Whether the Gateway course ‘Global Foundations of Business’ was last year, three years, or even just yesterday for some, Rhode Island hosts an event where the skills Bryant students gain and develop from this class can be used in “real life”.

Rhode Island’s Business Plan Competition was established in the year 2000 and is supported and sponsored by many corporations, investors, colleges and universities (Bryant University being among these as a Pillar sponsor) and business entities and people of the like. In 2017, …”it is the leading community-supported business plan competition in the Northeast” which is a direct quote from the competition’s website. But, what exactly is this ‘Business Plan Competition’?

The Business Plan Competition is meant to be a way for new start-up businesses to pitch their companies, products, and ideas, while hopefully getting funding and their name out in the world as a result from the competition. The competition awards three start-ups a year, with the categories being; Entrepreneur, Student, and Technology. What do some of these seed businesses look like? The website has a vast section on all of their past winners, including last year’s victors ‘Response Technologies’ who developed a plan to make fuel tanks explosion resist, all the while reducing the weight of the tanks, and decreasing their production costs.

Another notable winner came in 2013 when a group of college students from Brown, Yale and Northeastern developed an online store for 3D printed products. To learn more about past winners and their products, businesses, and ideas, search ri-bizplan.com.

The rules for this competition are rather lenient, and are as follows: an applicant must be 18 years or older, there is no limit of how many people can take part on a team, it must be original work created by the individual or team, already existing business may pitch a new business, however this intended business must conduct their operations in Rhode Island, as well as hire employees of Rhode Island residency. These few rules and regulations are not all of them, however the website lists rules with more specificity and also gives light on the process of moving on through the competition.

What can a start-up business gain from entering this competition? Although some details have yet to be posted on their website, thus far teams can be awarded: prizes, of which will be in cash, which can be expected to exceed $200,000 in value. Also, any applicant who submits a thoroughly completed application to the 2018 competition will be awarded two consecutive months of no-cost working space at Sprout in the Rising Sun Mills campus of Providence.

The application process can be found on their website, along with all the information needed if interested.

The Rhode Island 2018 Business Plan Competition is the ideal opportunity for anyone who would like to pursue Entrepreneurship, or has a start-up business or potential product idea. Perhaps some business plans that were conspired during the duration of the GFOB course, or even the Bryant IDEA program, can be brought to life by applying to enter this competition, whether it be on the individual level, or group/team level.

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I am a sophomore at Bryant University from Long Island, NY. I am a Communications major, with a double minor in Marketing and Professional/Creative Writing.