R.I. Business Plan Competition names semifinalists

Rhode Island Business Plan Competition has named semifinalists for 2017.
Rhode Island Business Plan Competition has named semifinalists for 2017.

PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Business Plan Competition on Tuesday announced 15 semifinalists for this year’s competition.

The semifinalists, whittled down from 86 applicants, comprise aspiring entrepreneurs from numerous industries. The group will go on to contend for award prizes totaling $271,000.

Finalists will be named later this month; winners will be named on May 16 at the Waterfire Arts Center in Providence. Prizes are awarded to finalists and winners.

The competition is co-chaired by Peggy Farrell, partner at Hinkley Allen law firm in Providence, and Anthony Mangiarelli, partner at KLR accounting firm, also in Providence.

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“We received an outstanding set of applications this year and we encourage those who were not selected as semi-finalists to keep working on their ideas, which is what all successful entrepreneurs do whatever comes their way,” the duo said in a joint statement.

The semi-finalists are separated into two tracks and include:

Entrepreneur Track

  • BI Medical LLC is developing a single use device for removing bacterial contamination of prostheses. Principal applicant: James Wagner of Coventry
  • Care Thread Inc. is cloud-based, clinically integrated mobile- and web-based application that delivers actionable, patient-specific information in real time, so clinical care teams can communicate. Principal applicant: Nick Adams of Providence
  • Crave Food Services Corp. is an online platform for locally produced food products to be sold to institutional and other purchasers. Principal applicant: Matthew Tortora of North Kingstown
  • Farmer Willie’s Inc. is developing and marketing a ginger beer that has less sugar and fewer calories than those already commercially available. Principal applicant: Fernando Guimaraes of Providence
  • SomaDetect is developing a technology that will allow dairy farmers to measure somatic cell counts and fat percentage in the barn and identify the onset of sub-clinical mastitis. Principal applicant: Bethany Deshpande of Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
  • Spotter Parking is a platform for privately-owned parking spaces to be rented out to consumers and mobility services. Principal applicant: Albie Brown of Providence
  • Technologies Against Assault PBC is developing a technologically advanced swab to rapidly detect whether a given biological sample contains any usable evidence for analysis by a forensic lab. Principal applicant: Richard Park of Providence
  • Tvar EdTech is a phonics teaching device that lets students practice the most time-consuming step of phonics instruction independently, and also teaches braille. Principal applicant: Alex Tavares of East Greenwich
  • Your Heaven Audio is a microphone system for amplifying and recording acoustic instruments that accurately renders acoustic sound. Principal applicant: Prachi Jain of Providence

Student Track

  • 5 Commas provides a control system and personalized analytics that enables indoor farmers to analyze and automatically obtain relevant crop data. Principal applicant: Andrew Oberlander of Brown University
  • AirMasons is a drone-based system that supports construction services such as surveying and scaffold construction in difficult to access locations. Principal applicant: Joshua Gyllinsky of University of Rhode Island
  • BioPack is a system for blending graphene oxide and related materials with biodegradable polymers for the packaging industry. Principal applicant: Yun Xu of Brown University
  • Bloodhound is a system that automates oil rig inspections, allowing frequent, autonomous and more cost effective remote inspections. Principal applicant: Bruce Hall of Brown University
  • BridgeWell is developing a device that provides a user-friendly means for creating precise, 3-D imaging of internal flaws or roadway bridges. Principal applicant: Shenglin Tian of Brown University
  • Echowear LLC is developing a cloud-based system that enables health care providers to remotely monitor patients. Principal applicant: Nicholas Constant of University of Rhode Island

Eli Sherman is a PBN staff writer.