Updated March 30 at 6:25pm

Biz plan competition names semi-finalists


PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Business Plan Competition has chosen 15 semi-finalists for its 2013 competition, the organization announced Monday.

The 15 semi-finalists, who will compete for prizes valued at more than $200,000, were chosen from 77 emerging and would-be entrepreneurs throughout the Ocean State. The overall winner will be awarded $45,000 in cash plus more than $20,000 in professional services.

To win prizes, applicants must agree to establish or continue operations of their business in Rhode Island.

“We received many good business proposals across a broad range of industries and markets that have the potential to develop into strong companies in Rhode Island,” competition co-chair Peggy Farrell, partner in the law of firm of Hinckley, Allen & Snyder, said in a statement.

This year’s semi-finalists have proposed new businesses that span biotechnology, consumer, health care, Internet, manufacturing and software, among other industries, according to a business plan competition release.

“Building a business building requires fortitude, especially if there are setbacks, and we encourage those who were not chosen as semi-finalists to keep working on their ideas and not give up,” competition co-chair Larry Davidson, principal with the Providence-based accounting firm of Kahn, Litwin, Renza & Co., said in prepared remarks.

Semi-finalists for the “Entrepreneur Track” include:

  • Bio-Adhesive Alliance – Proposes to convert swine manure into bio-adhesive (liquid asphalt). The product can be used in pavement, sealing, roofing, construction, carpeting and bookbinding.

  • EndoSphere Surgical Inc. – Developing a method to reposition laparoscopic surgical tools to replicate open surgery providing surgeons with full control, making laparoscopic procedures easier, faster and safer to perform.

  • Green Squares – Proposes to divert roofing waste from landfills while collecting valuable data by creating a web-based system for recycling used shingles.

  • Haverhill Inc. – Designing fashion-forward fine jewelry for women that is price accessible and easily wearable.

  • Sphere E Inc. – Provides software to manage large volumes of data to help enterprises efficiently select products and services which reduce operating costs and environmental impacts.

  • TennisHub – Looks to connect tennis players to opportunities to play tennis and process online bookings and payments.

  • Validus – Developing a proprietary Data Quality Methodology and related software to help companies migrate data and perform systems integration.

Semi-finalists for the “Student Track” include:

  • Azavy – An online store for 3D printed goods that crowd-sources manufacturing, enabling consumers to buy products designed and 3D printed by users.

  • Fashion-Force – An online business-to-business social community and trade show alternative to cost effectively and efficiently connect and grow a fashion based business.

  • Graphene Oxide Technologies – Developing coatings that will enable high gas-barrier, biodegradable or recyclable plastics that support reduced use of preservatives while creating new avenues for shelf-appeal.

  • HMSolution – A cost-effective system that lowers arsenic concentration in household drinking water, without using chemicals, to meet federal requirements.

  • Optitrum – A handheld, non-invasive glucose meter to manage diabetes that utilizes a small saliva sample to determine glucose concentrations in the body almost instantaneously.

  • SEVA – A system that allows professional mariners, who otherwise cannot afford it, to receive up-to-date digital content broadcasted to their ships.

  • System X Cooling – A data center cooling system developed and patented by Raytheon embedded within the server rack.

  • Triangulation – A ranging-system that provides accurate reference locations supplemented by an app on a tablet displaying electronic blueprints that links any position on site to within 2 cm on blueprints.

Finalists will be selected later this month and winners will be announced on May 14 at The Garage, a half-day event at the R.I. Convention Center, which is hosted by the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce. All business plan competition events are free and open to the public, but registration is requested. Interested parties can register at www.ri-bizplan.com.


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