner

  • Authored an article on forward-looking sonar for Sea Technology.
  • Received a 2015 Tibbetts Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Grindz2014 Entrepreneur Track Semi-finalist

  • Signed a partnership/branding deal with Strider Sports International, Inc., the world’s premier manufacturer and marketer of efficient, no-pedal balance bikes for all ages and abilities.
  • Grindz’s protective pants named “a must have for anyone with active children” by
  • Grindz products called “cool protective gear for kids” by
Hannah Daye & Company – 2013 Entrepreneur Track Winner

  • Successfully raised funds via a Kickstarter campaign earlier this year to develop its 2015 fine jewelry collection.
  • Co-founders Alison Cariati and Haverhill Leach lauded for their business model in ltd blog.

Date Event
April 1, 2019 Applications due by 5 pm, Eastern time (U.S.)
April 8, 2019 Semi-finalists notified
April 16, 2019 Complete plans due from semi-finalists by noon
April 24, 2019 Semi-finalists make 5-minute presentation to judges; finalists selected
May 1, 2019 Finalists make 25-minute presentation to judges 
May 7, 2019 Awards Ceremony where all finalists present and winners are announced. Exact date to be determined. Details.