A record number of people vying for a record prize pot of more than $250,000 applied to the 2011 Rhode Island Business Plan Competition, and 16 of them have been named semi-finalists, including three Brown University students and one alumnus.
The four semifinalists with Brown engineering and entrepreneurship connections were among seven semifinalists in the student track of the competition. They included HnC Products led by principal applicant Margaret Watson '11. Her idea is to create a personal beverage container that can heat and cool 20 ounces between 150 and 35 degrees Fahrenheit with the flip of a switch. HnC (which stands for hot and cold) grew out of an idea from Professor Eric Suuberg's entrepreneurship class in which Watson and six other undergraduates have been working on a way to improve the taste of food eaten by astronauts who don't have access to refrigeration in space. The device uses compact thermoelectric technology, and has the potential to redefine the beverage market.
Two students from the Program in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship (PRIME), Sara Huebscher '10 ScM '11 and Rachel Decker ScM'11 were also among the semifinalists. Decker's business plan is for PRIME Omega-3, a company which will produce and sell high quality omega-3 fish oil supplements using a safe proprietary chromatography technique. Huebscher's plan is for Privicare, which will provide at-home diagnostic devices for common infections and diseases.
Dan Aziz '11 presented a business plan for PriWater, which is developing a prenatal beverage supplement to reduce birth defects and mitigate common complications of pregnancy.
The 103 business proposals submitted this year represent a 69% increase over the number of applications received last year. To receive prizes, which will be awarded to all finalists and winners, applicants must agree to establish or continue operations in Rhode Island.
Providence Business News Release:
RI Business Plan Competition 2011 Release: