Rhode Island Business Competition names 2019 winners

UPROOT was named the overall winner of the 2019 Rhode Island Business Competition. Above, from left to right:, Anthony Mangiarelli, competition co-chair; Kevin Eve and Jacob Conway, both of Uproot, and Margaret “Peggy” Farrell, competition co-chair. / COURTESY RHODE ISLAND BUSINESS COMPETITION
UPROOT was named the overall winner of the 2019 Rhode Island Business Competition. Above, from left to right:, Anthony Mangiarelli, competition co-chair; Kevin Eve and Jacob Conway, both of Uproot, and Margaret “Peggy” Farrell, competition co-chair. / COURTESY RHODE ISLAND BUSINESS COMPETITION

PROVIDENCE – The 2019 Rhode Island Business Competition winners were announced Tuesday evening at a ceremony at the New England Medical Innovation Center.

The 12 semifinalists competed for six prizes valued at $225,000.

Kevin Eve, and his business Uproot, was named the top winner of the competition, earning winnings valued at $83,975, including $40,000 in cash and $43,975 in professional and consulting services. Eve is also now eligible to enter the Cox Business Get Started Rhode Island pitch contest scheduled for October. Uproot serves a variety of plant-based milks and milk dispensers to dining halls and food service providers.

The winner of the competition’s student track was H2Ok Innovations, led by David Lu, a Brown University undergraduate, who received $15,000 in cash and $43,975 in professional and consulting services. The company uses artificial intelligence data analytics to map sources of contamination in underground drinking pipes targeted for replacement.

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The competition also awarded two entrepreneur track finalists and two student track finalists with $5,000 cash and $16,850 in services each.

In the entrepreneur track, the competition named the following finalists:

  • Biotica Bio: Led by John Round, a company that has developed microbial therapeutic that treats inflammatory bowel disease and other endocannabinoid deficiencies
  • CBC Wind Energy: A company that is developing efficient wind turbines to be mounted on homes and other structures. The company is led by Robert Baxter

In the student track, the competition named the following finalists:

  • eBuoy: A company developing a product to detect harmful bacteria in freshwater and marine environments. The team is led by Kayla Colson, who will receive a Master of Science degree from Brown University this year
  • goTeff: A company that has developed a ready-to-eat breakfast food from the Ethiopian grain Teff. The team was lead by Saron Mechale, who will complete undergraduate studies at Brown University this year

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor. You may reach him at Bergenheim@PBN.com.