2007 R.I. Business Plan winners named

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PROVIDENCE – The developer of software that transforms cell phones into automated security devices and a student team that uses peer pressure to help lower employers’ health-care costs today were named the winners of the 2007 Rhode Island Business Plan Competition.

This year’s winners were chosen from among 40 applicants from seven states. They are:

• In the entrepreneur track, Campus Guardian Corp., led by Michael Glier of Jamestown. The company’s software turns GPS-enabled cell phones into personal security devices that can automatically notify a college or university security force.

• In the student track, Providence Health Solutions LLC, founded by Brown University medical students Brad Weinberg and Rajiv Kumar. A workplace wellness program, Providence Health relies on a peer approach and exercise competitions to motivate behavior change and weight loss.

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Each was awarded prizes valued at $62,500, including cash and services from Ocean State companies and organizations.

The announcement came during a special meeting of the Brown Forum for Enterprise, held at the R.I. Convention Center this afternoon in conjunction with the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Business Expo 2007.

It was preceded by brief presentations by all six finalists. In the entrepreneur track, they were Campus Guardian; Tizra Inc., led by David Durand of Providence, which is developing a hosted service to ease management of PDFs, and which today announced an $500,000 investment by the Slater Technology Fund; and Ultimo Measurement, led by Lubrano of Scituate, developer of a non-invasive measurement technology for liquids and loose solids. In the student track, they were Providence Health; Sonicfoam LLC, led by Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering student Lindsay Redmond, which is developing a toxin-free process for producing polyurethane foam surfboards; and Zapdot Interactive LLC, led by Syracuse University computer science student Michael Carriere, which is developing a subscription-based service for competitive online gamers.

“The exceptionally high quality of the finalist entries posed a strong challenge to the judges,” said competition co-chair Garrett B. Hunter, president of the Business Development Co. of Rhode Island. “Based on the originality, zeal and potential of all the plans submitted,” added contest co-chair Charles Kingdon, Brown University associate vice president for the Brown Technology Partnerships, “it’s fair to say Rhode Island will be a big winner in the months and years ahead.”

Additional information is available at www.ri-bizplan.com.