Support for startups is the surest way to build R.I.’s future

At times, the sheer volume of startup accelerator graduates can overwhelm the senses. What’s one more among this sea of startups? Yet that is just exactly the opposite of what should be happening.

Last month three participants in MassChallenge Rhode Island shared a $50,000 prize from the satellite program of Boston-based MassChallenge, a global network of startup accelerators that annually attracts hundreds of participants and has spawned a virtual economy of massive proportions.

The three winners – CBC Wind Energy, T-Var EdTech and AirWorks – are quite varied in their products and services, yet what they do have in common is the potential to contribute in a significant way to the region’s economic health.

A number of the state’s economic leaders have been talking for years about the need to innovate in order to keep Rhode Island moving forward. And the state does put a modest amount of cash toward that goal. But it is not enough.

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In a world that is looking for the Next Big Thing every second of every day, support of innovation can never be overdone.