Rhode Island Business Plan Competition to Award Prizes Valued at a Record-Setting $271,000, Provided by a Record Number of Sponsors

Nine Rhode Islanders Named as Judges

PROVIDENCE -- (March 1, 2017) -- The Rhode Island Business Plan Competition, already the largest community supported business plan competition in New England, today announced that it will award prizes this year valued at a record-setting $271,000—provided by a record number of sponsors for the annual event—and named nine judges for the 2017 competition.

The announcement was made in advance of the April 3 deadline to apply to the competition. Winners, who will share prizes with finalists, will be announced in May.

The prizes consisting of cash and in-kind services are provided by 63 sponsors – the most in a  single year since the Competition first awarded prizes in 2001. Included are banks, investors, colleges, universities, professional service firms, nonprofits, and construction, health-related, software, retail, and other businesses, as well as six former competitors who are building strong companies in Rhode Island.

In a joint statement, Co-chairs Peggy Farrell, partner in the law of firm of Hinckley, Allen, and Anthony Mangiarelli, partner at the KLR accounting firm, said, “The sustained level of support from the Rhode Island business and nonprofit community is truly extraordinary and makes a decided difference to local emerging companies working to create the next generation of businesses.”

Serving as volunteer judges this year are the following:

  • Kim Anderson, an impact investor and socially responsible entrepreneur
  • Peggy Farrell, partner, Hinckley Allen
  • Katharine Flynn, executive director, University of Rhode Island Business Engagement Center
  • Andrew Hughes, partner, Locke Lord
  • Anthony Mangiarelli, partner at KLR
  • Ray Mathieu, board director, trustee, and investor
  • Lou Mazzucchelli, investor and coordinator of Entrepreneurship Programs, Bryant University
  • Thorne Sparkman, managing director of the Slater Technology Fund
  • Jeffrey Wilhelm, chief technology officer at Envision Technology Advisors
The competition is open to anyone with an innovative business plan. All applicants must be at least 18 years of age and agree to use winnings to establish or expand a business in Rhode Island.

Complete competition information, including rules, application procedures, guidelines, and business plan resources, is available at www.ri-bizplan.com.

Sponsors of the 2017 Competition

Included among this year's sponsors are the following former competitors: CompNet Insurance Solutions, Materials Science Associates, Newport Biodiesel, Rajiv Kumar, Social Enterprise Greenhouse, and StormTree.

Lead sponsors of the 2017 Competition are Bryant University, Everhope Foundation, Hinckley Allen, Integrated Media Group, KLR, Locke Lord, Materials Science Associates, MedMates, and Sprout.

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

Sponsors also include AAA Northeast, Bank Rhode Island, The Beacon Mutual Insurance Company, Business Development Company, Care New England Health System, Citizens Bank, Collette Travel Service, Delta Dental of Rhode Island, Dimeo Construction Company, The Hilb Group of New England, IGT Global Solutions Corporation, The Idea Turbine, The Moore Company, Navigant Credit Union, Richard Carriere, Slater Technology Fund, Teknor Apex, and The Washington Trust Company.

Additional sponsors include BankNewport, Cherrystone Angel Group, Classic Hassocks, CompNet Insurance Solutions, CVS Health, Davol, Deepwater Wind, EpiVax, Freedom National Bank, Gilbane Building Company, Hayes & Sherry Real Estate Services, Johnson & Wales University, Nabsys, Newport Biodiesel, Rajiv Kumar, Starkweather & Shepley, and StormTree.

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 prizes valued at more than $2 million to developing companies across many industries.