Rhode Island Business Competition Names 12 Semi-Finalists

Winners and Finalists of 2019 Competition Will Share Prizes Valued at $185,000

PROVIDENCE – (April 9, 2019) – The Rhode Island Business Competition today announced 12 semi-finalists have been selected in the 2019 competition, which will culminate next month with the awarding of prizes valued at $185,000.

The semi-finalists were chosen from 68 applicants who proposed businesses that address opportunities in agriculture, biotechnology, career placement, energy, entertainment, health care and well-being, nutrition, and process improvement, among other areas of commercialization.

Winners in the 2019 competition will be announced at a public ceremony on May 7 at the New England Medical Innovation Center in Providence, with prizes awarded to winners and finalists.

"Rhode Island continues to be an attractive place to start and grow a business, as evidenced by this year's strong applicant group," said Co-Chairs Peggy Farrell, partner with the law firm of Hinckley Allen in Providence and Anthony Mangiarelli, partner with the accounting firm of KLR in Providence.

“Success never follows a straight path, and we encourage those who were not selected as semi-finalists this year to keep working on their idea,” they added.

Entrepreneur Track Semi-finalists

Semi-finalists in the entrepreneur track are as follows:

Alex Therapeutics, which is developing an interactive artificial intelligence-based app that delivers personalized, behavioral modification support outside a therapist’s office for patients suffering anxiety, substance abuse, and mental disorders. Principal applicant: Matthew Heller, Providence.

Biotica Bio, which has developed an oral microbial therapeutic that treats inflammatory bowel disease and other human endocannabinoid deficiencies without expensive clinical trials. Principal applicant: John Round, Providence.

CBC Wind Energy, which is developing efficient, attractively priced wind turbines to be mounted on homes and other structures to meet the growing demand for alternative power supplies. Principal applicant: Robert Baxter, Warwick.

CryoWave Energy, which has developed a pressure wave pulsating injection tool that improves secondary and tertiary recovery of oil at drilling sites with no disruption to current production operations and reduces wastewater output. Principal applicant: John Ireland, Woonsocket.

Modus Wear-Tech is developing an app to help people receiving physical therapy to monitor and support prescribed services by providing support, analytics, and messaging. Principal applicant: Kunal Mankodiya, Providence.

Uproot has developed a space-efficient dispenser of non-dairy milks, including plant-based milk concentrates, for use in cafeterias and other food service operations. Principal applicant: Kevin Eve, Providence.

Student Track Semi-finalists

Following are semi-finalists in the student track:

Cloud Agronomics is developing a system by which farmers can monitor fields remotely for disease and nutrient deficiencies, providing actionable prescription maps and recommended treatments. Principal applicant: Jack Roswell, Brown University.

goTeff has developed a low sugar, slow-absorbing, high-nutrition, ready-to-eat breakfast meal made of Teff, a grain from Ethiopia, which will also provide market access for Teff farmers. Principal applicant: Saron Mechale, Brown University.

H2Ok Innovations is using artificial intelligence data analytics to map sources of contamination in underground pipes that are targeted for replacement. Principal applicant: David Lu, Brown University.

Impact Labs has developed a series of programs that provide access to competitive opportunities in the technology and social good space for computer science students. Principal applicant: Adi Melamed, Brown University.

Intus Care is using automation and machine learning to develop an improved process to provide improved home care at lower cost. Principal applicant: John Felton, Brown University.

Marine Monitoring is developing a product to detect harmful bacteria in freshwater/marine environments to ensure community safety. Principal applicant: Kayla Colson, Brown University.

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, 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, Tech Collective, and the University of Rhode Island College of Business Administration.

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 Hilb Group of New England, The Idea Turbine, InsureMyTrip, Johnson & Wales University, The Moore Company, Navigant Credit Union, the New England Medical Innovation Center, Newport Biodiesel, Pawtucket Credit Union, Richard Carriere, Slater Technology Fund, StormTree, Teknor Apex, 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. Complete information, including rules, application procedures, guidelines, and business plan resources, is available at www.ri-business.com.