Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Five Brown Teams Named Semifinalists in Rhode Island Business Plan Competition

Five Brown teams, including three with connections to the School of Engineering, were named semifinalists at the 2012 Rhode Island Business Plan Competition. In total, 75 emerging entrepreneurs applied to the competition, and 13 were selected as semifinalists, including seven in the entrepreneur track and six in the student track. Five of the six semifinalists in the student track were from Brown, including three teams from the School of Engineering.

Two teams from Steve Petteruti’s Entrepreneurship I class and Entrepreneurship II classes, Engineering 1930G and Engineering 1930H, were among the semifinalists. JCD Wind, included James McGinn ’12, a biomedical engineering concentrator, and Carli Wiesenfeld ’12, a commerce, organizations, and entrepreneurship (COE) concentrator. The company aims to make seamless, high strength lightweight carbon fiber turbine blades. McGinn is also a member of the men’s rugby team, and Wiesenfeld is a member of the women’s gymnastics team.

Another semifinalist was CityBase Security, which included Julianne Bishop ’12 and Joschka Tryba ’12, who are both COE concentrators. Their company hopes to provide a map-based platform that will integrate communication and information systems for both emergency responders and public reporting of incidents/crimes.

A group of four graduate students in the Program in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship (PRIME) master’s degree program were also among the semifinalists. Solar4Cents included PRIME students Sean Pennino, Bhavuk Nagpal, Xiaotong 'Peter' Shan, and Meng 'Milo' Zhang. Solar4Cents is a manufacturing company that aims to produce low-cost, thin-film copper, zinc, tin, and sulfur solar cells for solar panel manufacturers.

The contest will award more than $200,000 in prizes. In order to receive prizes, applicants must agree to establish or continue operations in Rhode Island. Winners will be announced on May 3. Please go to for more details. Established in 2000, the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition has awarded more than $1 million in prizes since its inception.

For the official RI Business plan release on the competition, please go to:

For the Providence Business News story on the event, please go to:,66767?category_id=27&sub_type=stories,packages

For the story, please go to: