PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Business Plan Competition on Wednesday announced the 12 local emerging and would-be entrepreneurs who will compete as semi-finalists in the 2014 contest.
The semi-finalists, winnowed from a field of 75 applicants, will compete for prizes valued at more than $200,000 when the winners announced May 1 at The Garage, a half-day business expo hosted by the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce at the R.I. Convention Center.
“Narrowing down the many excellent applications we received inevitably means those who weren’t selected will be disappointed,” said Competition Co-chair Margaret “Peggy” Farrell, a partner with competition sponsor Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP. “That doesn’t mean they can’t succeed, but that their plan may not have fit the criteria of the competition. We encourage them to keep pursuing their ideas and take advantage of the many excellent resources in Rhode Island that support emerging entrepreneurs.”
This year’s semi-finalists have proposed businesses that address problems in the biotech, consumer, health care, Internet, software and information technology industries.
Semi-finalists for the “Entrepreneur Track” include:
Cargenics – Developing a technology to treat canine lymphoma that modifies a cancer patient’s T cells that, when re-infused, bind and kill their cancer.
CompNet Insurance Solutions – aims to provide instant insurance quotes online, direct to the consumer, eliminating the need for an insurance broker.
Grindz Co. – Developing protective padding that can be discreetly included in fashion-conscious children’s clothes.
KloudBook – Provides a universal way to look up mobile number, email address and other contact online without the endorsements, resumes, photos and personal postings that clutter other websites.
Nordic Technology Group – Developing software that uses 3-D motion sensors to identify and alert caregivers to changes in behavior that show a need for help.
StormTree – Developed a green technology that enables property developers and municipalities to manage storm water runoff as a sustainable alternative to traditional underground pipe systems.
Semi-finalists for the “Student Track” include:
b. Company – Creating shoes for women who have bunions and who experience difficulty finding the right shoes that combine stylish heels with the comfort of sneakers.
BoardBrake – Designed a removable, foot-activated brake for longboards/skateboards that improves confidence, control and speed for riders while making it quicker to learn how to use longboards/skateboards.
Data2Datum – Developed a user-friendly, smart-learning data exploration methodology for exploring multidimensional, heterogeneous data sets.
Dual Server Cooling – Using licensed technology to help data centers use energy more efficiently to cool electrical equipment with lower implementation cost.
MedSynergies – Proposes to use a low-cost, high-sensitivity, optically activated micro-device to detect lung cancer at its early and treatable stages.
Pronto Solutions – Designed a smartphone application for ordering and paying catered to full-service restaurants, allowing customers to order on impulse and pay when they are ready.
Although applicants need not be Rhode Island residents, to be selected as a semi-finalist applicants must agree to establish or continue business operations in Rhode Island should they be named a finalist or winner. Only one of the semi-finalists, Seekonk, Mass.-based KloudBook, is currently based outside Rhode Island.
Founded in 2000 to help create “growth companies” that will bring jobs to the local community, the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition encourages plans for new businesses, as well as from early-stage companies. Judges will focus on originality, breadth of impact on the business community and likelihood of success in choosing finalists and winners.
For more information about the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition, visit www.ri-bizplan.com.