Rhode Island Business Competition to Award Prizes Valued at $182,000; Names Judges

PROVIDENCE – (March 1, 2019) – The Rhode Island Business Competition (RIBC), which has provided capital and services to very early stage businesses in Rhode Island for nearly two decades, today announced it will award prizes valued at approximately $182,000 when winners in the 2019 Competition are named in May.

UPDATEValue of prizes to be awarded now stands at $185,000


Ten veteran business builders were also named as judges in the 2019 competition.

The announcement was made in advance of the April 1 deadline to apply to the competition. 

The prizes, consisting of cash and in-kind services, are provided by dozens of sponsors, including banks, investors, colleges, universities, professional service firms, nonprofits, and construction, health-related, software, retail, and other businesses, as well as former competitors.

In a joint statement, RIBC co-chairs Anthony Mangiarelli, partner at the KLR accounting firm, and Peggy Farrell, partner in the Hinckley Allen law firm, noted, “The continuing support of our many generous sponsors is what enables the Rhode Island Business Competition to continue from year to year, making it unique as the largest, ongoing community-supported business competition in the Northeast.”

Serving as volunteer judges this year are the following:
  • Kim Anderson, an impact investor and socially responsible entrepreneur
  • Andrew Capalbo, partner, Locke Lord
  • Peggy Farrell, partner, Hinckley Allen
  • Katharine Flynn, executive director, University of Rhode Island Business Engagement Center
  • Carol Malysz, executive director of RI Bio
  • Anthony Mangiarelli, partner at KLR
  • Lou Mazzucchelli, investor and coordinator of Entrepreneurship Programs, Bryant University
  • Thorne Sparkman, managing director of the Slater Technology Fund
  • Brian Spero, president & CEO of The Beacon Mutual Insurance Company
  • Jeffrey Wilhelm, chief technology officer at Envision Technology Advisors
The competition, which supports growing businesses that will expand employment in Rhode Island, is open to anyone with an innovative business plan. All applicants must be at least 18 years of age and agree to use winnings to establish or expand a business in Rhode Island. 

Currently, 50 former competitors, employing more than 500 people, are operating businesses that are selling locally, nationally, and internationally, employing hundreds of people, and buying services and supplies from scores of Rhode Island companies. 

Complete competition information, including rules, application procedures, guidelines, and business plan resources, is available at www.ri-business.com.

Sponsors of the 2019 Competition

Lead sponsors of the 2019 Competition, which will culminate in May, are Bryant University, Cox Business, Envision Technology Advisors, Everhope Foundation, Hinckley Allen, Integrated Media Group, KLR, Locke Lord, the New England Medical Innovation Center, and Sprout Coworking.

Also sponsoring the 2019 Competition are Barlow, Josephs & Holmes, Ltd., Brown University Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship, Center for Women and Enterprise, FM Global, Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, Hatch Entrepreneurial Center, Luminous, RevUp Capital, Social Enterprise Greenhouse, TD Bank, and Tech Collective.

Additional sponsors include Bank of America, Bank Rhode Island, BankNewport, The Beacon Mutual Insurance Company, Bristol County Savings Bank, Business Development Company, Cherrystone Angel Group, Citizens  Bank, CompNet Insurance Solutions, CVS Health, Delta Dental of Rhode Island, Dimeo Construction Company, EpiVax, Fidelity Investments, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at CCRI, Hayes & Sherry Real Estate Services, The Idea Turbine, InsureMyTrip, Johnson & Wales University, The Moore Company, Navigant Credit Union, Newport Biodiesel, Pawtucket Credit Union, Richard Carriere, Slater Technology Fund, StormTree, Teknor Apex, University of Rhode Island College of Business Administration, Virgin Pulse, and The Washington Trust Company.

Growth partners include MassChallenge and Venture Mentoring Service of Rhode Island.

About the Rhode Island Business Competition

Established in 2000, the RIBC has been recognized as one of the top 40 business plan competitions in the country. To date, it has awarded more than $2.6 million in prizes to developing companies across many industries. 

The Competition is free and open to everyone age 18 or over whether or not they already have started a business.