Lieutenant Governor Matos Announces Entrepreneurship Challenge Finalists & Live Pitch Competition

 Lieutenant Governor Matos Announces Entrepreneurship Challenge Finalists & Live Pitch Competition
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High school students’ business pitch competition will provide over $10,000 in scholarships


PROVIDENCE, RI — Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos today announced the finalists of the Lieutenant Governor’s Entrepreneurship Challenge, a business pitch competition for high school students. Out of dozens of written business plan submissions, these five teams are advancing advance to the second stage of the challenge: a live pitch to a panel of judges on January 28th, where they will compete for thousands of dollars in post-secondary scholarships.
“I visited high schools around the state over the last two months, and I was deeply impressed with the enthusiasm that Rhode Island students have for entrepreneurship,” said Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos. “Each of these teams brings to the table a creative, innovative idea for a business that could thrive in our state. I can’t wait to see how they impress our judges in the live competition.”
The five finalists are:
  • Community Connection, an app for teenagers to find gig work in their local communities, by Siddharth Gupta, Liam Helfrich, and William Sturla of Barrington High School.
  • Crow’s Nest Art Shop, a second-hand art supply store for beginning artists, by Alyssa Davidson of Scituate High School.
  • NugSafe, a wearable technology with safety features for children, by Faith Basler, Rishi Sanjay Gokhale, and Jayci W. Tickner of East Greenwich High School.
  • SunuBody, an e-commerce store offering skin care, jewelry, and wellness products, by Zainabou Thiam of The MET High School.
  • Yoga for All, a yoga mat that connects users with wellness content, by Daisha Jackson of The MET High School.
Each team will win a scholarship, with prizes ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. Funds for the scholarship are generously provided by a charitable donation from the Credit Unions of Rhode Island, as well as the support of other local businesses including Massey and Associates, Dr. Day Care, and the RI Association of Realtors. The funds are distributed through Millennial RI, a local non-profit that encourages young professionals to build their career in Rhode Island.
The live business pitch competition will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 28th at Rhode Island College and will be open to the press and public. The competition will also be livestreamed on
Members of the media who are interested in attending are asked to respond to by 2:00 p.m. on Friday, January 27th.
About the Lieutenant Governor’s Entrepreneurship Challenge: The Lieutenant Governor’s Entrepreneurship Challenge, created by Governor Dan McKee in 2018, is Rhode Island’s first statewide business pitch competition for high school students. It is aimed at encouraging entrepreneurship and promoting business ownership in the Ocean State. Through this program, high school students write and submit business plans, and the five strongest plans advance to a live pitch competition.

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