Money makes the world go round.  Where to find it to seed your next venture?

The Rhode Island Business Competition is the leading community-supported business plan competition in the Northeast sponsored by private businesses, colleges and universities, public entities, and nonprofit organizations. The Competition encourages plans for new businesses, as well as from early stage companies. 

Mass Challenge connects entrepreneurs to a powerful community of resources and support in Rhode Island and regional opportunities in Boston, in addition to a global network of leading corporate partners, policymakers, and innovation leaders. Its unique programming is tailored to support early-stage startups in Rhode Island:

  • Up to $50,000 in cash prizes

  • Opportunity to connect regionally via the MassChallenge Boston ecosystem

  • Four months of free office space in the heart of Providence

  • Introductions to top corporate mentors and partners

Commerce Rhode Island Small Business Loan Program provides various forms of assistance for working capital, expansion, collaborative research and new product development.

New England Venture Summit brings together venture, angel and institutional investors to network with local founders.

The Rhode Island Science and Technology Advisory Council promotes Rhode Island’s academic and commercial research institutions, fosters entrepreneurship and new company creation, and works to enable innovation across the public and private sectors.  STAC is the official oversight body of the Rhode Island Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (RI EPSCoR) program. 

The Rhode Island Innovation Fellowship is designed to stimulate solutions by Rhode Islanders to Rhode Island challenges. Managed by the Rhode Island Foundation, the program provides seed funding for social impact. Innovation Fellows receive up to $300,000 over three years to develop, test, and implement innovative ideas that have the potential to dramatically improve any area of life in Rhode Island.

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) are highly competitive programs that encourage domestic small businesses to engage in federal research and development that has the potential for commercialization. Federal agencies dominating Rhode Island's awards include the departments of Homeland Security, Defense, Commerce, and Health and Human Services as well as the National Science Foundation. See the funding history of SBIR/STTR grants to Rhode Island companies.
The Rhode Island Innovation Tax Credit provides investors up to a 50 percent credit on eligible investments with a maximum tax credit of $100,000. A company must produce traded goods or services, have annual gross revenues of less than $1 million in the prior two calendar years and be categorized as one of the following innovation industries: Biotechnology and Life Sciences; Communication and Information Technology; Financial Services; Marine and Defense Manufacturing; Professional, Technical and Educational Services; Industrial and Consumer Product Manufacturing and Design.

Cherrystone Angel Group is Rhode Island’s first organized angel investment group. Its members are experienced and qualified investors who have either built their own companies or have extensive experience launching new business ventures. Cherrystone not only brings money to the table but industry knowledge and connections that will make your business succeed.
The Slater Technology Fund is a state-backed venture capital fund that invests in new ventures committed to basing and building their businesses in Rhode Island. In most cases, investments are premised upon the possibility of raising substantial follow-on financing, from venture capital investors or from strategic partners, with a view toward accelerating the generation of significant numbers of high-value, high-wage jobs over the intermediate to longer-term.  
The Business Development Company of Rhode Island is a non-bank lender that works closely with its member financial institutions to provide gap funding to assist promising, but often undercapitalized companies grow and expand. Financing is most often used for working capital, product development, purchase of fixed assets and acquisition of existing businesses.
Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is a public-private partnership to unlock the growth and job-creation potential of small businesses. Its new program hosted at CCRI provides small business owners with greater access to education, financial capital and business-support services.  Selected applicants receive full scholarships. 

Rhode Island Arts Design Innovation Grant Program links art and business professionals to advance an innovation agenda.

South Eastern Economic Development Corporation focuses on job creation by financing small business in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Technology transfer plays a vitally important role in company formation, job growth and the introduction of new products and services into the marketplace.
— Laurie White, president, GPCC