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Rhode Island Business Competition

Grants to Rhode Island Entrepreneurs and Students
to Promote the Creation of New Businesses

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Rhode Island Business Competition

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

04/14/20 5:00 PM ET


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Grants to Rhode Island individual entrepreneurs and students to support new businesses. Funding is intended to promote the creation of new companies and foster entrepreneurship throughout the State. Eligible business ideas will increase local employment and will include students as the main members of the team.

The Rhode Island Business Competition has been organized to promote entrepreneurship and the development of start-up and early-stage companies in Rhode Island by encouraging submission of plans of original business concepts that will lead to the development of new growth businesses.

Any area of commercial endeavor is valid.

All semi-finalists must agree that, should they be chosen as a finalist or winner, they will use prize winnings to establish or continue operations that employ people in Rhode Island.
Existing businesses may propose a new business that will have operations in Rhode Island.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178886

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

One winner and three finalists

Estimated Size of Grant:

Prizes consisting of cash and in-kind services will be awarded to winners and finalists.

Also, everyone who submits a completed application to the 2020 Competition will receive two consecutive months of free co-working space for their team at Sprout Coworking in the Rising Sun Mills campus in Providence. Free parking and access to meeting space are included.

All semi-finalists will receive free mentoring services from VMS of Rhode Island.

The bonus winner will automatically qualify as a semi-finalist in Get Started Rhode Island 2020, which will award prizes valued at $50,000.

In addition, finalists will have the opportunity to enter round two of judging in the highly competitive MassChallenge accelerator program -- and be one step closer to potentially joining the MassChallenge Rhode Island cohort.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants, 18 years of age or older, may compete in one of the following tracks:

Business plans may be submitted by individuals or by teams, but all applicants must be 18 years of age or older.

There is no limit on the number of people on a team. Applications may be submitted without being on a team.

All key members of the team must be students.

Applications must describe a new business or an early stage company.

Applicants do not have to be Rhode Island residents in order to participate. However, all applicants must agree to establish substantial operations in Rhode Island in order to receive prizes as a finalist or winner.

Applicants risk disqualification if they attempt to approach a judge, or have someone do that on their behalf, in connection with the competition.

Pre-Application Information:

Application and Judging Schedule:

- To participate in the Rhode Island Business Competition, applicants must complete and submit an online application by 5 p.m. Eastern time (U.S.) on March 30, 2020.
- After reviewing the applications, the judges will invite semi-finalists from each track to submit complete business plans by April 14, 2020.
- Semi-finalists will be selected from each track and will be invited to make a 5-minute presentation to the judges on April 22, 2020.
- Finalists will be selected from semi-finalists and invited to a 25-minute meeting with the judges on April 29, 2020.
- Winners will be announced at an Awards Ceremony on May 6, 2020.

See recommended guidelines for formatting business plans.:


Application Information:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

Email inquiries to:

Send mail inquiries to:

Rhode Island Business Competition
c/o Business Development Company
40 Westminster St., Ste. 702
Providence, RI 02903

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Rhode Island

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