Winner Named in the 2021 Rhode Island Business Competition

PROVIDENCE - (May 7, 2021) - A devoted mother and entrepreneur, who created the only platform that puts women in control of their family’s wellness by facilitating spending during pregnancy on evidence-based goods and services, was named the top winner in the 2021 Rhode Island Business Competition, which awarded prizes valued in excess of $134,000 to three competitors.

Melissa Bowley, of Newport, whose business, Flourish Collective, was declared the top winner, received $83,855 in winnings - $50,000 in cash and $33,855 in professional and consulting services.

The winner was announced at a virtual awards ceremony.

Anthony Mangiarelli, Competition co-chair and partner with the KLR accounting firm in Providence, said, “We congratulate this year's winner and finalists, who are all developing promising businesses and remind us once again that Rhode Island is not just the Ocean State but also the Entrepreneurship State! We, along with the local organizations that will provide them with business and professional services, look forward to working with them.”

Co-chair Peggy Farrell, partner with the Hinckley Allen law firm in Providence, added, "The pandemic continued to present challenges for the Competition but we are delighted that we were able to support these entrepreneurs. This Competition can only award prizes because of the commitment of our many sponsors, and we thank them for their unflagging support. By supporting the Competition, they are investing in startups that will help shape Rhode Island's future."

The two finalists, each of whom received $10,000 in cash and services valued at $15,455, were:

Asian Feed - the leading media outlet for the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Principal applicant: Justin Kim

Mocingbird - a product that aligns curated continuing medical education (CME) content to clinicians' board, state, and other ongoing requirements while also allowing healthcare organizations to manage clinician compliance real-time while automating existing manual, paper-based tasks. Principal applicant: Brad Artery

Serving as judges for this year are -

  • Kim Anderson, Impact Investor and Owner of Plant City
  • Bob Chatham, Director at Slater Technology Fund
  • Peggy Farrell, Partner at Hinckley Allen
  • Katharine Flynn, Executive Director at URI's Business Engagement Center
  • David Hirsch, Partner at Hinckley Allen
  • Todd Knapp, CEO at Envision Technology Advisors
  • Anthony Mangiarelli, Partner at KLR
  • Jennifer Rousseau, Director of Strategic Planning for New Ventures at Altus Dental
  • Lydia Shin Schroter, Managing Director at New England Medical Innovation Center (NEMIC)
  • Annette Tonti, Managing Director at RIHub
  • Zachary Weinberger, Partner at Sprout CoWorking

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

Sponsors of the 2021 Rhode Island Business Competition

Pillar sponsors are Cox Business, Everhope Foundation, and Providence Journal Charitable Legacy Fund. Other lead sponsors include Envision Technology Advisors, Hinckley Allen, Integrated Media Group, KLR, Sprout Coworking, and Tech Collective.

Also sponsoring are Barlow, Josephs & Holmes, Ltd., Beacon Mutual Insurance Company, Brown University Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship, Bryant University, Center for Women & Enterprise, FM Global, Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, Luminous Creative Agency, and Social Enterprise Greenhouse.

Additional sponsors include Bank Rhode Island, Bristol County Savings Bank, Business Development Company, Delta Dental of Rhode Island, Dimeo Construction Company, Navigant Credit Union, Pawtucket Credit Union, Peter George, Slater Technology Fund, Washington Trust Company, BankNewport, Cherrystone Angel Group, CVS/Health, Fidelity Investments, The Idea Turbine, Morgan Stanley - Richard Carriere, Newport Biodiesel, and StormTree.

The Competition’s growth partners include MassChallenge RI, RIHub VMS, and Venture Café.

The Rhode Island Business Competition aims to create and foster growth companies in Rhode Island that will increase local employment. This non-profit is supported by a broad range of sponsors that include private businesses, investors, foundations, colleges and universities, public entities, nonprofit organizations, and former competitors. Today, it is the leading community-supported business plan competition in the Northeast. The Competition encourages plans for new businesses, as well as from early-stage companies.