Tracks

The Entrepreneur Track is open to anyone, aged 18 or over. While applicants do not have to be Rhode Island residents, to be selected as a semi-finalist, applicants must agree to establish or continue business operations in Rhode Island should they be named a finalist or winner.

Applicants may submit an idea for early stage, or seed stage, company. This typically is a business proposal at the inventor stage where there is an idea, a concept, or even a product, but little or no income.

No industry is favored over any other. The competition has received applications for manufacturing, distribution, health, software, Internet, energy, food, services, and other industries.

The judges focus on originality, scalability, and likelihood of success when winnowing down applicants. Scalability refers to breadth of business. For example, an application to develop a storefront cafe will likely not be viewed favorably. However, a proposal to create a franchised network of storefront cafes will likely garner a more positive reception since it has the potential to create more jobs.

Be sure to review previous Entrepreneur Track winners.

The Student Track is open to any student enrolled in and attending an accredited college or university at the undergraduate or graduate level. All key members of the team must be students.

Students should submit their idea; it should not be a business proposed by a professor who is looking for students to run with it. Students may rely on professors, as well as anyone else, as advisors.

While applicants do not have to be Rhode Island residents, to be selected as a semi-finalist, applicants must agree to establish or continue business operations in Rhode Island should they be named a finalist or winner.

Applicants may submit an idea for early stage, or seed stage, company. This typically is a business proposal at the inventor stage where there is an idea, a concept, or even a product, but little or no income.

No industry is favored over any other. The competition has received applications for manufacturing, distribution, health, software, Internet, energy, food, services, and other industries.

The judges focus on originality, scalability, and likelihood of success when winnowing down applicants. Scalability refers to breadth of business. For example, an application to develop a storefront cafe will likely not be viewed favorably. However, a proposal to create a franchised network of storefront cafes will likely garner a more positive reception since it has the potential to create more jobs.

Learn about previous Student Track winners.

The 2018 competition will offer a MedTech/Life Sciences Award in addition to prizes awarded to winners and finalists in the Entrepreneur and Student Tracks.

The award, consisting of cash and services, will recognize an existing or proposed company focused on medical technology or the life sciences. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.

Entrants will be evaluated on their vision, business model, value proposition and competitive differentiation, team, and growth strategy.