Six Finalists Selected in 2018 Rhode Island Business Plan Competition


All Will Share Prizes Valued at Nearly $260,000

PROVIDENCE – (April 26, 2018) – The Rhode Island Business Plan Competition today announced that six finalists have been chosen in the 2018 Competition, which will award prizes valued at $259,300 when winners are announced next month.


The finalists have proposed businesses that address opportunities in agriculture, document management, energy, health, music recording, and nutrition.

All finalists will briefly present their business idea on May 17 at an Awards Ceremony to be held at the Rhode Island Nursing Education Center, located in South Street Landing on the Providence waterfront, after which the winners will be announced.

Following are the finalists:

FungEye is a rover-based detection system, using multispectral imaging, to identify mold growth before the human eye can, replacing manual inspections which often lack accuracy. Principal applicant: David Katzevich, Brown University.

goTeff is a low sugar, all-natural, nutrition bar that uses Teff, a gluten-free super-grain with low-glycemic index and a superior balance of nutrients, for cardio, nutrition, and health-minded consumers. Principal applicant: Saron Mechale, Brown University.

PowerDocks has created floating platforms, such as moorings and docks, that use renewable energy sources to generate, store, and distribute power at those sites. Principal applicant: Anthony Baro, Newport.

Predictive Optics is developing a portable, inexpensive wearable device that optically evaluates cerebrovascular health by quantifying retinal blood flow dynamic differences between eyes. Principal applicant: Vishnu Dantu, Brown University.

TextUp has developed an encrypted, affordable software package for social workers that increases their efficiency by enabling them to manage all documents and information flows. Principal applicant: Michelle Petersen, Brown University.

Your Heaven Audio has developed a hardware/software technology platform for amplifying and recording acoustic musical instruments accurately and easily. Principal applicant: Prachi Jain, Providence.

Sponsors of the 2018 Competition


The 2018 competition is supported by 58 sponsors, including private businesses, professional firms, banks, investors, colleges and universities, nonprofit and service organizations, and public agencies, as well as five former competitors. 

Lead sponsors of the 2018 competition are Bryant University, Cox Business, Everhope Foundation, Hinckley Allen, Integrated Media Group, KLR, Locke Lord, Materials Science Associates (former competitor), MedMates, The Providence Journal Charitable Legacy Fund, and Sprout.

Also sponsoring the 2018 competition are Bank of America, Barlow, Josephs & Holmes, Ltd., 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, Hatch Entrepreneurial Center, Luminous, RevUp Capital, Roger Williams University, Social Enterprise Greenhouse (former competitor), Tech Collective, and the URI College of Business Administration.

Sponsors also include AAA Northeast, Bank Rhode Island, The Beacon Mutual Insurance Company, Business Development Company, Delta Dental of Rhode Island, Dimeo Construction Company, The Hilb Group of New England, The Idea Turbine, IGT Global Solutions Corporation, Morgan Stanley-Richard Carriere, The Moore Company, Navigant Credit Union, RI Student Loan Authority, Savings Institute Bank and Trust, Slater Technology Fund, Teknor Apex, and The Washington Trust Company.

Additional sponsors include BankNewport, Cherrystone Angel Group, Citizens Bank, Classic Hassocks, CVS Health, Deepwater Wind, Fidelity Investments, Hayes & Sherry Real Estate Services, InsureMyTrip, Johnson & Wales University, Newport Biodiesel (former competitor), Pawtucket Credit Union, StormTree (former competitor), and Virgin Pulse (former competitor).

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 $2.3 million to developing companies across many industries. More information is available at www.ri-bizplan.com.