R.I. Business Competition announces winners of elevator pitch contest

PROVIDENCE – Ceresonic won the Rhode Island Business Competition’s Elevator Pitch Contest held Thursday.

Ceresonic’s Sam Hornstein, a Brown University student, proposed a technology to provide a cheaper and safer method for treating Alzheimer’s disease. His company has a letter of intent to license a patented technology from Columbia University, which uses ultrasound to locate openings in the brain vasculature that will reduce the difficulty of Alzheimer’s drugs entering the brain, the Rhode Island Business Competition said.

“It was wonderful to have such a wide array of presenters who were willing to pitch their business idea virtually to an audience of 70-plus strangers. It is a testament to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in this state that despite the hardships they face due to COVID-19, these entrepreneurs are persevering,” said Anthony Mangiarelli, A partner at KLR who served as emcee for the event. 

The competition drew over 30 participants and was hosted virtually by Venture Cafe.

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Second palace in the competition went to Trisha Ballakur, founder of Pointz and a Brown University student. Her mobile app is for bike and scooter riders to provide a reliable and quiet route, using “quiet networks” and community crowdsourcing.

Third place in the competition was a tie between Diana Perkins, owner of includesign, and Mark Gad, a Brown University student that pitched ThrombTent Innovation.

Perkins’ company has developed LapSnap, a multipurpose basket/carryall designed with and for wheelchair users.

Gad’s pitch was a novel peptide technology that provides a rapid and sensitive way to detect blood-clot formation.

Fifth place was awarded to Andrea Lu, a Brown University student, who has developed AlteraGel, a patented hydrogel technology that can be altered to fit a patient’s specific needs to more effectively treat burn wounds.

Judges for the event were Tuni Schartner, executive director of Venture Cafe and District Hall Providence, Brian Spero, president and CEO of Beacon Mutual Insurance Co. and Annette Tonti, managing director of RIHub.

The organization also noted that applications for Rhode Island Business Competition 2021 will open on Jan. 6, with more information available online.

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