Product that Improves Prosthetic Comfort Wins Annual Elevator Pitch Contest

PROVIDENCE – (Nov. 16, 2016) – Standing before a standing-room-only crowd last evening, James Wagner told how his company's product promotes comfort for people who need to wear prosthetics, and in doing so won the annual statewide Elevator Pitch Contest sponsored by the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition.

Wagner, chief executive officer of BI Medical, LLC in North Kingstown, told a panel of judges why his company’s Silver-Liner technology provides a superior approach for removing dirt, dead skin, and bacterial byproducts that cause off-putting prosthetic liner odor.

Wagner and nine other presenters together took home $1,000 in cash prizes.

“Among the skills successful entrepreneurs need to master is how to effectively present their business idea to potential investors, partners, and employees," said Competition Co-chair Peggy Farrell, partner with the Hinckley Allen law firm. "Persuading others that you have a worthy idea takes practice, and everybody who participated in the Elevator Pitch Contest got valuable advice from our judges.”

The eleventh annual Rhode Island Elevator Pitch Contest, held at Tech Collective in Providence, drew 34 presenters, as well as about 100 others who watched and listened. Presenters had 90 seconds to present their idea to a panel of judges, who then gave verbal feedback about the clarity and persuasiveness of the pitch.

The other winning presenters were:

  • Andrew Howes, a Brown University student, presented Fibrosis, a technology patented at Brown University used to screen for anti-fibrotic drugs.
  • Roxanne LaCroix, of North Kingstown, pitched Cross Peptides Inc., which has created the intellectual property for a peptide with strong anti-microbial properties.
  • Mindy Levine, of Kingston, pitched Cyclo-Sensing, which uses technology developed at the University of Rhode Island to create commercial products that enable consumers to control their chemical exposure.
  • Anthony Markey, a University of Rhode Island student, who pitched Libby, an online platform that allows students to buy and sell textbooks exclusively to peers on their campus.
  • Brian McHugh, a University of Rhode Island student, pitched MyDiabetesTracker, a product that lets users preventatively monitor foot ulcers and overweight.
  • Andrew Peltier, a University of Rhode Island student, pitched Smart Collar, a pet collar with embedded technology designed to protect it from predatory dangers, such as coyote attacks.
  • Lucy Price, a Brown University student, presented Girlpower, an organic, ready-to-go, bottled protein drink that caters exclusively to women.
  • Kyle Tysvaer, of Riverside, who pitched Steal My Wedding Day, a consulting platform that supports reselling of canceled wedding and other events.
  • Neelum Wong, a Brown University student, pitched Brown University Microscopy Sample Prep, a platform that improves the quality of microscopy imaging for nanomaterials.

Judging the contest were:

  • Todd Knapp, CEO, Envision Technology Advisors
  • Daniel Murphy, senior vice president of business development, Home Loan Investment Bank
  • Barbara Schoenfeld, managing director, Saffron, LLC
  • Jennifer Rousseau, executive director, Cherrystone Angel Group, Providence
  • Dan Sullivan, senior account executive, Salesforce
Sponsors of the 2017 Competition

Lead sponsors of the 2017 Competition are Bryant University, Everhope Foundation, MedMates, Hinckley Allen, Integrated Media Group, KLR, Providence Journal Charitable Legacy Fund, and Sprout.

Also sponsoring the 2017 Competition are Bank of America, Barlow, Josephs & Holmes, Ltd., Betaspring, Brown University Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship, Center for Women and Enterprise, Cumulus Media-Providence, Envision Technology Advisors, FM Global, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at CCRI, Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, GrowthLab Financial, Hatch Entrepreneurial Center, Roger Williams University, Social Enterprise Greenhouse, Tech Collective, URI College of Business Administration, and Verizon.

Additional sponsors include AAA Northeast, Bank Rhode Island, BankNewport, The Beacon Mutual Insurance Co.,, Business Development Company, Care New England Health System, Cherrystone Angel Group, Citizens Bank, Classic Hassocks, Collette, CompNet Insurance Solutions, Davol, Deepwater Wind, Delta Dental of Rhode Island, Dimeo Construction Company, EpiVax, Freedom National Bank, Gilbane Building Company, Hayes & Sherry Real Estate Services, The Hilb Group of New England, The Idea Turbine, Johnson & Wales University, The Moore Company, Navigant Credit Union, Newport Biodiesel, Rajiv Kumar, Richard Carriere, Slater Technology Fund, Starkweather & Shepley, StormTree, Teknor Apex, and The Washington Trust Company.

About the Competition

Established in 2000, the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition has been recognized as one of the top 40 business plan competitions in the country. To date, it has awarded more than $2 million in prizes to developing companies across many industries.

The Competition is free and open to everyone age 18 or over whether or not they already have started a business. Complete information, including rules, application procedures, guidelines, and business plan resources, is available at