R.I. has a robust entrepreneurial community, but can it do more to grow and keep startups?

OPEN HOUSE: Sebastian Sheng, left, a first-year graduate student in PRIME, or program in innovation management and entrepreneurship at Brown University, speaks with, from left, Brown sophomores Isamella Espinosa, international relations major; Olivia Tulkoff, public policy major; and Jack Schaeffer, applied math and economics major, at the university’s Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship during an open house to kick off the fall semester.
 / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO
OPEN HOUSE: Sebastian Sheng, left, a first-year graduate student in PRIME, or program in innovation management and entrepreneurship at Brown University, speaks with, from left, Brown sophomores Isamella Espinosa, international relations major; Olivia Tulkoff, public policy major; and Jack Schaeffer, applied math and economics major, at the university’s Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship during an open house to kick off the fall semester.
 / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

For a small state, Rhode Island punches above its weight when it comes to producing promising startups and organizations that help nurture and fund them, according to longtime observers of the state’s entrepreneurial scene. “The [current] level of the entrepreneurial community in Rhode Island is unprecedented – and I’ve been around here for 35 years,”

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