By Michael Souza
PBN Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE – More than $200,000 on cash and prizes will be at stake at this year’s Rhode Island Business Plan Competition. The largest publicly supported business plan contest in New England announced last week that the winner will receive a prize of $40,000 in cash and about $30,000 of in-kind services.
Applications for the contest closed yesterday. Winners will be announced May 3 at RIBX, the annual business expo hosted by the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce at the R.I. Convention Center in Providence.
“Each year the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition gets stronger as we attract more competitors,” said competition co-chairman Larry Davidson, principal with the Providence-based accounting firm of Kahn, Litwin, Renza & Co. “Our sponsors make it all happen, as their support is helping to make Rhode Island the start-up state.”
In addition to the increased value of prizes to be awarded this year, 49 organizations currently support the competition, including many Rhode Island businesses, nonprofits, foundations, colleges and universities, public agencies, as well as two previous competition participants – NuLabel Technologies and ShapeUp.
The competition is open to anyone with an innovative business plan. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and must agree to use winnings to establish or expand a business in Rhode Island. It has awarded more than $1 million in prizes to competitors developing companies across many industries.