Three Brown Teams Named Finalists in Rhode Island Business Plan Competition

Three Brown teams, all with connections to the School of Engineering, were named finalists at the 2012 Rhode Island Business Plan Competition. In total, 75 emerging entrepreneurs applied to the competition, and seven have been selected as finalists, including four in the entrepreneur track and three in the student track. All three of the finalists in the student track were from Brown and the School of Engineering.

One of the finalists, JCD Wind, was from Steve Petteruti’s Entrepreneurship I class and Entrepreneurship II classes, Engineering 1930G and Engineering 1930H. 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.

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 third finalist in the student track is, which includes Brown undergraduates Parker Wells '12, a mechanical engineering concentrator, and Stephen Hebson '12, an economics and history double concentrator. Their plan is to produce a web app to provide a customizable stream of music for in-store use, licensing music directly from the artists and labels.

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 at RIBX 2012 (Business Expo) at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence. The event is free and open to the public. All finalists will make brief presentations of their business plans at the Expo. Please go to www.ri-bizplan.comfor 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:,67143?category_id=27&sub_type=stories,packages


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