Posted by: Providence Chamber of Commerce | May 4, 2011

Biz Plan Competition Winners Named at RIBX 2011

A manufacturer, a software developer, and a creator of a prenatal health supplement were named winners today in the 2011 Rhode Island Business Plan Competition, who, along with five finalists, will share more than $250,000 in prizes, the largest amount granted since the competition first awarded prizes in 2001.

AmbiLabs, which is making turnkey, field monitoring laboratories that will enable scientists and engineers to quickly and accurately assess air pollution levels, was named the Green winner. The company, led by Andy Tolley of Warren, was also the top $50,000 cash winner of the competition. AmbiLabs also received $26,000 in services.

The winner in the Entrepreneur track was Lucidux, led by Jason Harry of Providence, which is developing application software that will provide three-dimensional images to help surgeons perform minimally invasive procedures.

Taking top honors in the Student track was PriWater, which has formulated a prenatal beverage supplement to reduce birth defects. The company was co-founded by Brown University undergraduates Robert D. Aziz, William Lim Do, and Gordon Hood.

The Entrepreneur and Student track winners each received $25,000 in cash and $28,000 in services.

The winners were announced at the annual RIBX business expo at the Rhode Island Convention Center, sponsored by the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce.

Finalists received $5,000 in cash and $9,300 in services. Prizes were donated by sponsors, which included private companies, foundations, nonprofits, colleges and universities, and public agencies. To be eligible to win, applicants had to agree to establish or maintain operations in Rhode Island.

Competition Co-chair David Mitchell, co-chair and dean of the College of Business at Johnson & Wales University, said, “This year’s competition attracted a record number of applicants and many promising ideas, and there are many people across the state who look forward to helping them prosper. We congratulate the winners and finalists.”

Larry Davidson, principal with the Providence-based accounting firm of Kahn, Litwin, Renza & Co., lauded the to 50 sponsors and 13 volunteers judges of this year’s competition, saying, “The growth and success of the competition is directly tied to the commitment of our sponsors. Their willingness to support the competition is helping to foster the next generation of entrepreneurs in Rhode Island and to make this truly the start-up state.”

Finalists in the Entrepreneur track were:

Maternova Inc. – Building a web-based global marketplace to provide information and low-cost products to help save the lives of mothers and newborns. Principal applicant: Meg Wirth, Providence.

Moondust Macarons – Will produce and distribute desserts to mainstream America that emphasize creative and novel design. Principal applicant: Stephen Fitch, North Kingstown.

MoveAround IV Buggy – Aims to be the leading supplier of cart to provide intravenous and other related treatments for children. Principal applicant: Ralph Lawrence, Coventry.

Finalists in the Student track were:

PriviCare – Will provide at-home diagnostic devices for common infections and diseases. Leading the company are Sarah Huebscher and Deborah Gorth from Brown University.

Richtr.tv – Developing a platform for TV viewers to provide real-time feedback on TV programs using an online social network. The founding management team includes Salil Sethi and Lu-Fong Chua, both of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The 2011 competition attracted 103 business plans, spanning a broad range of industries – from manufacturing, biotech, and health care to consumer, retail, and Internet companies.

This year marked the eighth time the competition has been held since it first awarded prizes in 2001.

Sponsors of the 2011 Competition

Lead sponsors of the 2011 competition are Bank of America, Davol Inc., Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, Johnson & Wales University, Providence Journal Charitable Foundation, Rhode Island Commodores, Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, the University of Rhode Island, and Ximedica, along with Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge, Embolden, Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP, Kahn, Litwin, Renza & Co., Ltd., and the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center.

Also supporting the competition are: Bank Rhode Island, Braemar Energy Ventures, Brown University, Bryant University, Business Development Company, Center for Women and Enterprise, Cherrystone Angel Group, Citadel Broadcasting (AM 790), Citizens Bank, Collette Vacations, CVS/Caremark, Federal Electronics, Inc., FM Global, Gilbane Inc., GTECH, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, New England Institute of Technology, Nortek, Inc., NuLabel Technologies, Ocean State Job Lot, Point Judith Capital, Providence Business News, Providence College, Rhode Island Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Rhode Island School of Design, Shazaam, Slater Technology Fund, Tech Collective, Verizon New England, and WJAR.

Additional support has also been provided by Angel RI, Banneker Industries, Inc., DiJiPOP, InsureMyTrip.com, Rhode Island Medical Society, and Summer Infant.

About the Competition

Established in 2000, the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition aims to develop the entrepreneurial spirit in Rhode Island and help create growth companies that will increase local employment. Including prizes awarded this year, the competition has awarded more than $1 million in prizes to companies that span a number of industries.

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


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