April 25, 2024
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URI students earn funds, recognition at 401 Tech Bridge pitch night


STUDENT ENTREPRENEURS at the University of Rhode Island received recognition, funding and mentorship at the 401 Tech Bridge Entrepreneur Pitch Night and lead-up programming. / COURTESY 401 TECH BRIDGE

SOUTH KINGSTOWN – Three University of Rhode Island student-led ventures won recognition at the 401 Tech Bridge Entrepreneur Pitch Night earlier this month, with the top two ventures awarded a total of $1,750 in funding.

The inaugural i(X)Studio’s Entrepreneur’s Pitch Night, held at the University of Rhode Island Library, drew 13 innovators from across technology sectors, including ocean, health care and green technology.

Jason Noel, a doctoral student of ocean engineering, took home the evening’s top honor, which came with $1,000 in funding.

With their venture, Rhode Island Oceanographic Technology Services, Noel and co-founder Jake Bonney aim to create a service vessel that will provide blue-tech companies and researchers with on-the-water equipment testing in a manner that’s faster and more environmentally conscious than traditional methods.

RIOTS is currently still in its development phase, but Noel and Bonney plan to formally launch the company next year.

Runner-up Willy Njeru, a student in the university’s Doctor of Pharmacy program, won $750 for his health tech startup concept, Nanovyx, which was pitched to improve the delivery of antibiotics and other drugs using bacterial molecules.

Vector Co., an ecological research tech company pitched by physics graduate student Erik Carlson, placed third in the competition.

The program also gave all participants an opportunity to collaborate with their peers and local innovation leaders, including Annette Tonti of RIHub and Tom Sperry of Rogue Venture Partners.

Jacquelyn Voghel is a PBN staff writer. You may reach her at Voghel@PBN.com.



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