Revolutionary beverage container garners top prize at elevator pitch contest

Wednesday's Elevator Pitch Contest, a precursor to the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition, had a record 48 presenters.
Posted 12/9/10
(Updated, 2 p.m.)

PROVIDENCE – An idea for a container that can quickly heat and cool beverages won a Brown University student $300 Wednesday at the annual elevator pitch contest sponsored by the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition.

Brown University senior Theresa Raimondo had 90 seconds to deliver her pitch to a panel of judges and more than 200 audience members.

Raimondo, niece of General Treasurer-elect Gina Raimondo, presented a concept of using compact thermoelectric technology in a beverage container to heat or cool any drink between 50 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit within 90 seconds.

Raimondo said she and six fellow undergraduate students have been working to develop the concept, called HnC (hot and cold), as part of an entrepreneurship class. The chemical engineering major said that the team believes such a container could revolutionize the beverage market.

The competition attracted 48 aspiring entrepreneurs. Judges had initially intended to whittle the list to 30 for judging but, in a last-minute change, decided to hear everyone. Contestants ranged college students to veteran business people.

“The energy and excitement – along with the record number of participants and observers – indicates just how vigorous, broad and deep the entrepreneurial spirit is in Rhode Island,” said competition Co-chair Larry Davidson. “Everyone, participants and judges alike, did a tremendous job.”

And while judges selected Raimondo as the top winner, they also awarded cash prizes to nine other contestants.

  • Joseph Ramos, of Axena Technologies in Providence, received $200 for his plan for a start-up company to combat health care-associated infections.
  • Dan Aziz, of PriWater in Providence, received $200 for a drink to help pregnant women decrease the chance of some birth defects.
  • Nick Garrison received $50 for plan to make Providence-based High Jinx Brewing Co. into a regional and national brand of craft beer.
  • Tyler Rowley, of Providence, received $50 for LLC a website geared towards people seeking information on dining and nightlife information in Rhode Island.
  • Jacob Frick and Andrew DeSoiza, students at Providence College, shared $50 for Fan Treck, a website that provides sports fans with the ability to plan trips based around their favorite teams.
  • Michael Giroux, of Furtile Foods in Providence, received $50 for an idea for the Furtile Food Truck, which serves natural, locally grown foods from a mobile kitchen.
  • Anshu Vaish, a Brown University student, received $50 for WaterWalla, a social venture providing access to clean water in urban slums through the development of local sustainable microenterprises.
  • Meg Wirth, of Maternova Inc. in Providence, received $50 for her company’s effort to create an online marketplace for life-saving global health innovations.
  • Kathleen Swann, with Leadership and Learning Group LLC in West Greenwich, received $50 for OOWOW, an educational game for children that develops reading skills.

The elevator pitch was a precursor to the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition, which will award more than $150,000 in prizes to entrepreneurs that present a business that could blossom in Rhode Island. The deadline to enter the competition is April 4 and winners will be announced in May.

PBN Hosted

Join PBN for the best networking event and party of the winter - January 15, 2015 - the Book of Lists Party at the Providence Public Library. Reserve your spot early!
  • Best Places to Work
    Enrollment is now open for the 7th annual Best Places to Work program. Winners w ...
  • Manufacturing Awards
    Applications are now being accepted for the 2nd Annual Manufacturing Awards. Dea ...
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
    Latest News