Brown University School of Engineering

Two Brown teams named finalists in RI Business Plan Competition

April 25, 2013

Two Brown University teams, Optitrum and Azavy, both with connections to the School of Engineering, were named finalists at the 2013 Rhode Island Business Plan Competition. In total, 77 emerging entrepreneurs applied to the competition, 15 were selected as semifinalists, and six were chosen as finalists, including three in the entrepreneur track and three in the student track. Two of the three finalists in the student track are from Brown.

Optitrum is working on a handheld, non-invasive glucose meter to manage diabetes that utilizes a small saliva sample to determine glucose concentrations in the body almost instantaneously. The group consists of students from the School of Engineering’s Program in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship (PRIME) master’s degree program: Jenny Yu, Lu Liu, Xinming Shi, and Jing Feng.

Azavy is developing an online store for 3D printed goods that crowd-sources manufacturing, enabling consumers to buy products designed and 3D printed by users. The team has also been part of the Brown Venture Lab and Brown Entrepreneurship program and includes Tyler Benster ’13 (applied mathematics-economics), Lucas Eggers ’13 (physics), Mark Fischer, and Michael Anderson.

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. Established in 2000, the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition has awarded more than $1.2 million in prizes since its inception, and has been named one of the top 40 business plan competitions in the country.

The winners will be announced May 14 at The Garage economic development event at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, sponsored by the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce. All finalists will be invited to present their business plans at The Garage.

A Brown team has won the competition for the past four years. Previous winners include Overhead.fm (2012), PriWater, now Premama, (2011), Speramus (2010), and Runa (2009).