SOURCE: RI Business Plan Competition

October 22, 2007 13:41 ET

Rhode Island Business Plan Competition to Host Elevator Pitch Contest

PROVIDENCE, RI--(Marketwire - October 22, 2007) - Anyone with a business idea seeking free feedback from experts and a chance to win cash prizes is invited to participate in the second annual Rhode Island Elevator Pitch-Off to be held Nov. 7, the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition announced today.

Participants will present their business ideas in 90 seconds to a panel of judges at Johnson & Wales University and receive immediate feedback and compete to win cash prizes.

"Success in business often is related to the ability of entrepreneurs' ability to present and persuade. The Elevator Pitch-Off provides a great way to practice and learn, and it's a lot of fun as well," said Competition Co-chair Garrett Hunter, president of the Business Development Company of Rhode Island.

Fellow Co-Chair Charles Kingdon, associate vice president of Brown technology partnerships at Brown University, noted, "Effective business presentations come from experience and feedback. This event provides a rare opportunity for emerging and experienced entrepreneurs to learn from a panel of business professionals."

$1,000 in Cash Prizes

Up to 30 presenters will make a 90-second presentation each to a panel of six judges. Following each presentation, the judges will give two minutes of feedback about the clarity and persuasiveness of the presentation. At the end of the evening, cash prizes totaling $1,000 will be awarded to the best presenters.

Judging the competition will be:

--  Peter Dorsey, senior vice president, Business Development Company of
    Rhode Island
--  Maryann Pernorio, a strategy and finance consultant based in
--  Phyl Speser, CEO of Providence-based Foresight Science & Technology
--  Danny Warshay, founder and managing director of DEW Ventures, based in
--  Laurie White, president of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce

The winner of last year's elevator pitch contest went on to become a winner of the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition.

Registrations to make a pitch are being accepted online at Attendees who want to listen, but not present, may also register at the same website.

Rhode Island CPA Society Joins Sponsors

The Rhode Island Society of Certified Public Accountants has agreed to support the 2008 competition, it was also announced, bringing to 31 the number of organizations sponsoring the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition.

"We're tremendously appreciative of all our sponsors, without whom there would be no competition," Hunter said.

Sponsors of the 2008 Rhode Island Business Plan Competition

Sponsors of the 2008 Rhode Island Business Plan Competition include: Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP, Kahn, Litwin, Renza & Co., Ltd., Seyfarth Shaw, Brown University, Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge, LLP, Embolden Design, and Nortek, Inc.

Also supporting the competition are: Brown Forum for Enterprise, Business Development Company of Rhode Island, Cherrystone Angel Group, CVS Caremark, Federal Electronics, Inc., Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, Johnson and Wales University, Point Judith Capital, Providence Business News, Rhode Island Commodores, Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, Bryant University, Citizens Bank of Rhode Island, Item Group, Starkweather & Shepley Insurance Brokerage, Inc., Heartlab/Agfa, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, RDW Group, Rhode Island Society of Certified Public Accountants, Salve Regina University, Smith Barney, Software Quality Associates, The Employers Association, and University of Rhode Island.

The 2008 Rhode Island Business Plan Competition will award $150,000 in prizes to winners next May. Complete information, including rules, application procedures, guidelines, and business plan resources, is available at

Contact Information

    Peter Lowy
    Business Communication Strategies
    T: 617-734-9980
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